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Candente Copper Receives Positive Pre-Feasibility Study Results of Canariaco Norte Project, Peru

Candente Copper Corp. (TSX:DNT) (US:CDOUF) (BVLAC:DNT) has announced receipt from AMEC Americas Limited of a positive Pre-Feasibility Progress Report for its 100% owned Cañariaco Norte copper project in Northern Peru.

Based on projected annual production of 262 million lbs of copper, 39,000 ozs of gold and 911,000 ozs of silver over a mine life of 22 years, the Cañariaco Norte project has an after tax net present value ("NPV") of US$960.0M, and after tax Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") of 17.7% using a long term copper price reverting to US$2.25 /lb and a discount rate of 8%.

The key parameters of the Pre-Feasibility Progress Report are as follows:

  • After-tax NPV of US$960.0M for base case with US$2.25 /lb Cu, US$1,015 /oz gold, US$15.85 /oz silver, and 8% discount rate

  • After-tax IRR of 17.7% for base case with US$2.25 /lb Cu, US$1,015 /oz gold, and US$15.85 /oz silver

  • Highly leveraged to higher copper price

  • Payback of preproduction capital in 3.1 years

  • Cash operating cost of US$0.99 /lb of copper including all on-site and off-site costs, TCRC charges, net of by-product credits

  • Average metal production of 262 million pounds (119,000 tonnes) copper /yr, 39,000 ozs gold per year, and 911,000 ozs silver per year

  • Average production of 306 million pounds (139,000 tonnes) copper /yr for first 3 years of production

  • Preproduction capital cost of US$1.437 billion based on leased mining equipment and including contingency of 20%

  • All in capital cost of US$1.565 billion based on leased mining equipment and including working capital, life-of-mine sustaining capital, and closure cost

  • Processing rate of 95,000 t/day using conventional crush/grind and flotation technology

  • Waste to ore strip ratio of 0.98 to 1

  • Average life-of-mine metal recoveries of 89.7% for copper, 55% for gold and 50% for silver

  • Concentrate grades average approximately 30% copper, 3 g/t gold and 73 g/t silver

  • 22 year mine life, with potential for extension by mining additional resources identified below proposed pit

  • Cañariaco Norte is located at a moderate elevation with pit centroid and process plant at approximately 3,000 metres above sea level

  • Connection to national power grid approximately 57 km

  • New access road to major paved highway approximately 42 km

  • Significant potential for discovery of additional resources at nearby Cañariaco Sur and Quebrada Verde targets

Management Discussion

"We are very pleased with the results of the Cañariaco Norte Pre-Feasibility Progress Report," stated Sean Waller, P.Eng., President of Candente. "The work completed by Candente and AMEC during 2010 certainly demonstrates the very attractive technical and financial parameters of the Cañariaco Norte project. With the significant increase in the size of the resource announced late last year, a solid scope of development and robust financials, Cañariaco Norte is rapidly evolving into one of the premier undeveloped large scale copper projects in the world - with the added benefit of being located in Peru."

The Cañariaco Norte project offers many advantages. It is reasonably close to key road and power infrastructure, has a low strip ratio, soft rock, low operating cost, offers excellent potential for discovery of additional resources, and is located in Peru, one of the most favourable countries in the world for mining project development.

Candente advises readers that additional geotechnical drilling and rock quality assessment is required to complete the open pit slope design to a level consistent with generally accepted prefeasibility requirements. Due to the preliminary level of pit wall design, this report does not meet the criteria of a Pre-Feasibility Study and therefore is classified as a Pre-Feasibility Progress Report.

The above ground structures in the tailings management facility ("TMF") have been designed to a pre-feasibility level, however geotechnical investigations in the TMF area have not been completed and as a result there is a risk that the TMF design may require revision. The remainder of the Pre-Feasibility Study Progress Report does however meet a pre-feasibility level of assessment, and Candente is satisfied that this report provides sufficient level of project development to justify advancement to a Feasibility Study.

Source: Candente Copper Corp.

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