Kutcho Copper has started work on a feasibility study on its namesake high-grade copper-zinc development project in northwestern B.C. The company has hired CSA Global Consultants to lead the study preparation.
In the press release, Vince Sorace, Kutcho’s president and CEO, highlighted the rising copper price and noted how the developer is well-positioned to take advantage of the current market, with the feasibility study scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2021.
“Kutcho is a high-margin, low-capital project with significant upside potential; our objective in 2021 will be to continue to de-risk and advance the project towards a production decision.”
A 2017 prefeasibility study for the asset defined a 12-year, 2,500-tonne-per-day underground operation producing an average of 33 million lb. copper and 46 million lb. zinc annually, in addition to gold and silver byproducts. With unit operating costs pegged at US59¢ per lb. copper, net of byproduct credits, and with initial capital costs of $221 million, the after-tax net present value estimate for the project is $265 million, at an 8% discount rate, with a 27.6% internal rate of return.
Last year, the company updated resources for Kutcho. The site features measured and indicated resources of 17.3 million tonnes grading 1.85% copper, 2.72% zinc, 0.49 g/t gold and 33.9 g/t silver and inferred resources of 10.7 million tonnes at 1.18% copper, 1.76% zinc, 0.26 g/t gold and 21.5 g/t silver.
The 171-sq.-km site includes existing ground access, as well as a camp and airstrip. Concentrates generated at the project would be shipped from the port at Stewart.