Schaft Creek JV carry out valuable work
2021 program will focus on lowering costs, increasing value North of 60 Mining News – March 5, 2021
Last updated 4/1/2021 at 4:07pm
Copper Fox Metals Inc. March 3 announced plans for a C$3.4 million 2021 program for Schaft Creek that is slated to include a 4,000-meter metallurgical and geotechnical drill program at this advanced copper-gold-molybdenum-silver project in British Columbia's Golden Triangle.
"The proposed 2021 program is focused on confirming value add opportunities identified over the past two years at Schaft Creek," said Copper Fox Metals President and CEO Elmer Stewart. "The work plan focuses on obtaining additional information to confirm opportunities to lower capital and operating costs, and refine project infrastructure requirements to increase value."
Being advanced under a joint venture between Teck Resources Ltd. (75%) and Copper Fox (25%), Schaft Creek hosts a large and advanced staged porphyry deposit.
Prior to the 2013 formation of the Schaft Creek JV, Copper Fox had a feasibility study prepared that detailed a 130,000-metric-ton-per-day open-pit mining operation at Schaft Creek estimated to produce 4.88 billion pounds of copper, 4.21 million ounces of gold, 25.1 million oz of silver, and 214.9 million lb of molybdenum over a 21-year mine life.
Since 2013, roughly C$19 million has been invested at Schaft Creek. This work included geological mapping of the deposit, relogging of 43,000 meters of core, two drill programs, updating the 3D geological model, collection of baseline environmental data, and an updated resource estimate.
The 2018 resource update outlines 1.29 billion metric tons of measured and indicated resources averaging 0.26% (7.38 billion pounds) copper, 0.16 grams per metric ton (6.5 million ounces) gold, 1.2 g/t (51.49 million oz) silver, and 0.017% (470.6 million lb) molybdenum at Schaft Creek.
The Schaft Creek partners also completed a study into various mining scenarios that determined a 133,000-metric-ton-per-day operation would be best for Schaft Creek.
Copper Fox is having a preliminary economic assessment prepared that will to evaluate an operation of this size and includes the expanded resource estimate, as well as changes in financial assumptions and metals prices over the eight years since the completion of the feasibility study.
"The objectives of the PEA are to assess the economic impact on the project due to changes in the project footprint and identify potential opportunities to further enhance project value," said Stewart. "The work completed to date indicates that a substantial amount of the technical data used in the 2013 feasibility study remains relevant."
The 2021 program at Schaft Creek will further evaluate throughput assumptions, improved metal recoveries, metal production, and ensure a capital efficient fit for purpose process design flowsheet. The collection of additional geotechnical information in the proposed pit area may provide opportunities to decrease the strip ratio, which would reduce operational costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
The partners will also further evaluate the construction timeline and offsite infrastructure costs to reduce initial capital cost and improve project valuation.
Based on the updated project configuration, the partners will also review environmental baseline data and regulatory requirements, as well as the associated permitting timeline.
Stewart said a significant aspect of the 2021 program will be ongoing engagement with the Tahltan First Nation on Northern BC.