60% (40% held by Teck Resources)
Preliminary Economic Assessment (2012)
M&I: 3.7 Blbs Cu @ 0.41%
Inf: 2.7 Blbs Cu @ 0.37%
Paved roads to site,
Nearby support infrastructure
Solaris Copper owns a 60% interest in the La Verde Project, with the remaining 40% interest held by a subsidiary of Teck Resources Limited. The project is located in the State of Mochoacán, Mexico, 320 km west of Mexico City. The project is accessible year-round by paved roads and is strategically located next to key infrastructure with easy access to water, power and rail.
La Verde is a potentially attractive mining opportunity based on reasonable future copper prices and capital/operational cost estimates. The project hosts a substantial copper resource with both gold and silver by-product credits. Based on previous drilling, the bottom of the copper mineralized system has yet to be defined, representing the potential to identify additional mineralization at depth. Solaris Copper and Teck Resources are considering next steps for this property, with no additional exploration planned for 2018.
The La Verde Project is underlain by a quartz-diorite dominated intrusive complex which forms an east-west trending ridge approximately 5.5 km long and 1 km wide, subdivided into the West Hill and East Hill targets.
East Hill contains four main copper mineralized zones characterized by disseminations, blebs and veinlets of bornite-chalcopyrite +/- arsenopyrite-molybdenite mineralization with associated sericite-chlorite-quartz alteration. Three of the zones are hosted within altered and brecciated quartz-diorite in close proximity to dykes and stocks of quart-feldspar porphyry intrusive, while the fourth zone is hosted largely within unbrecciated quartz-feldspar porphyry.
West Hill is characterized by veinlets, veins and disseminations of pyrite-chalcopyrite +/- arsenopyrite-pyrrhotite within steeply-dipping to vertical, east-west trending bands of epidote-sericite-quartz-calcite-altered quartz-diorite and quartz-gabbro porphyry.
The Property has been explored sporadically since 1906 with most of the work focused on the West Hill and East Hill targets. An induced polarization geophysical survey and 20 drill holes were completed in 2010, followed by 24 drill holes in 2011 and 12 drill holes in 2012. Total drilling to date is 114,824 metres in 641 holes. All drilling results were incorporated into a resource estimate outlining:
- Measured mineral resources of 57.5 M tonnes grading 0.45% Cu, 2.94 g/t Ag and 0.05 g/t Au
- Indicated mineral resources of 350.4 M tonnes grading 0.40% Cu, 2.33 g/t Ag and 0.03 g/t Au
- Total M&I contained metal of 3.7 Blbs of copper grading 0.41% (at 0.20% copper cut-off)
- Inferred mineral resources of 337.8 M tonnes grading 0.37% Cu, 1.94 g/t Ag and 0.02 g/t Au
The results are summarized in the 2012 technical report and also shown in plan view and cross-sectional view below.
Preliminary Economic Assessment
AMC Mining Consultants (Canada) Ltd. completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the La Verde Project in September 2012.
Based on the results of the report, the La Verde Project lends itself to a conventional truck and shovel open pit mining method, since the mineralized rock outcrops at surface at both the East Hill and West Hill deposits. The PEA outlines a 19-year mine life with life-of-mine copper concentrate estimated at 7.2 million tonnes averaging 26.7% copper.
Using metals prices of US$2.7/lb copper, US$1,200/oz gold and US$25/oz silver, the PEA outlined the following parameters for mining the La Verde deposit:
|Mill feed||587 Mt at 0.37% Cu, 0.03 g/t Au and 2.3 g/t Ag|
|Mining rate (average LOM)||105 Mtpa|
|Total material moved||2,054 Mt|
|Mining method||Rope shovels and haul trucks|
|Mine life||19 years|
|Processing method||Crush, grind, flotation, concentrate roasting|
|Processing rate||30 Mtpa|
|Concentrate produced (LOM)||7.2 Mt @ 26.7% Cu|
|Processing recoveries||Cu 90%, Au 78%, Ag 79%|
|Pre-production capital||US$1.2 B|
|Indicative NPV at 8% (pre-tax)||US$617 M (US$1.15 B using US$3/lb Cu)|
|Internal Rate of Return||21.2% (28.6% using US$3/lb Cu)|
|Cumulative net cash flow (LOM, pre-tax, undiscounted)||US$1.6 B|