Copper Fox Metals Inc. [CUU-TSXV; CPFXF-OTC] has filed on SEDAR a NI 43-101 technical report which includes the results of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Schaft Creek copper-molybdenum-gold-silver porphyry project located in Tahltan territory 60 km south of Telegraph Creek, northwestern British Columbia. The Schaft Creek project is managed through the Schaft Creek joint venture formed in 2013 between Teck Resources Ltd. [TECK.A, TECK.B-TSX; TECK-NYSE], 75%, and Copper Fox, 25%, with Teck being the operator.
Metal price assumptions: Copper: US$3.25/lb, gold: US$1,500/oz, molybdenum: US$10/lb, silver: US$20/oz.
The After-tax NPV (8%) is US$842.1-million and IRR of 12.9%, an EBITDA of US$10.8-billion life-of-mine (LOM); free cash flow US$9.96-billion LOM; net smelter return of US$20.63 per tonne; 21-year LOM producing approximately 5 billion pounds or 2.3 million tonnes copper, 3.7 million ounces gold, 226.0 million lbs molybdenum and 16.4 million oz silver in concentrate.
Production is 133,000 tonnes/day LOM at a nominal milling rate of 92% capacity processing 1.03 billion tonnes of mill feed LOM representing approximately 60% of identified mineral resources. Estimated initial capital costs are US$2,653,000,000 with sustaining capital costs of US$848.7-million which is inclusive of US$154-million closure costs. Operating costs are estimated to be US$8.66/tonne processed. C1 cost (net of by-product credits) US$1 per pound payable copper LOM. All-in sustaining costs are US$1.18/lb payable copper LOM.
Elmer B. Stewart, president and CEO of Copper Fox, stated: “The 2021 PEA provides Copper Fox shareholders a technical update on the project and outlines the changes and improvements to the project configuration and the economics of the Schaft Creek project since the 2013 feasibility study. These changes resulted in a significant increase in the after-tax NPV and IRR and demonstrated the potential for a large mining operation with low C1 cost and AISC per pound of copper. The technical report recommends a multipurpose program and budget to advance the project to the prefeasibility stage.”
The PEA describes a recommended work program for the Schaft Creek project that contemplates a $23.2-million budget as part of a potential PFS. Activities include geological and geotechnical drilling, metallurgical testwork and additional environmental and infrastructure studies to complete the PFS. The recommended budget includes contingencies, preparation of the PFS and direct costs related to completion of the recommended program.
The PEA identified opportunities that could enhance the investment opportunity of the Schaft Creek project including additional metallurgical testwork to increase metal recoveries and reduce processing costs, geotechnical drilling to potentially reduce the LOM strip ratio, infill drilling to increase confidence in the resource model, extend the limits of the mineralization and upgrade the mineral resources to a higher mineral resource category and pursue opportunities to reduce the project development execution timeline from the current five years.