Empire mine openpit heap-leach solvent extraction and electrowinning project, US – update

Image of drill core from the Empire mine

Photo by Phoenix Copper

24th May 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Empire mine openpit heap-leach solvent extraction and electrowinning project.

Idaho, in the US.

Project Owner/s
Phoenix Copper. ExGen owns 20% and Phoenix owns 80% of Konnex Resources, which holds the leases and claims to the Empire mine project. ExGen further owns 1 330 000 common shares of Phoenix.

Project Description
Phoenix Copper has completed a new economic model for the Empire mine.

The economic model is based on ore production of 1.6-million tons a year over an initial nine-year mine life, with an additional two years of low-grade ore processing at the end of mining. This model does not take into account the recovery of gold and silver, but does now include zinc recovery.

Average production is estimated at 7 665 t/y of copper equivalent (about 7 000 t/y copper and 1 600 t/y zinc) over the life of the mine.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
Preproduction capital costs are estimated at $50.58-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Mine production of copper and zinc is expected in late 2021.

Latest Developments
Phoenix Copper has successfully raised $80-million in a corporate bond issue to fund the construction of the mine.

The bonds will be drawn down in tranches, with the first scheduled drawdown of $5-million set for May 31.

ExGen CEO Jason Riley has noted in a statement that the bond issue is a transformational milestone for the Empire project. 

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Hard Rock Consulting (economic model).

Contact Details for Project Information
Phoenix Copper, email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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