FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…Vancouver, British Columbia: World Copper Ltd. (“World Copper” or the “Company“; TSXV: WCU, OTCQB: WCUFF), announces that the Company has received approval from the Regional Environmental Committee (Comisión de Evalucaión Ambiental) for a 5,000 m diamond drilling programme to be carried out at the Company’s flagship 100%-owned Escalones project in Central Chile (“Escalones” or the “Project“).
On February 21, 2022 the Regional Environmental Committee approved the drilling application Declaración de Impacto Ambiental (“DIA“) submitted by World Copper’s wholly-owned subsidiary and, subsequent to this favorable decision, a Resolución de Calificación Ambiental (“RCA“) was issued on March 7, 2022. The RCA allows the Company to drill up to 5,000 m of diamond drilling in up to 11 drill-holes at Escalones.
The Company has already commenced mobilization to the proposed drilling sites at Escalones in anticipation of receipt of the RCA from the Regional Environmental Committee, and intends to start drilling in the upcoming days. The main Escalones deposit remains open to expansion laterally to the south, east and west, with only roughly half of the alteration zone drilled to date. The drilling at the Project will first target the Mancha Amarilla lithocap (“Mancha Amarilla“), which extends one kilometre farther south from the limit of drilling that currently defines the Escalones copper oxide inferred mineral resource estimate (see news release dated August 23, 2021). The geology in the southern-most drill holes and the surface alteration at the main Escalones deposit indicates the southern half of the Escalones alteration system is also deeply oxidized and could contain significant soluble copper mineralization. Subsequent to completing drilling at Mancho Amarilla, the large east-flanking skarn is expected to be drilled in order to follow up on encouraging surface sampling results from last year (see news release dated August 12, 2021).
Nolan Peterson, CEO and President of World Copper Ltd commented, “We are pleased with the receipt of approval from the Regional Environmental Committee to carry out drilling at Escalones. This success is the culmination of a period of intense joint effort of the World Copper team in Chile and all involved stakeholders. This decision is a confirmation that having the right team, with the right technical expertise, is essential to successfully meet all requirements of the comprehensive drilling approval process in Chile. Twenty-two local and national government agencies, as well as the regional government of the Metropolitan Region, were invited to participate and provide their respective comments during the process.
The drill programme at Escalones will be executed in strict compliance with the requirements issued in the RCA evidencing the Regional Environmental Committee’s approval. The drill programme is designed to minimize the environmental footprint and ensure that sensitive areas are fully protected. There will be no new roads constructed, a mobile camp will be installed and removed after the campaign terminates, and only light equipment will be used for the drilling. We continue to engage closely with government and local communities to ensure that interests of all stakeholders are recognized, and to protect the environment as required by the RCA.
In addition, as part of the DIA, the Company proposed additional voluntary commitments, offering higher standards of environmental and cultural protections, beyond the minimum statutory requirements. These commitments include additional protective measures related to archeological and paleontological monitoring, recycling of materials used during the drilling campaign, additional training of teams working on-site related to environmental and cultural heritage protection, as well as measures to protect local biodiversity.
The Company expects to be able to publish the initial drilling results in the second half of 2022 and, will provide updates as it continues mobilizing its team on site and starts drilling. The Company has simultaneously commenced an in-fill sampling programme on two of the distal targets, Rio Negro and Argüelles Este, and exploration of eastern extensions to the East Skarn; this work is expected to be completed in Q1 2022. The acquired geological information will allow us to continue developing the Project and update the recently published Preliminary Economic Assessment.”
About the Escalones February 2022 PEA study:
On February 15, 2022 the Company announced the results of the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA“) for Escalones, the highlights of which are set out below:
- $1,499.6 million Post-Tax NPV8 at $3.60 /lb. life-of-mine (“LOM”) (20 years) copper price
- $1,822.4 million Post-Tax NPV8 at US$4.00 /lb. LOM copper price
- First 5-years average annual Copper production of 124.7 Mlbs. (56,520 tonnes); LOM average 114.9 Mlbs. (52,131 tonnes)
- First 5 years average C1 (Cash Operating) costs of $1.13 /lb. Cu; LOM average C1 costs $1.19 /lb. Cu
- First 5 years average annual EBITDA $290.8 million; LOM average annual EBITDA $265.1 million
- Initial Capital (CAPEX) cost of $438.4 million (from construction decision)
- LOM Sustaining Capital of $192.5 million
- Conventional heap leach, SX-EW processing facilities, targeting 50,000 tonnes of heap leach tonnes placed per day
The exceptional results of the Escalones PEA confirm what World Copper has always believed – that Escalones has the potential to be one of the most impressive copper properties in South America. Escalones now joins a peer group of large-scale, study-backed, development stage assets. Escalones has several attributes that make it attractive for development including robust economics, strong value metrics and the potential of rapid returns for a comparably low capital investment. The results of the PEA, combined with Escalones’ large land package and resource expansion potential, make it a truly outstanding project.
The PEA is considered preliminary in nature, contains numerous assumptions and includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative, geologically, to have the economic considerations applied that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is no certainty that the results of the PEA will be realized. No Mineral Reserves have been estimated for Escalones. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. Inferred Mineral Resources are that part of the Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of limited geologic evidence and sampling, which is sufficient to imply but not verify grade or quality continuity. Inferred Mineral Resources may not be converted to mineral reserves. It is reasonably expected, though not guaranteed, that the majority of Inferred Mineral Resources could be upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resources with continued exploration. Mineral Resources are captured within an optimized pit shell and meet the test of reasonable prospects for economic extraction. All values are reported in US dollars unless otherwise noted.
(Further details on the Escalones PEA can be found here).
Conference Call and Webcast Information
Nolan Peterson, World Copper CEO and President will present the results of the PEA on March 22, 2022, at 8:00AM PST on a Webcast hosted by Amvest Capital.
Please register at the following link:
A recording of the presentation will be made available after the presentation.
John Drobe, P.Geo., a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101, has reviewed the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for this news release and has approved the disclosure herein. Mr. Drobe is not independent of the Company as he is the Chief Geologist of the Company.
ABOUT WORLD COPPER LTD.
World Copper Ltd., headquartered in Vancouver, BC, is a Canadian resource company focused on the exploration and development of its copper porphyry projects: Escalones and Cristal in Chile, and Zonia in Arizona. Two of these projects have estimated resources with significant soluble copper mineralization, and each has additional copper porphyry targets with exciting potential to expand the resource base.
The Escalones porphyry-skarn copper-gold project has estimated inferred resources of 426 million tonnes of 0.367% total copper within the oxidized zone, based on nearly 25,000 m of drill core from 53 holes. The 3.45 billion pounds of copper should be amenable to heap leaching with an average recovery of 71%. The Company is focused on exploring the Mancha Amarilla target immediately to the south of the existing resource. In addition, three significant hydrothermal alteration zones, each measuring between 2,000 m and 3,000 m in diameter, lie 8-10 km to the north of the main discovery.
Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability as there is no certainty that all or any part of the resources will be converted into reserves. Inferred resources are that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated based on limited geological evidence and sampling. It is reasonably expected that the inferred resources could be upgraded to indicated resources with continued exploration.
The Zonia project is in Yavapai County, Arizona, and consists of 261 mineral claims and additional surface rights, all totaling 4,279.55 acres. It is a near-surface, copper-oxide resource and a brownfields site having already been mined in the late 1960s and ’70s. The Project is at the PEA level and has been significantly de-risked with over 50,000 m of drilling completed to date and with substantial amounts of detailed engineering completed. Further details can be found here.
The World Copper team has a unique skill in navigating the mining sector within Chile, with some members having worked in the country for more than 40 years and with discovery success.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors of
WORLD COPPER LTD.
Chief Executive Officer
For further information, or to schedule a Zoom meeting with Management, please contact:
Nolan Peterson or Michael Pound
For all Investor Relations inquiries, please contact:
Liviakis Financial Communications Inc.
For all Public Relations inquiries, please contact:
Office: 212-532-2208 | Mobile: 917-371-4053
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian and U.S. securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation, the timing and manner of the 5,000 m drilling campaign at Escalones, the results of the PEA, the potential production from and viability of Escalones, the potential tonnage, grades and content of deposits, the extent of mineral resource estimates, anticipated exploration program results from exploration activities, the discovery and delineation of mineral deposits/resources/reserves and the anticipated business plans and timing of future activities of the Company are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as: “believes”, “expects”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “estimates”, “plans”, “may”, “should”, “would”, “will”, “potential”, “scheduled” or variations of such words and phrases and similar expressions, which, by their nature, refer to future events or results that may, could, would, might or will occur or be taken or achieved. In making the forward-looking statements in this news release, the Company has applied several material assumptions, including without limitation, that the Company will be able to conduct the drilling campaign at Escalones as planned, that the Company will receive all necessary approvals required to develop Escalones as outlined in the PEA, that the assumptions in the PEA are reasonably accurate, market fundamentals will result in sustained copper demand and prices, the receipt of any necessary permits, licenses and regulatory approvals in connection with the future development of the Company’s Chilean projects in a timely manner, including the Escalones project and the Cristal project, the availability of financing on suitable terms for the development, construction and continued operation of the Company’s projects and its ability to comply with environmental, health and safety laws.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such risks and other factors include, among others, requirements for additional capital, operating and technical difficulties in connection with mineral exploration and development activities, actual results of exploration activities, including on the Escalones project and the Cristal project, the estimation or realization of mineral reserves and mineral resources, the fact that the Company’s interests in the Cristal project and the Escalones exploitation concessions are options only and there is no guarantee that such interests, if earned, will be certain, the timing and amount of estimated future production, the costs of production, capital expenditures, the costs and timing of the development of new deposits, requirements for additional capital, future prices of copper, changes in general economic conditions, changes in the financial markets and in the demand and market price for commodities, lack of investor interest in future financings, accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, delays in obtaining governmental approvals (including of the TSX Venture Exchange), permits or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, risks relating to epidemics or pandemics such as COVID–19, including the impact of COVID–19 on the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations, changes in laws, regulations and policies affecting mining operations, title disputes, the inability of the Company to obtain any necessary permits, consents, approvals or authorizations, the timing and possible outcome of any pending litigation, environmental issues and liabilities, and risks related to joint venture operations, and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in the company’s continuous disclosure documents. All of the Company’s Canadian public disclosure filings may be accessed via www.sedar.com and readers are urged to review these materials.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this news release or incorporated by reference herein, except as otherwise required by law.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors
World Copper prepares its disclosure in accordance with the requirements of securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. Terms relating to mineral resources in this news release are defined in accordance with NI 43-101 under the guidelines set out in CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum Council on May 19, 2014, as amended (“CIM Standards”). The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has adopted amendments effective February 25, 2019 (the “SEC Modernization Rules”) to its disclosure rules to modernize the mineral property disclosure requirements for issuers whose securities are registered with the SEC under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
As a result of the adoption of the SEC Modernization Rules, the SEC will now recognize estimates of “measured mineral resources”, “indicated mineral resources” and “inferred mineral resources”, which are defined in substantially similar terms to the corresponding CIM Standards. In addition, the SEC has amended its definitions of “proven mineral reserves” and “probable mineral reserves” to be substantially similar to the corresponding CIM Standards.
U.S. investors are cautioned that while the foregoing terms are “substantially similar” to corresponding definitions under the CIM Standards, there are differences in the definitions under the SEC Modernization Rules and the CIM Standards. Accordingly, there is no assurance any mineral resources that World Copper may report as “measured mineral resources”, “indicated mineral resources” and “inferred mineral resources” under NI 43-101 would be the same had World Copper prepared the resource estimates under the standards adopted under the SEC Modernization Rules.
In accordance with Canadian securities laws, estimates of “inferred mineral resources” cannot form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies, except in limited circumstances where permitted under NI 43101.