Wolfden Resources Corp. [WLF-TSXV; WLFFF-OTC] has announced positive results of an independent preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its 100%-owned Pickett Mountain high-grade polymetallic project in northeastern Maine.
The base case financial model yields an after-tax IRR of 3% and an after-tax NPV8% of US$198-million for an underground mining operation. Initial capital expenditures would be US$147.4-million, including a 20% contingency and closure costs with a payback period of 2.4 years.
The PEA used US metal prices assumptions of $1.15/lb zinc, $1/lb lead, $3/lb copper, $18/oz silver and $1,500/oz gold.
“The PEA underscores our belief that the solid economics of the Pickett Mountain Project and its resource are still largely unrecognized by investors and not reflected in the current market capitalization of the company,” stated Ron Little, President and CEO. “With base metal prices moving higher, these results reaffirm our commitment to increase and upgrade the mineral resources through aggressive exploration and to further de-risk the project with our ongoing prepermitting efforts and additional technical and baseline studies.”
“The Pickett Mountain deposit represents one of North America’s highest-grade undeveloped polymetallic deposits with fundamentals that are indicative of a top-quartile project, including one of the lowest C1 costs, 38 cents per pound zinc (net direct cash cost), in our sector,” stated Jeremy Ouellette, Vice-President of Project Development. “With this kind of a break-even zinc price, the project can sustain metal price market declines that have not been seen in decades. In addition, the project is extremely well located close to infrastructure and services yet is far enough removed from the nearby towns (10 miles) with a site location that exhibits very low environmental and social impacts. The project is expected to generate over 100 full-time jobs.”
Resources used in the PEA includes indicated and inferred resources. Indicated resources are 2, 177,000 tonnes grading 9.25% zinc, 3.68% lead, 1.32% copper, 96.4 g/t silver and 0.9 g/t gold (18.23% ZnEq). Inferred resources are 2,294,000 grading 9.79% zinc, 3.88% lead, 1.15% copper, 101.1 g/t silver and 0.9 g/t gold (18.62% ZnEq).
Since the deposit is near surface, ramp-up to full production is possible within one year of development and construction. Estimated throughput is 432,000 tonnes/year (1,200 tpd).