HudBay Minerals Inc. [HBM-TSX, NYSE] has released an initial resource estimate for its Liaguen copper deposit, which is located in the Otuzco province in La Libertad region of Peru.
“We have a rich pipeline of organic copper growth projects at Hudbay and our Liaguen property adds another exciting opportunity to this pipeline,’’ said Hudby President and CEO Peter Kukielski. “Our pipeline also includes the Maria Reyna and Caballito properties near Constancia, where our exploration team has confirmed copper mineralization that could add meaningful long-term value for our Peru operations,’’ he said.
Constancia is one of the lowest cost open-pit sulphide copper mines in South America. The Constancia operations also include the nearby Pampcancha satellite pit, a high-grade copper-gold deposit where mining activities began in 2021.
“The initial mineral resource estimate for our LIaguen project has confirmed the presence of a significant copper-molybdenum porphyry deposit at a higher level of geological confidence than we expected at this stage due to the continuous nature of the mineralization,’’ said Andre Lauzon, Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at HudBay.
“The mineral resources include a significant higher-grade component located near surface, with a low 0.9 strip ratio and the potential to be mined in the initial years of production to maximize the economics of the project,’’ he said.
The Liaguen project is 100% owned by HudBay and is located near the city of Trujillo, the third largest city in Peru.
Based on assay results compiled and validated as of August 31, 2022, the initial mineral resource estimate for the Liaguen deposit contained within an economic pit shell includes an indicated global resource of 271 million tonnes of 0.33% copper, 218 g/t molybdenum, 0.033 g/t gold, and 2.04 g/t silver or 0.42% copper equivalent (CuEq).
On top of that is an inferred global resource of 83 million tonnes of grade 0.24% copper, 127 g/t molybdenum, 0.024 g/t gold, 1.47 g/t silver or 0.30% CuEq.
News of the estimate was released after the close of trading on November 2, 2022 when Hudbay shares closed at $5.46. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $11.17 and $4.07.
Hudbay has launched preliminary technical studies at Liaguen, including metallurgical test work as well as geotechnical and hydrogeological studies, which are expected to be incorporated into a preliminary economic assessment for the Liaguen project. The company said additional exploration drilling is warranted to test the areas of the deposit that remain open and several geophysical targets in the area to fully define the regional extent of the mineralization.
Meanwhile, HudBay said it continues to have three drill rigs turning at the Copper World copper-molybdenum-silver deposit in Arizona where the company recently announced a robust preliminary economic assessment (PEA).
Drilling completed since the PEA was published in 2022 has increased the extent of the mineralization at the Bolsa deposit, the company said.