Curis Resources (TSE:CUV) said Thursday that it has received a key commercial-scale air quality permit for its Florence copper project in central Arizona.
Curis received its renewed permit for the commercial operations at Florence Copper from the Pinal County Air Quality Control District (PCAQCD) earlier this week.
The permit provides the company with clear guidelines for the design and ultimate operations of a commercial scale solvent extraction/electrowinning (SX/EW) plant at the Florence Copper site, Curis said.
It is valid for five years and is renewable again in 2017.
"We appreciate the professionalism and responsiveness exhibited by the officials associated with the Pinal County Air Quality Control District", said Curis' general manager and VP of environment and technical services, Dan Johnson.
"The receipt of this permit is an important step for the company and represents a key permitting milestone for the project."
Curis Resources is a copper company focused on advancing its flagship Florence copper project in Arizona, 70 miles north-northwest of Tucson, and 65 miles southeast of Phoenix.
The project hosts a measured and indicated copper oxide resource of 354 million tonnes grading 0.34 percent copper for an in-situ resource of 2.62 billion pounds of copper. The deposit’s characteristics are amenable to in-situ recovery mining, which is appealing for minimum surface disturbance and lower capital and operational costs.
Commercial production is expected by 2014. Initial capital costs are seen at $280 million for the project, with cash costs (including royalties) of $0.89 per pound of copper for an 80 million pound per year project.
President and CEO of Curis, Michael McPhie, added: "We are very pleased with our progress in permitting of the Florence Copper project.
"We began the process for amending our existing operating permits for Florence Copper in February 2011 and expect to have all of our amended operating permits in place for Phase 1 operations by the third quarter of this year."
Initial copper production is forecast for mid-2012, and the project is expected to produce around 76 to 84 million pounds of copper annually when in full operation, currently seen by 2014.
Curis Resources' stock is up more than 22.6 percent for the year to date.