Granite Creek tests show improved copper recoveries at Yukon project

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Granite Creek Copper Ltd. [GCX-TSXV, GCXXF-OTCQB] said metallurgical studies show that significantly increased recovery of copper from oxide material has been achieved at its Carmacks copper-gold-silver project in the Canadian Yukon.

The company’s 2023 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the project identified the opportunity to significantly increase net present value by improving oxide recovery. Metallurgical testing completed on the project in support of the 2023 PEA showed that while copper recovery of over 93% via a well-established froth flotation technique for sulphide ore, only 39.8% copper recovery from oxide ore was achieved during the same process.

In a press release on Wednesday, the company said the current test results show a total recovery of 88% for oxide material is possible, an increase of 48% over the PEA base case. “These results will have a significant impact on the economics of the project as the PEA identified an additional $180 million of net present value by increasing the life of mine average recovery for copper from 64% to 77%,’’ the company said. “With sulfide recoveries of 93.7% identified in the PEA and combined oxide recoveries (initial flotation + leaching and precipitate) of 88%, the potential recoveries of copper are well above the 77% target level highlighted in the 2023 PEA.’’

Granite Creek shares were unchanged at $0.035. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of 10.5 cents and $0.03.

A member of the Vancouver-based Metallic Group of companies, Granite Creek is engaged in high grade copper-gold exploration and development in Canada’s prolific Minto Copper Belt.

The Minto Copper belt is a northwest trending corridor of mineralization in the west-central Yukon, about 192 kilometres north of Whitehorse, that includes the Carmacks copper-gold-silver deposit, the active Minto copper-gold mine and several other copper-gold-silver showings.

The road accessible Carmacks deposit hosts a NI 43-101-compliant resource of 36.2 million tonnes in the measured and indicated category, grading 1.07% copper equivalent (CuEq), or 0.81% copper, 0.31 g/t gold, 3.41 g/t silver. The deposit was the subject of a positive PEA released in January, 2023. It envisioned a nine-year mine life based on a mill capable of processing 7,000 tonnes per day of combined oxide and sulphide ore.

These resources are contained within three conceptual open pits and are open for expansion.

The current mine plan as outlined in the 2023 PEA contemplates processing material with a high oxide content of up to 80% oxide ore in the first five years of mine life. During this time, over 8.4 million tonnes of material would be processed, versus 2.88 million tonnes of sulphide material

Kemetco Research Inc. was retained to complete testing on tailings produce in previous metallurgical work to develop a process for treating material that will have passed through the mill and still have significant oxide copper minerals present.

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