Excelsior Mining Corp (TSE:MIN) continues to make great strides in Arizona and has now kicked off construction at its Gunnison copper mine, with drilling started on the production wellfield and accompanying compliance wells.
On Friday, the group closed its US$75 million financing and promised it would start construction before year-end. First production of the red metal is expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.
"Our ability to move quickly from the close of project financing to the initiation of construction at our Gunnison Copper Project is a demonstration of the operational capacity and experience of the Excelsior team," Stephen Twyerould, the president and CEO of Excelsior, told investors. "We look forward to updating all stakeholders as we move through the construction process."
READ: Excelsior Mining set to start construction at Gunnison before year-end as it closes US$75M financing package
Hydro Resources, an experienced in-situ recovery wellfield driller, currently has three drilling rigs on site with two additional rigs arriving in January. A total of 63 wells, including 41 production wells and 22 compliance wells totaling approximately 82,000 feet will be completed. Drilling of the production wellfield is expected to be finished in the second quarter of 2019.
The general contractor is Schmueser and Associates and building work will include the construction of an access road south of the 110 Highway.
There will be an upgrade to the Johnson Camp Mine plant to ensure Gunnison produces Grade A, 99.999% pure copper cathode. Also being built is a two-mile-long high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipeline will transport solution to the JCM processing facilities.
Existing ponds are being modified to accommodate the copper solutions from the wellfield.
Additional pregnant leach solution (PLS) capacity is also being created at Gunnison to provide operational flexibility, said Excelsior.
"We look forward to working with Excelsior Mining Corp on this low cost, environmentally friendly, copper production process," said Larry Schmueser II, president of Schmueser & Associates.
Gunnison is an in-situ recovery copper project in Cochise County and is on track to be the next new copper producer in the United States.
A feasibility study projected an after-tax NPV (net present value) of US$ 807 million and an IRR (internal rate of return) of 40% using a US$ 2.75 per pound copper price and a 7.5% discount rate.
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