Contact Copper is a 100% owned pre-feasibility stage copper oxide project located on private property in Elko County, Nevada. U.S Highway 93 runs along the east side of the project along with a transmission line. The project is located in an area of arid rolling hills, and the project geology has the advantage of being conducive to the low cost heap leach SX-EW method of extraction. *All information and tables listed below are from the N.I. 43-101 pre-fesibility study for the Contact Copper Project prepared by Hard Rock Consultants LLC, published October, 2013 (amended March 2016). This study is located in the Contact section of this website.
How Did CopperBank Obtain CONTACT COPPER?
CopperBank purchased the entire Contact Copper mining district from Enexco International during the summer of 2014. The purchase price was CAD $7.5 million, and was satisfied by issuing shares in CopperBank to the holders of Enexco, at a deemed price of 0.10 per share. The project consists of an area of 5,935 acres of private property and BLM claims. At it’s peak, Enexco had a market capitalization of $100 million – it would take in excess of $40 million to duplicate all the work completed on the project area over the past 40 years.
The Project is located west of the town of Contact, Nevada, one mile west of U.S. Highway 93, between the towns of Wells and Jackpot, Nevada. The property consists of approximately 2,650 acres in 156 patented claims and 3,285 acres in 219 unpatented claims. Significant portions of the project area have never been drill tested, view maps in this section.
Copper mineralization occurs as an intrusive-related deposit within the Contact batholith and is observed in quartz veins within structural zones and in the surrounding granodiorite. The copper content is highest in the quartz veins, particularly where chalcocite is present, but grades outward into granodiorite where copper minerals occur in quartz veinlets, fracture coatings and disseminations. Mineralization is in the form of tenorite, chrysocolla and cuprite, and lesser chalcocite and covellite. Oxidation is observed to depths of 2,000 feet in drilling.
Over 86,000 meters has been drilled at Contact between 1967 and 2012. The previous operator, Enexco International drilled in excess of 55,000 meters between 2007 and 2012 establishing numerous 43-101 compliant resource estimates and the measured and indicated resources for the 2013 pre-feasibility study. CopperBank has established a cost-effecitve drill program that would focus on the near-surface, higher grade portions of the deposit as well as additional metallurgical holes to increase recovery confidence for mine scheduling. Map of these details is listed below.
RESOURCE AND RESERVE (for 2013 PFS)
The Resource was estimated using a three dimensional block model and inverse distance squared weighting. At a 0.07% Cu cut-off, material in the Measured plus Indicated categories totals 213 million tons at 0.20% Cu, for a total of 831 million pounds of copper. At the same cut-off, 52 million tons at 0.20% Cu, or 52 million pounds of copper, is in the Inferred category. The Resource is shown in the below Table for a 0.07% Cu cut-off. CopperBank is internally reviewing project economics that would envisage higher cut-offs of 0.15% and 0.20% Cu as established in previous resource estimates.
The Mineral Resource for this report is pit-constrained on the Global Resource and contained within a Lerchs-Grossman pit shell based on a copper price of $4.00 per pound and operating cost and recovery parameters as described in Section 15.The below Table shows the Mineral Reserve at a 0.07% Cu cut-off.
2013 PRE-FEASIBILITY HI-LIGHTS AND SENSITIVITY
Note: Project economics calculated at $3.20/lb Cu.
MINING, PROCESSING AND DEVELOPMENT
Mining could utilize open pit methods. Ore production is designed to increase from 29,000 to 52,000 tons per day, with an average rate of 41,000 tons per day at an overall waste-ore ratio of 2.3:1. Ore will be crushed in two-stage crushing and then heap leached with sulfuric acid solution. Copper would be recovered in a solvent extraction-electrowinning plant (SX/EW) to produce copper cathodes on site. The SX/EW plant is designed to produce 50 million pounds (25,000 tons) of copper annually. Metallurgical test work indicates the copper recovery will be 76% with an acid consumption of 17 pounds per ton of ore leached. Preparation of a plan of operations leading to an environmental assessment would be the next steps for the Project, as well as baseline studies and permitting subject to market conditions.
ESTIMATED COSTS FOR CONTACT FEASIBILITY STUDY
The following recommendations, and estimated costs, were made by the author of the 2013 pre-feasibility study.