Copper Fox Metals (CVE:CUU) Thursday unveiled its long-awaited updated NI 43-101 resource estimate for the Schaft Creek copper-gold-molybdenum-silver deposit, highlighting over 1.2 billion tonnes of measured and indicated resource, including silver content expected to have a “positive impact on the economics” of the deposit.
The company’s shares soared over 25 per cent on the back of the news
that the results of the new estimate could potentially increase the
overall magnitude of the Schaft Creek deposit – already one of the
largest undeveloped copper, gold, molybdenum and silver deposits in
North America, located in northwest British Columbia.
The resource estimate for the Schaft Creek deposit, using a base case
0.15% copper equivalent cut-off, includes 1.23 billion tonnes grading
0.26% copper, 0.017% molybdenum, 0.19 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and
1.69 g/t silver, containing 7.11 billion pounds copper, 455.3 million
pounds molybdenum, 7.37 million ounces gold and 66.74 million ounces
silver in the measured and indicated category.
Additionally, Copper Fox reported that the inferred resource is
comprised of 597.2 million tonnes grading 0.22% copper, 0.016%
molybdenum, 0.17 g/t gold and 1.65 g/t silver, containing 2.87 billion
pounds copper, 206.3 million pounds molybdenum, 3.36 million ounces gold
and 31.60 million ounces silver.
The company noted that the resource estimate includes the silver
content of mineralization in both the Paramount and Liard zones of the
"The measured and inferred resource categories, the total
copper-molybdenum-gold-silver content and the fact that the deposit is
still open in several directions (along strike) indicates a new
dimension to the potential size of the Schaft Creek deposit," said
president and CEO Elmer Stewart.
"Additional drilling will have to be completed to realize this
potential and define the un-explored portions of the Schaft Creek
"It is noteworthy that the current measured and indicated resource
exceeds 1.2 billion tonnes and incorporates the silver content which is
expected to have a positive impact on the economics of the Schaft Creek
Stewart said that the important criteria in selecting a cut-off grade
in a resource estimate is the average grade of the metals, tonnes and
contained metal content.
The resource estimate shows substantial increases in both tonnes and
copper-molybdenum-gold-silver content at both the 0.15% and 0.20%
copper-equivalent (CuEq) levels of cut-off, he continued.
"Given the very minimal decrease in average grade for each metal, we
have been able to select a 0.15% CuEq cut-off," said Stewart.
"The base case results will be used to complete the feasibility study
for the Schaft Creek project, which is expected to be completed by mid
to late summer 2012."
The latest resource report, prepared by California-based Tetra Tech,
used a total of 286 drill holes with 16,501 composited (4 metre) drill
hole intervals (approximately 65,843 metres) at the Schaft Creek
The new resource compares to the one released last summer, prepared
by AMEC Americas, which indicated that at a 0.20% copper equivalent
cut-off, the deposit held 1.01 billion tonnes, grading 0.27% copper,
0.017% molybdenum and 0.18 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold, for a total of
6.1 billion pounds of contained copper, 383 million pounds of
molybdenum, and 5.8 million ounces of gold.
Inferred resources, at the same cut-off, were estimated in July 2011
at 283.6 million tonnes at a copper equivalent grade of 0.39%,
containing a further 1.5 billion pounds of copper, 69 million pounds of
molybdenum, and 1.3 million ounces of gold.
Calgary-based Copper Fox is a resource development company focused on
the exploration and development of the Schaft Creek deposit.
The feasibility study for the project, also led by Tetra Tech,
will be based on a minimum 120,000 tonnes per day (tpd) open pit mine.
In 2008, the project was estimated to have a before tax net present
value of $2.8 billion over a 23-year mine life, at an 8% discount rate.
Copper Fox holds title and a 100 per cent working interest in the 44,265.52-hectare Schaft Creek project.
This week, the company also said it had wrapped up a 2,500 line
kilometre magnetic airborne survey, as well as announced the acquisition
of more mineral tenures next to Schaft Creek.
The group of five mineral tenures is referred to as the Jay/Scotch
group and has had a "considerable amount" of historical exploration
completed, said the company.
The alteration and copper-gold-silver metal signature at Jay/Scotch
show many similarities to the southern portion of the Paramount zone in
the Schaft Creek deposit, Copper Fox reported.
With regards to exploration plans, the company said it intends to
start diamond drilling sometime in early June on the discovery zone
about 1,200 metres north of Schaft Creek to test the width and strike
extent of mineralization.
Earlier this month, Copper Fox said the 2012 exploration program will
focus on the regional evaluation and exploration of the project outside
the limits of the Schaft Creek and is expected to cost approximately
Drilling will be conducted in two phases: phase one consists of 5,000
metres of drilling to test the targets at the discovery zone, and phase
two will consist of at least 5,000 metres to follow-up zones of
mineralization intersected during phase one drilling.
Shares of Copper Fox were lately up 19.8 per cent at $1.21 Thursday early afternoon.