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Foran Mining Corp. [FOM-TSXV] has released a development update at its McIlvenna Bay VMS (volcanogenic massive sulphide) deposit in Saskatchewan, indicating that the project is proceeding on schedule.

The company said it has completed the first 10 metres of a planned 1,475-metre exploration decline that will facilitate the extraction of a 4,400-tonne bulk sample planned in the second half of this year.

Foran also said it has re-energized the 1.2-megawatt existing distribution line and commissioned a temporary workshop that will support the ongoing exploration decline program.

McIlvenna Bay is a copper-zinc-gold-silver-rich VMS deposit that is intended to be the centre of a new mining camp in a prolific district that is already been producing for 100 years.

McIlvenna Bay sits just 65 kilometres from Flin Flon, Manitoba, and is part of the world-class Flin Flon greenstone belt that extends from Snow Lake, Man., through Flin Flon to Foran’s ground in eastern Saskatchewan, a distance of over 225 kilometres.

Thursday’s update comes on the heals of a feasibility study, which envisages average annual production of 72.8 million pounds of copper equivalent (CuEq) over the first 15 years of mine life. By individual metal, this equates to 38.8 million pounds of copper, 63.6 million pounds of zinc, 20,000 ounces of gold and 486,000 ounces of silver.

All-in-sustaining costs are expected to average US$0.90 per pound (net of by-product credits).

The feasibility study outlines a project designed to be a decline/shaft underground mining operation utilizing long-hole mining methods for ore extraction. Ore is expected to be processed via conventional single stage crushing circuit with semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill and ball mill design.

The initial capital cost is pegged at $368 million.

The feasibility study forsees an 18.4-year mine life, based on a planned 4,200 tonnes per day throughput rate.

The estimate is based on probable mineral reserves of 25.7 million tonnes at 2.51% CuEq.

Foran said the bulk sample will be used to confirm metallurgical test-work and further optimize processing design. It will also provide the opportunity to complete ore sorting test-work and verify characterizations of mill tailings product to accurately define long-term dry-stack tailings management requirements.

Foran owns a 100% interest in the McIlvenna Bay property, subject to a 1% NSR held by Cameco Corp. [CCO-TSX, CCJ-NYSE] and BHP Billiton Ltd. [BHP-NYSE, BHPLF-OTCPK]. The NSR has a buy-out provision in favour of Foran for $1 million at any time. Some of the claims that make up the McIlvenna Bay property are subject to a $0.75 per tonne of ore extracted net tonnage royalty, with the right of first refusal in favour of Foran.

On Thursday, Foran shares were unchanged at $2.36 and currently trade in a 52-week range of $3.09 and $1.


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