Northisle Copper and Gold Inc. [NCX-TSXV; NTCPF-OTC] announced that the positive results from a Preliminary Economic Assessment for its 100%-owned North Island Project confirm it is one of the most attractive copper-gold porphyry projects in Canada.
The 2021 PEA is based on the company’s Red Dog and Hushamu deposits located 25 km west of Port Hardy, northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The PEA developed with a focus on processing a target of 600MT of mineralized material within estimated mineable pit shells. The PEA contemplates a low strip ratio open pit mining operation which incorporates a 75,000 t/d concentrator and is anticipated to produce a high-quality copper concentrate with a significant gold by-product as well as a high-grade molybdenum concentrate.
The PEA envisions a long mine life of 22 years with average annual production of 177 mm lbs Copper Equivalent (CuEq) over the first 6 years, including 112 mm lbs of copper, 112 koz of gold, and 2.7mm lbs of molybdenum
Average annual After-tax free cash flow is $321 million during the first 6 years and $224 million over the life of the operation. First quartile AISC would be $0.77/lb copper (net of by-products) and $2.01/lb CuEq over first 6 years.
There are attractive economics with $1.1 billion After-tax NPV (8%) and 19% After-tax IRR and an attractive payback of 3.9 years driven by modest capex of $1.4 billion due to excellent infrastructure from historical mining and other industrial activity
Northisle is committed to sustainable mine development and will pursue a collaborative, inclusive approach to consultation in order to develop a project which creates benefits for First Nations, local communities, shareholders and project stakeholders. The Project benefits from renewable BC power and the company will investigate multiple opportunities to reduce overall impact including electrified mining operations as part of trade-off studies.
There are multiple opportunities to further improve the Project through optimization and exploration with prospective targets at Pemberton Hills, Red Dog, and Hushamu planned for 2021 drilling.
Sam Lee, President and CEO, commented, “I am delighted with the progress we have made in demonstrating that the North Island Project is one of the most attractive copper and gold development projects today. The 2021 PEA illustrates a significant improvement in the potential of the North Island Project.”