The PFS estimates a post-tax net present value (NPV) of A$2.8bn, a pre-production capital cost of $2.4bn, with a construction period of 3.25 years, and costs are expected to be paid back within 2.5 years from the initial production
Los Andes Copper has announced the results of a positive Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) at its fully-owned Vizcachitas porphyry copper project, located 150km north of Santiago, Chile.
Tetra Tech Sudamérica, a provider of engineering and consulting services for mining, and metallurgical processes has prepared the PFS.
The PFS estimates a post-tax net present value (NPV) of A$2.8bn, a pre-production capital cost of $2.4bn, with a construction period of 3.25 years.
The costs are expected to be paid back within 2.5 years from initial production.
The economics were calculated using the prices of $3.68/lb for copper, $12.9/lb for molybdenum and $21.79/oz for silver, said the company.
Los Andes Copper CEO Santiago Montt said: “I am extremely pleased to announce the results of the Pre-Feasibility Study for the proposed Vizcachitas mine in Chile.
“It shows that Vizcachitas is clearly a Tier 1 asset that has the potential to join the ranks as one of the largest and most profitable copper mines in Chile.
“The project is economically robust with the potential for considerable upside through further drilling to upgrade the Inferred Resource to Measured and Indicated, thereby bringing them into the mine plan.”
Vizcachitas project is located in the Andes Mountains, in the Province of San Felipe, Fifth Region of Chile, around 150km northeast of Santiago, Chile.
The project is a mineralised copper-molybdenum porphyry system associated with a complex of hydrothermal breccias and porphyries within Miocene volcanic rocks.
The PFS estimates the Proven and Probable Reserves of 1.22 billion tonnes at 0.36% copper, 136 ppm molybdenum, and 1.1 g/t silver, which equates to a copper equivalent (CuEq) grade of 0.41%.
The Measured and Indicated Resources increased by 16% to 14.8 billion lbs CuEq and Inferred Resource increased by 130% to 15.4 billion lbs CuEq, compared to the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) dated June 2019.
Vizcachitas is expected to produce 8.8 billion lb copper, 273.3 million lb molybdenum and 32.7 million oz silver, in the initial life of the mine of 26 years.
The Chilean project is anticipated to produce around 183,000 tonnes of copper, at a cost of $0.93/lb copper, in the first eight years.
Los Andes Copper chairman Eduardo Covarrubias said: “The lack of new discoveries of this scale over the last 10 years and the increasing demand for copper highlights the importance of projects like Vizcachitas.
“The PFS demonstrates a robust, economically attractive project with long mine life and potential for significant further upside.
“The study focused on ensuring Vizcachitas would lead the way in sustainable mining, and we are delighted to announce that our three key targets: to reduce water usage, power consumption and the footprint of the Project have all been met, allowing us to deliver a mine that minimises its impact on the environment.”