Arizona Sonoran Copper Company (TSX: ASCU) has delivered an initial mineral resource estimate for the Parks/Salyer (P/S) porphyry copper deposit in Arizona, located immediately southwest to the company’s Cactus project on contiguous private land.
The P/S mineral resource – including oxide, enriched and stockpile material that are all considered amenable to a heap leaching operation – are estimated at 143.6 million tonnes grading 1.015% total copper (for 2.92 billion lb. copper), all in the inferred category.
This brings the company’s total leachable resource inventory (inferred) – comprising both the Cactus open pit and the P/S underground – to 449.9 million tonnes at 0.544% copper (4.89 billion lb. copper). The total indicated resource, which only applies to Cactus, remains at 151.8 million tonnes at 0.531% copper (1.61 billion lb. copper).
Due to the increase in its global mineral resource base, Arizona Sonoran says it will consider the include of oxide and enriched material at P/S in a future technical study incorporating both deposits. Future studies will be based on the expanded leachable inventory, heap leaching and SX/EW process methodology. An integrated technical study is expected to be completed in the next 12-18 months.
George Ogilvie, president and CEO, commented: “The significant increase to our global resource base is a key inflection point in the low-risk development of our existing Cactus project. We have increased our global leachable inventory base by over 100%, and as a result, the company has determined that a full revised study will be considered to produce an integrated business case for Cactus and Parks/Salyer.
“It is clear that the high-grade nature of Parks/Salyer’s mineral resource inventory offers significant potential to increase scale within an integrated operation at conservative copper price estimates.”
Ogilvie added the company will continue advancing its work study programs, specifically metallurgical and geotechnical test work, hydrology, permitting, infill drilling and associated projects, to advance the combined Cactus and P/S project through the technical study phases.
Located near the city of Casa Grande, the Cactus mine project is underpinned by a multi-billion-pound copper resource that would produce 56 million lb. of the metal annually over an estimated 18-year mine life. A preliminary economic assessment for the project outlined an after-tax net present value of $312 million (at 8% discount) and an internal rate of return of 33%.
The P/S deposit is located 2 km southwest from the Cactus open pit along the mine trend and demonstrates the same geological characteristics.