AQM Copper Inc. is pleased to announce that it has filed a NI 43-101 compliant technical report on SEDAR on July 8, 2016 in connection with the Preliminary Feasibility Study of the Company's Zafranal Project previously announced on May 24, 2016.
The Zafranal Copper Project is owned by Compañia Minera Zafranal S.A.C. ("CMZ"), a joint venture company that is beneficially owned by AQM, Teck Resources Limited, and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. AQM, through Minera AQM Copper Peru S.A.C. ("MAQM"), has been the operator of the Project since 2009.
The Zafranal PFS was independently prepared by Ausenco Peru S.A.C., ("Ausenco"), Amec Foster Wheeler PLC ("AmecFW") and NCL Ingenieria y Construcción SpA ("NCL"), with the support from other specialist consultants. The PFS report reflects the design of an open pit mine, conventional flotation concentrator processing facility and associated infrastructure.
- The reported mineral reserve totals 401 million tonnes ("Mt") grading 0.40 % total copper ("Cu") and 0.07 g/t gold ("Au"), and the mine-concentrator as designed is expected to produce 3.1 billion pounds of copper and 484,000 ounces of gold over the 19-year life of the operation.
- Initial capital cost is US$ 1.16 billion and the base case after-tax valuation yields an expected net cash flow of US$ 1.6 billion with a net present value ("NPV") of US$ 496 million at an 8 % discount rate.
- After-tax internal rate of return ("IRR") is 15.9 % and the Project has a 5.1-year payback period from the start of operations.
- Production averages 120,000 tonnes per annum ("tpa") of copper in concentrate over the first 5-year period and 75,000 tpa over the life of the operations.
- A total of 4.4 million dry metric tons ("dmt") of concentrate will be produced over a 19-year period with an average grade of 32.5 % copper and 3.4 grams per tonne gold.
- No deleterious elements in any significant concentration were found in the copper concentrate produced from the flotation testwork, and all the impurity elements were found to be below smelter penalty limits.
- A brackish-water aquifer located within 35 kilometres ("km") of the proposed process plant site has the potential to satisfy the project's process water requirements. Testwork has indicated this water is suitable for concentrator processing,
- Thickened tailings disposal will be in a natural basin approximately 1 km downhill from the plant site.