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Los Azules copper project, Argentina – update

Location map of the Los Azules project

Photo by McEwen Mining

9th February 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the project
Los Azules copper project.

Location
San Juan province, Argentina.

Project Owner/s
McEwen Copper, a subsidiary of McEwen Mining.

Project Description
The large, high-grade openpit copper project has significant growth potential.

According to the  updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA), completed in 2023, Los Azules is expected to produce an average of 322-million pounds of copper cathode a year over a 27-year life-of-mine.

The 2023 PEA financial model does not include potential future development phases focused on primary copper mineralisation found beneath the supergene copper.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value, at an estimated 8% discount rate, of $2.66-billion and an internal rate of return of 21.2%, with a payback of 3.2 years.

Capital Expenditure
Initial capital expenditure is estimated at $2.46-billion in the base case.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Canadian entrepreneur Rob McEwen is in talks to raise about $100-million for the project at a time when miners are betting that deregulation by the new government of Javier Milei will boost prospects for the industry.

McEwen Copper is speaking with existing holders, which include automaker Stellantis and a Rio Tinto Group venture, as well as prospective new investors.

The idea is to secure new funds within six months for feasibility and engineering work. Longer-term options include partnering with a major mining company.

However, McEwen Mining is not waiting for change. It already has 21 drill rigs on site and is working on a renewable-energy supply deal from power generation supplier YPF Luz and a leaching method that would help it to be carbon neutral. It hopes to obtain an environmental permit this year, have a feasibility study ready in early 2025 and start preconstruction work in 2026.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
McEwen Mining +1 647 258 0395 or email info@mcewenmining.com.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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