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Copper World Complex, US – update

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24th May 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Copper World Complex.

Location
Arizona, in the US.

Project Owner/s
Base metals miner Hudbay Minerals.

Project Description
The results of a September 2023 enhanced prefeasibility study (PFS) for Phase 1 of the project has significantly enhanced the economics and derisks the project through higher levels of engineering, a simplified project design, lower upfront capital expenditure and a longer mine life.

Copper World is planned to be a traditional openpit truck-and-shovel operation, with a conventional flotation concentrator producing copper concentrate and molybdenum concentrate, with an expansion of the processing facility to include a copper concentrate leach facility in Year 5, producing copper cathode and silver/gold doré.

The overall mining operation is expected to comprise four openpits in Phase 1.

The mine plan for Phase 1 is optimised solely on the flotation of copper sulphides and oxides.

Phase 1 envisages a standalone operation with a mine life of 20 years, four years longer than the Phase 1 mine life presented in the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) that was published in June 2022. This is owing to an increase in the capacity for tailings and waste deposition, as a result of optimising the site layout. 

The first phase of the project proposes average copper production of 85 000 t/y over the life-of-mine. 

A variable cutoff-grade strategy allows for higher mill head grades in the first ten years and increases production to about 92 000 t/y of copper.

Phase 2 is expected to involve an expansion onto federal lands, with an extended mine life and enhanced project economics. Phase 2 would be subject to the federal permitting process and has not been included in the PFS results. Phase 1 is a standalone operation requiring only state and local permits.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Phase 1 has an estimated after-tax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $1.1-billion and an internal rate of return of 19.2%, with a payback of 5.9 years at $3.75/lb copper.

Capital Expenditure
Total initial capital costs are estimated at $1.3 billion for Phase 1, including all costs  associated with the construction of the concentrator and associated infrastructure. 

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Hudbay plans to raise $300.2-million in an equity offering to help fund near-term growth initiatives at its Copper Mountain unit, besides other purposes.

Underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets will buy 31.6-million shares of Hudbay at $9.50 each under a bought deal.

The company could raise as much as $345.2-million in gross proceeds if the underwriters exercise an over-allotment option to buy up to an additional 15% of the shares.

Hudbay also intends to use the proceeds to improve balance sheet flexibility and evaluate mill throughput enhancement opportunities at the Constancia mine, in Peru, and its New Britannia mill in Manitoba, Canada.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Hudbay Minerals, tel +1 416 362 8181 or email info@hudbayminerals.com.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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