“Kutcho is a high margin, low capital project with significant upside potential; our objective in 2021 will be to continue to de-risk and advance the project towards a production decision.”
A 2017 pre-feasibility study for the asset defined a 12-year, 2,500-tonne-per-day underground operation producing an average of 33 million lb. copper and 46 million lb. zinc annually, in addition to gold and silver by-products. With unit operating costs pegged at 59¢ per lb. copper, net of by-product credits, and with initial capital costs of C$221 million, the after-tax net present value estimate for the project is C$265 million, at an 8% discount rate, with a 27.6% internal rate of return.
Last year, the company updated resources for Kutcho. The site features measured and indicated resources of 17.3 million tonnes grading 1.85% copper, 2.72% zinc, 0.49 g/t gold and 33.9 g/t silver and inferred resources of 10.7 million tonnes at 1.18% copper, 1.76% zinc, 0.26 g/t gold and 21.5 g/t silver.
The 171-sq.-km site includes existing ground access, as well as a camp and airstrip. Concentrates generated at the project would be shipped from the port at Stewart.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)