Los Andes Copper Ltd. (TSXV: LA) has obtained positive Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) results for its wholly-owned Vizcachitas Project – a world class porphyry copper project, located 150km north of Santiago, Chile.
Vizcachitas PFS Highlights
- A $2.8B post-tax net present value (“NPV”) using an 8% discount rate and an internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 24% at $3.68/pound (“lb”) copper, $12.9/lb molybdenum and $21.79/oz silver.
- Pre-production capital cost of $2.4B, with a construction period of 3.25 years.
- Payback period of 2.5 years from initial production.
- Proven & Probable Reserves of 1.22 billion tonnes at 0.36% copper, 136 ppm molybdenum, 1.1g/t silver, which equates to a copper equivalent (“CuEq”) grade of 0.41% (Proven Reserves of 302Mt at 0.41% copper, 135ppm molybdenum, 1.2g/t silver; and Probable Reserves of 917Mt at 0.34% copper, 136ppm molybdenum, 1.1g/t silver).
- Measured & Indicated Resources increased by 16% to 14.8 billion lbs CuEq (Measured Resource of 2.605 billion lbs copper, 84 million lbs molybdenum and 11Moz silver, and Indicated Resource of 10.416 billion lbs of copper, 442 million lbs of molybdenum, and 43Moz of silver) and Inferred Resource increased by 130% to 15.4 billion lbs CuEq (13.747 billion lbs copper, 495 million lb molybdenum, 55Moz silver) with respect to the June 2019 Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”).
Long-Scale, Long-Life, High-Margin Production
- Average annual production of approximately 183,017t of copper at a C1 cost of $0.93/lb copper (net of by-products) for the first 8 years.
- Initial Project Life of Mine (“LOM”) 26 years producing 8.763 billion lbs copper, 273.3 million lbs molybdenum, and 32.7Moz silver.
- Realized CuEq metal price (net of smelter return and selling expenses) of $3.50/lb copper sold, yielding a 44% all-in-sustaining margin.
- Low strip ratio (waste:ore) of 1.54:1 for first 8 years, and strip ratio 2.33:1 for LOM.
- Favourable metallurgy including low levels of clay, resulting in high copper recoveries (average of 91.1%) and supporting the use of filtered tailings.
- Potential opportunities to meaningfully improve the Project include: (i) drilling to upgrade inferred resources and bring them into the mine plan potentially increasing the LOM, reducing operating expenses, capital expenses and strip ratio; and, (ii) further drilling to define the extent of mineralization, deposit currently open at depth, east and west.
“I am extremely pleased to announce the results of the Pre-Feasibility Study for the proposed Vizcachitas mine in Chile. It shows that Vizcachitas is clearly a Tier 1 asset that has the potential to join the ranks as one of the largest and most profitable copper mines in Chile,” CEO, Santiago Montt, said.
“The new mine design incorporates a number of optimizations including expanding access works, allowing for a faster ramp-up of production and minimizing uphill material movement and haulage distances. This has reduced the OPEX and led to a shorter payback further strengthening the economics of the Project. Our new sustainable and responsible design considers the use of HPGR to reduce energy consumption, dry-stacked filtered tailings to reduce water consumption and footprint, and desalinated water.
“Vizcachitas benefits from being situated in a country with an established mining industry and in close proximity to existing infrastructure including power, roads and ports. All of these factors have enabled the Project to meaningfully reduce its initial CAPEX requirement. There is also a skilled labor force in the nearby towns and cities of Putaendo, San Felipe and Los Andes.
“The Project is economically robust with the potential for considerable upside through further drilling to upgrade the Inferred Resource to Measured and Indicated, thereby bringing them into the mine plan.”
Chairman, Eduardo Covarrubias, said the lack of new discoveries of this scale over the last 10 years and the increasing demand for copper highlights the importance of projects like Vizcachitas.
“The PFS demonstrates a robust, economically attractive project with long mine life and potential for significant further upside.
The study focused on ensuring Vizcachitas would lead the way in sustainable mining, and we are delighted to announce that our three key targets: to reduce water usage, power consumption and the footprint of the Project have all been met, allowing us to deliver a mine that minimizes its impact on the environment.”
For further information please visit: https://losandescopper.com/