Western Copper and Gold (TSX: WRN; NYSE: WRN) offers the latest news on permitting for its Casino copper-gold project, owned through its subsidiary Casino Mining. The executive committee of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) has notified the company that it is necessary to revise these guidelines to bring them up to date with current technology.
Western Copper has been in discussions with the YESAB on how to address changes in assessment methods, environmental base practices and enhancements to the Casino project since the original guidelines were issued in 2016. The company says the revision process will begin immediately and is not expected to have a material impact on the timing of the overall permitting process.
“The company is committed to ensuring that review of the Casino project occurs in a robust manner using the most up to date methodologies in environmental assessment and this review will achieve that without material impact to overall timelines,” CEO Paul West-Sells said in a media statement. “We remain confident that the Casino project is a great asset for Yukon that will provide benefits to Yukon communities and First Nations for generations to come.”
The feasibility study prepared for Casino gives the project an after-tax net present value (8% discount) of C$2.23 billion and an after-tax internal rate of return of 18.1%. A mine life of 27 years is anticipated, during which time the project will generate an after-tax cash flow of C$10 billion. Total pre-production capital needs will be C$3.62 billion, but the payback period is only three years.
The deposit has measured and indicated resources of 1.37 billion tonnes grading 0.10% copper and 0.14 g/t gold that are suitable for milling. The heap leach measured and indicated resources are 231.7 million tonnes grading 0.04% copper and 0.25 g/t gold.