BRITISH COLUMBIA - Abacus Mining & Exploration of Vancouver and KGHM Polska Miedz have signed a definitive joint venture agreement that will take the Afton-Ajax copper-gold project near Kamloops through bankable feasibility to production. Abacus will be the 49% owner and the operator. The Polish company will supply $37 million toward the feasibility study to earn 51% of the JV.
The preliminary economic assessment for the Afton-Ajax project proposed an open pit mine with a 60,000 t/d concentrator. Even at US$2/lb for copper and US$700/oz for gold, the return on an initial capital expenditure of $535 million would be 40.4%. The most recent resource estimate includes 422.4 million tonnes of measured and indicated material grading 0.30% Cu, 0.19 g/t Au and 0.0015% Mo. The inferred tonnage is 80.6 million tonnes at 0.22% Cu, 0.16 g/t Au and 0.0011% Mo. Contained metals in all categories is almost 3.3 million lb of copper and over 3.0 million oz of gold. Mine life is expected to be 23 years based on those resources.
Abacus has posted the PEA on its website, www.AMEMining.com.