SolGold unveils robust pre-feasibility study results for the Cascabel copper and gold project in Ecuador
According to the PFS results, the project's estimated after-tax NPV is US$2.9bn and IRR is 19.3%, with 4.7 year payback period from start of processing.
The company said that after-tax NPV would be US$4.1bn (US$7.9bn pre-tax) and IRR 23.4% (30.5% pre-tax) at current spot commodity prices.
The project's estimated annual average production is 132kt of copper, 358koz of gold and 1Moz of silver, or 212kt copper equivalent.
Initial project life-of-mine all-in sustaining cost is US$0.06/lb of copper, placing Cascabel well within the first decile of the copper industry cost curve, the company said.
“The PFS confirms the Cascabel project's world class, Tier 1 potential to be a large, low-cost, and long-life mining operation that is based on achievable, proven, and tested mining and processing assumptions," the company said in a statement.
The company added that - once constructed - Cascabel is expected to be a top 20 South American copper and gold mine benefiting from a high-grade core, advantageous infrastructure and an increasingly investor friendly government.
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The mine is expected to produce a clean copper-gold-silver concentrate, to be sold to Asian and European smelters as part of a project construction financing package.
Estimated pre-production capital expenditure is US$2.7bn for the initial cave development, first process plant module and infrastructure. Potential mine life upside is in excess of 50 years following initial mine life, the company noted.
According to a press-release, the Cascabel project's definitive feasibility study is planned for completion in H2 2023.
MD and CEO Darryl Cuzzubbo stated, "I am extremely pleased to announce the results of the pre-feasibility study for the proposed Cascabel mine in Ecuador. In essence, it supports what we have believed all along - that this project is no ordinary mining asset. Cascabel will be a significant, multi-decade and very low cost producer of copper that can help enable Ecuador's emergence as the next copper frontier at a time when the world needs copper the most as we transition to a net zero carbon emissions future."
He added that this project is economically attractive with further upside that will be explored over the coming months and the next phase of the project, as the company seeks the necessary Government approvals to move into early works and execution.