McEwen Copper commits to PFS for Los Azules

The McEwen Copper division, 81% owned by McEwen Mining  (TSX: MUX; NYSE: MUX), is advancing its Los Azules copper undertaking within the San Juan province of Argentina to the pre-feasibility stage.

The very first thing the corporate intends to do is assemble a brand new, low-altitude northern entry highway to offer year-round entry to the location. The present exploration highway is just satisfactory about 5 months a yr.

Earlier this month, McEwen held a undertaking growth workshop for its senior administration and representatives from Whittle Consulting (growth eventualities), Bechtel Corp. (feasibility research for El Pachon undertaking 75 km to the south of Los Azules), Samuel Engineering (undertaking administration, controls metallurgy and mill design), Stantec (geology, assets, mining engineering, tailings administration, and water amenities), and McLennan Design (inexperienced constructing strategies). Their work suggests there may be appreciable room to enhance the economics of the Los Azules.

The preliminary financial evaluation ready in 2017 for Los Azules put the after-tax web current worth at US$2.2 billion (at an 8% low cost) and the interior fee of return at 20.1%.

The research outlined an preliminary capex requirement of US$2.4 billion with payback occurring after 3.6 years. The mine has a lifetime of 36 years and can produce 415 million lb. of copper yearly for the primary 13 years at a money price of US$1.14 per lb. A copper worth of US$3 per lb. was used within the research.

The aim, says McEwen, is to design a mannequin copper mine for the 21st century. It should provide the uncooked materials to allow a greener world, whereas incorporating the usage of renewable vitality sources to have a low-carbon footprint. Technological innovation will underpin an vitality environment friendly operation.

There are presently about 280 folks, 85% of whom are from San Juan, on the Los Azules camp to conduct exploration drilling. Two of the ten rigs have been assembled and drilling will begin Jan. 4. Medical companies and emergency rescue groups have been on web site since Dec. 1. An airstrip will probably be constructed to facilitate the motion of individuals through the PFS.

Earlier this yr the corporate made a US$40-million non-public placement and introduced a 53,000-metre drill program to improve assets on the undertaking. A second, US$40-million non-public placement is because of shut in January, leaving McEwen Mining with a 69% share of McEwen Copper.

McEwen Mining says it intends to take McEwen Copper public in 9 to 12 months. 

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Written by colin


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