Western Copper and Gold closes $33 million offering to advance Casino project

The camp at the Casino copper-gold project in Yukon. Photo credit: Cathie Archbould

Western Copper and Gold (TSX: WRN) has completed its bought deal public offering of approximately 24.2 million shares to raise C$46 million ($33m). The offering was initially made two weeks ago for only C$40 million.

The company will use the net proceeds to advance permitting and engineering activity at the Casino copper-gold project in west-central Yukon, 300 km north of Whitehorse. The project is currently in the environmental assessment review stage.

The proposed mine and part of the access road are within the traditional territory of the Selkirk First Nation. The Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, Kluane First Nation, and the White River First Nation are also involved.

The copper-gold deposit is one of the largest in Canada.

Casino has measured and indicated resources suitable for milling of 2.26 billion tonnes grading 0.15% copper, 0.18 g/t gold, 0.016% molybdenum and 1.4 g/t silver (0.31% copper equivalent). The M+I resources contain 7.45 billion lb. copper, 12.9 million oz. gold, 791.2 million lb. molybdenum and 103.1 million oz. silver. There is also an indicated resource of 1.37 billion tonnes grading 0.10% copper, 0.14 g/t gold, 0.009% molybdenum and 1.1 g/t silver (0.21% copper equivalent).

There are also a sizable resources suitable for heap leaching. The measured and indicated portion is 231.7 million tonnes grading 0.04% copper, 0.25 g/t gold and 0.9 g/t silver (0.27 g/t gold equivalent) containing 196.9 million lb. copper, 1.9 million oz. gold and 14.1 million oz. silver. The leachable inferred resource is 40.9 million tonnes at 0.05% copper, 0.20 g/t gold and 1.4 g/t silver (0.22 g/t gold equivalent).

According to the 2022 feasibility study, the Casino project has an after-tax net present value (8% discount) of C$2.3 billion and an after-tax internal rate of return of 18.1%. The base case for development would cost C$3.62 billion and pay for itself over 3.3 years. There would be additional sustaining costs of C$751.3 million.

The mine life would be at least 27 years. Commercial production could start as early at 2030.

Total production from the mineral processing plant is to be approximately 4.4 billion lb. copper, 5.7 million oz. gold, 34.5 million oz. silver. There will also be 407.3 million lb. molybdenum contained in 330,000 tonnes of concentrate.

The heap leach will produce about 1.4 oz. gold, 3.4 million oz. silver, and 29.8 million lb. copper.