Highland Copper releases Michigan feasibility study

High resolution surveying of drill collar locations at the Copperwood Project in Michigan. Source: Highland Copper Co. Inc.

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High resolution surveying of drill collar locations at the Copperwood Project in Michigan. Source: Highland Copper Co. Inc.

Highland Copper Co. Inc. [HI-TSXV; HDRSF-OTCQB] on Friday June 15 announced the results of a feasibility study for its 100%-owned Copperwood Project in Michigan.

Highland shares advanced on the news, rising 3.03% or $0.003 to 8.5 cents on volume of 967,731. The 52-week range is 17 cents and 8 cents.

Highland Copper is a Canadian copper development company focused on advancing sediment-hosted copper projects in the Copper Range District of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Copper Range district is well known for hosting significant concentrations of copper and silver in numerous deposits.

Highland’s flagship Copperwood Project hosts a proven and probable reserve of 25.4 million tonnes, grading 1.43% copper and 3.82 g/t gold, containing 801.8 million pounds of copper and 3.1 million ounces of gold.

On top of that is an inferred resource of 49.9 million tonnes of 1.15% copper, and 3.42 g/t silver, containing 1.3 billion pounds of copper and 5.5 million ounces of silver.

The project feasibility study foresees initial capital expenditures of $245 million, net of pre-production revenue of $30 million.

Other highlights include average annual life-of-mine payable copper production of 61.7 million pounds and 100,570 ounces of silver.

Life-of-mine cash costs are forecast at US$1.53 per pound, including royalties and US$1.29 a pound in the first five years of production.

Initial copper production is anticipated by 2021, the company said.

Highland Copper President and CEO Denis Miville-Deschenes called the study “a major step forward for the Copperwood Project.”

“The Feasibility Study demonstrates the significant potential of this project located in a great historic mining jurisdiction,” he said. “Based on the results of the study, we can now focus on putting in place a comprehensive financing package.

Miville-Deschenes went on to add that the development of a mine at Copperwood represents a tremendous opportunity to create hundreds of jobs in the region.

The Copperwood Project property is located approximately 22.5 km by road to the north of Wakefield and 40 km from the town of Ironwood. Both are located in Gogebic County, western Upper Peninsula, Michigan.

The project area is at the south edge of the Keweenaw Copper province and underlain by clastic sediments of the Oronto Group, including Copper Harbor, Nonesuch, and Freda Formations.

The company is proposing to mine the deposit with a conventional high mechanized, drill and blast room-and-pillar mining method. Mining operations are planned with two 10-hour shifts per day, 360 days per year to achieve a production target of 2.4 million tonnes per year, or 6,600 tonnes per day.

Studies are underway to evaluate the optimal destination and transport option for the Copperwood concentrate.

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