Canadian exploration and development company Rockcliff Metals has announced the results of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Tower and Rail project, in the Snow Lake area of central Manitoba.
The PEA envisions developing the Tower deposit in parallel with the refurbishment of the leased Bucko mill facility, followed by the development of the Rail deposit, resulting in a combined life of mine seven years, with exploration upside at both properties.
Rockcliff said that the PEA indicated the project had the potential to generate positive economic returns through its low capital intensity and low operating costs.
The study calculated an aftertax net present value (NPV) of C$71-million and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 30% at the base case price assumptions of $3.15/lb copper, $1.1/lb zinc, $1 500/oz gold and $17.5/oz silver.
At spot prices, the NPV increases to C$131-million and the IRR to 49%.
With preproduction capital of C$95-million, the project would have a payback of 2.1 years.
The project would deliver an average of 18 600 t/y of copper-equivalent production, at a C1 cash cost of $1.34/t sold.
“The integration of modern mine technologies that dramatically improve the safety and health of workers underground and reduce the environmental footprint of our operations are immediately evident. The estimated low mine operating costs and low capital intensity will strengthen Rockcliff's ability to manage through low metal price environments as indicated by the estimated C1 costs. The key opportunity that has surfaced from these results is the impact on financing, of adding potential mine life, and Rockcliff is fortunate in that it has a number of potential targets to follow up on. These include the possibility of adding mineral resources at Tower and Rail, and advancing the highly prospective Bur, Copperman and Freebeth properties further along in their development cycles,” said CEO Alistair Ross.