The Kutcho Copper project is located 100 km east of Dease Lake (440 km north of Smithers). (Dease River Development Corp graphic)

The Kutcho Copper project is located 100 km east of Dease Lake (440 km north of Smithers). (Dease River Development Corp graphic)

Northwest high grade copper mine project enters feasibility phase

Kutcho Copper estimates a mine life of 12 years and projects $3.5 million in annual profit

A high-grade copper-zinc development project in northwest B.C. has entered the feasibility study phase.

Vancouver-based junior exploration company Kutcho Copper reported in a press release Nov. 17 that pre-feasibility estimates at its property 100 km east of Dease Lake (440 km north of Smithers) indicate a measured and indicated mineral resource of 17.3 million tonnes of ore.

The company said sample testing in 2019 and 2020 yielded an average copper grade of 2.61 per cent, more than double the cut-off grade for economic feasibility. It also said “significant exploration potential remains” on the property, which covers 46 mineral claims across approximately 17,000 hectares.

READ MORE: More B.C. LNG can help recovery from COVID-19, study says

Kutcho believes the pre-feasibility results, combined with favourable existing infrastructure — including a road from Dease Lake, an on-site camp, 900-metre airstrip and proximity to the Port of Stewart — makes a potential mine a “high margin, low capital project with significant upside potential.”

Assay results also indicate economically significant amounts of zinc, gold and silver, the company said.

Kutcho is hoping 2021 will advance the project toward a production decision.

The pre-feasibility study estimates a mine life of 12 years with annual after tax earnings of $3.5 million based on prices of US$2.75/lb copper, US$1.10/lb zinc, US$17.00/oz silver and US$1,250/oz gold.

The property lies on Kaska Nation territory, with whom the company has signed an exploration agreement through the Dease Lake First Nation.

Last week Kutcho stock was selling for around CA$0.24 on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

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