Kutcho Copper extends mineralization at Main deposit
Resource and expansion drilling at the Kutcho copper-zinc project in B.C. has extended mineralization down dip of its Main deposit, reports Kutcho Copper Corp. (TSXV: KC; US-OTC: KCCFF).
Mineralization was extended 50 metres down dip from previous drilling and beyond the project’s existing resource model in drill hole KC18-280, which returned a 5.4 metre intercept from 193 metres down hole grading 2.48% copper, 1.0% zinc, 114 grams silver per tonne, and 0.24 gram gold, or 4.0% copper-equivalent.
The Main deposit remains open down-dip in this area and along strike over a distance of 250 metres. The company also reported that 62% of its down dip holes intersected sulphide mineralization at Main.
Highlights from eight other drill holes include 5.58 metres starting from 59.42 metres downhole, grading 1.91% copper, 7.85% zinc, 33.2 grams silver, and 0.60 gram gold for 5.7% copper-equivalent in hole KC18-280, and 10.5 metres from 94.45 metres downhole, averaging 1.89% copper, 0.6% zinc, 33.4 grams silver, and 0.69 grams gold, for 2.9% copper-equivalent in hole KC18-287.
The high-grade copper-zinc-gold-silver volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) system at the project is about 100 km east of Dease Lake in northern B.C.
In mid-October the company adopted a shareholder rights plan “to ensure, to the extent possible, that all shareholders of the company are treated fairly and equally in connection with any unsolicited take-over bid or other acquisition of control of the company.”
An updated prefeasibility study completed last year outlined a 12 year mine life with a 2,500-tonne per day production rate for life-of-mine payable production of 378 million pounds of copper and 473 million pounds of zinc.
The Kutcho project is envisioned as an underground mining operation, supplemented by a starter pit on the Main deposit during the construction phase.
Initial capital costs, including a 15% contingency, were forecast to run to $220.7 million with a post-tax payback of three and a half years. Unit operating costs were estimated at US$1.60 per lb. copper excluding by-products, and US$0.59 per lb. copper net of by-products.
The project contains probable reserves of 10.4 million tonnes grading 2.01% copper, 3.19% zinc, 34.61 grams silver per tonne and 0.37 gram gold for a copper-equivalent grade of 2.92%.
Measured and indicated resources stand at 16.85 million tonnes grading 1.89% copper, 2.87% zinc, 32.8 grams silver and 0.36 gram gold for a copper-equivalent grade of 2.71%. Inferred resources add 5.79 million tonnes grading 1.33% copper, 1.64% zinc, 23.2 grams silver and 0.24 gram gold for a 1.79% copper-equivalent.
The Kutcho property lies within the King Salmon Allochthon, a narrow belt of Permo-triassic island arc volcanic rocks and Jurassic sediments, situated between two northerly dipping thrust faults: the Nahlin fault to the north, and the King Salmon fault to the south.
There is a 900-metre gravel airstrip about 10 km from the deposit. At presstime in Toronto, Kutcho Copper was trading at $0.32 per share within a 52-week trading range of $0.27 and $1.04. The junior has about 57.2 million shares outstanding for a market cap of $18 million.
Michael Gray of Macquarie Research has a 12-month price target on the junior of $1.75 per share and an outperform rating.
The mining analyst stated in a research note that he was “encouraged by the progress being made by Kutcho Copper as it sequentially de-risks the Kutcho project and advances it towards a feasibility study in the second quarter of 2019.”
(By Trish Saywell)