Vancouver, BC – Los Andes Copper Ltd. (“Los Andes”, or the “Company”, TSX Venture Exchange: LA) is pleased to announce that the Company has filed a Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) and an updated resource estimate on its 100% owned Vizcachitas porphyry copper-molybdenum project (“Vizcachitas Project”) located in Region V, Chile.
The PEA and updated mineral resources announced on December 13, 2013 was prepared during the process of consolidation of the non-consumptive water rights over a section of the Rocin River, Putaendo, Fifth Region, Chile, together with the engineering and other studies and reports for the development of a run-of-river hydroelectric project generation facility. Such consolidation took place effective January 23, 2014. This updated PEA does not change in any way the resource estimate or the technical and economic aspects of the PEA except that it removes all references and economic calculations related to the possibility that these water rights might not have been included in Los Andes.
The PEA was prepared by Coffey Consultoria y ServiciosSpA (Coffey) and Alquimia Conceptos S.A., and can be accessed under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com and on the Company’s website.
Resource Estimate Update
As part of the PEA the resource estimate for the Vizcachitas Project was updated by Coffey. At a 0.3 % copper equivalent (Cu Eq) cut-off, the Indicated Resources are 1,038 Mt @ 0.434 % Cu Eq (0.373 % Cu and 0.012 % Mo), containing an estimated 8.5 billion pounds of copper and 281 million pounds of molybdenum, and the Inferred Resources are 318 Mt @ 0.405 % Cu Eq (0.345 % Cu and 0.013 % Mo) containing an estimated 2.4 billion pounds of copper and 88 million pounds of molybdenum.
The estimate increases the Indicated Resources from the mineral resources which had an effective date of June 9, 2008. The resource estimate was based on a total of 146 drill holes and 40,383 metres drilled, including a total of 16 drill holes and 5,128 metres of drilling completed after the June 9, 2008 resource estimate.
The Mineral Resource estimates for different cut-off grades with an effective date of January 23, 2014 are shown in the tables below:
(Cu Eq %)
(Cu Eq %)
- Copper equivalent grade has been calculated using the following expression: Cu Eq (%) = CuT (%) + 4.95 x Mo (%), using the metal prices: $ 2.75 / lb. Cu and $13.6 / lb. Mo.
- Small discrepancies may exist due to rounding errors.
- The quantities and grades of reported Inferred Mineral Resources are uncertain in nature and further exploration may not result in their upgrading to Indicated or Measured status.
- Mineral Resources are reported within a Whittle pit shell based on: Mine Cost - 2.25 USD/t, Process Cost - 6.94 USD/t, Copper Price - 3.00 USD/lb, Molybdenum Price - 13.6 USD/lb. Conc. Copper Sales Cost - 0.5537 USD/lb., Conc. Molybdenum Sales Cost - 1.60 USD/lb., Recovery Copper - 90 %, Recovery Molybdenum - 60 %, Slope Angles - 42° to 47°.
The PEA evaluated four mining scenarios feeding flotation facilities with a throughput of 44 ktpd, 88 ktpd, 176 ktpd and 88 ktpd with a step up in production to a final throughput of 176 ktpd. The 176 ktpd case was selected to be the base case as it produced the highest net present values (NPV).
The base case has a life of mine of 28 years, initial capital expenditures of $2.9 billion, sustaining capital expenditure of $0.7 billion for the construction of the second tailings dam facility and mine extensions, and considered flat projected copper prices of $2.75/lb and molybdenum prices of $13.64/lb.
On a pre-tax basis, the base case, results in an NPV of $746 million, internal rate of return (IRR) of 11.4%, and an estimated payback period from initial commercial operations (Payback Period) of 5.9 years. On an unlevered after-tax basis, the base case, results in an NPV of $274 million, IRR of 9.5%, and a Payback Period of 6.0 years.
Note: The Preliminary Economic Assessment is considered preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the Preliminary Economic Assessment will be realized. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
An updated NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report on the Vizcachitas Copper Molybdenum Porphyry Project has been filed on www.sedar.com and on the Company’s Internet site www.losandescopper.com.
The Technical Report is authored by independent Qualified Persons and prepared in accordance with NI 43-101. The contents of this press release have been approved by the following independent Qualified Persons:
John Wells BSc, MBA, FSAIMM.
Manuel Hernández, BSc, FAusIMM.
Porfírio Rodriguez, BSc, MAIG.
Román Flores, BSc, Registered Member of Chilean Mining Commission.
Antony J. Amberg, M.Sc., CGeol., a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, supervised the preparation of the technical information in this news release.
For more information please contact:
|Eduardo Covarrubias, President & CEO||Tel: (56-99) 323-3156|
|Michael Kuta, Corporate Secretary||Tel: 604-697-6201|
Certain of the information and statements contained herein that are not historical facts, constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of the Securities Act (British Columbia), Securities Act (Ontario) and the Securities Act (Alberta) (“Forward-Looking Information”). Forward-Looking Information is often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as “seek”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “plan”, “estimate”, “expect” and “intend”; statements that an event or result is “due” on or “may”, “will”, “should”, “could”, or might” occur or be achieved; and, other similar expressions. More specifically, Forward-Looking Information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such Forward-Looking Information; including, without limitation, the achievement and maintenance of planned production rates, the evolving legal and political policies of Chile, the volatility in the Chilean economy, military unrest or terrorist actions, metal and energy price fluctuations, favourable governmental relations, the availability of financing for activities when required and on acceptable terms, the estimation of mineral resources and reserves, current and future environmental and regulatory requirements, the availability and timely receipt of permits, approvals and licenses, industrial or environmental accidents, equipment breakdowns, availability of and competition for future acquisition opportunities, availability and cost of insurance, labour disputes, land claims, the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates, currency fluctuations, expectations and beliefs of management and other risks and uncertainties, including those described in Management’s Discussion and Analysis in the Company’s financial statements. Such Forward-Looking Information is based upon the Company’s assumptions regarding global and Chilean economic, political and market conditions and the price of metals and energy, and the Company’s production. Among the factors that have a direct bearing on the Company’s future results of operations and financial conditions are changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, a change in government policies, competition, currency fluctuations and restrictions and technological changes, among other things. Should one or more of any of the aforementioned risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from any conclusions, forecasts or projections described in the Forward-Looking Information. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on Forward-Looking Information. Except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise Forward-Looking Information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release