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Capstone Mining Reports Positive Feasibility Study Results for Santo Domingo Project in Chile
VANCOUVER, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
(All amounts in US$ unless otherwise specified and reflect 100% of the project)
Capstone Mining Corp. ("Capstone") (TSX: CS) today announced the results of the Feasibility Study ("FS") for its Santo Domingo Iron Oxide-Copper-Gold ("IOCG") project ("Santo Domingo" or the "Project") in Region III, Chile. The Project is owned 70% by Capstone and 30% by Korea Resources Corporation ("KORES").
"This Feasibility Study confirms the value of the Santo Domingo Project," said DarrenPylot, President and CEO of Capstone. "This positive study shows an unlevered Internal Rate of Return of 17.9% (27.3% assuming $1 billion of project debt or 60% leverage) at an initial capital cost of $1.7 billion, consistent with our previously issued capital guidance."
"We believe the Santo Domingo Project provides an attractive opportunity for Capstone in a jurisdiction and local community that continues to demonstrate strong support for the project. We will proceed in a very measured and disciplined manner with a number of steps in our stage-gate process to be completed prior to large capital expenditure commitments. The positive Feasibility Study, combined with the initial regulatory response to the Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") that was filed in October 2013, gives us the confidence to advance the project to the next stage-gate decision point in early 2015. We believe this is a low-risk and relatively low-cost approach to increase the value and maintain the optionality of the project," continued Mr.Pylot.
"Important objectives for the next stage of the project development include execution of a power purchase agreement, approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment and a continued demonstrated social license for the project. We will also assess an optimal financing structure for the project prior to reaching the next decision point in 2015."
- Copper production will average 248 million pounds in the first five years of full production. For the life of mine ("LOM"), average annual copper production is 128 million pounds with 4.2 milliontonnesof iron concentrate and 16,000 ounces of gold.
- After-tax net present value ("NPV"), discounted at 8%, of $797 million.
- Unlevered after-tax internal rate of return ("IRR") of 17.9% with a payback period of 4.2 years. Assuming $1 billion of project level debt - an amount that can be comfortably supported by the project - the IRR increases to 27.3%.
- C1 cash productioncosts(1) are estimated to be $0.49 per pound of payable copper (net of magnetite iron and gold by-product credits and selling costs) in the first five years of full production and negative $0.06 per pound of payable copper LOM. On a co-product basis, total cash production costs are estimated at approximately $1.50 per pound of payable copper and $43.00 pertonneof magnetite iron concentrate.
- Total initial capital costs are estimated to be $1.7 billion, which includes a 16.5% contingency on total costs.
- Sustaining capital over the LOM is expected to be $368 million.
- 18-year mine life with operations expected to commence two years after a final construction decision.
- Nominal average LOM plant throughput rate of 60,500tonnesper day.
- Off-take agreements (at market pricing) committed for 50% of the copper and 50% of the iron concentrate, LOM, as part of the strategic partnership with KORES for development of the Project.
- Metal price assumptions used for the FS were a constant $2.85 per pound of copper, $85 pertonneof magnetite iron concentrate at a 65% iron content FOB Santo Domingo port ($1.31 per dry metrictonneunit ("dmtu") of iron), and $1,275 per ounce of gold.
The Santo Domingo FS was completed using engineering and consulting firms experienced in the Chilean mining industry (AMEC InternationalIngenierayConstruccinLtda., BRASS Chile S.A., KnightPiesoldS.A., NCLIngenierayConstruccinLtda., PRDWAldunate-VsquezIngenierosLtda. and RoscoePostleAssociates Inc.), with significant contributions to the report made by authors detailed below in "Qualified Persons". The report was compiled by AMEC's Santiago office with an accuracy range of -10% to +15% for capital and operating costs. The estimates presented in the FS are current as of October 2013. The capital cost estimates were also independently reviewed by two global Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management ("EPCM") firms, adding support to Capstone's confidence in the quality of the estimates.
The Santo Domingo Project will include development of two open pit mines using conventional drilling, blasting, loading with diesel hydraulic shovels, and truck haulage, and a copper-iron concentrator designed to process a nominal 65,000tonnesper day ("tpd") to 60,000tpd(throughput is reduced in the latter years as the ore becomes slightly harder) using SAG and ball milling, with conventional flotation utilizing seawater to produce a copper concentrate. Magnetite iron will be recovered from the copper rougher tailings using Low Intensity Magnetic Separation ("LIMS"). The planned infrastructure for the Project also includes a tailings storage facility; an iron concentrate pipeline and a seawater supply pipeline; a port-located magnetite iron concentrate filter plant and stockpile; a port-located copper concentrate storage building; ship loading facilities; and on-site and off-site infrastructure and support facilities.
The mine and the process facility will be located 50kilometressouthwest ofCodelco'sEl Salvador copper mine and 130kilometresnorth-northeast ofCopiap, near the town of Diego deAlmagro. The elevation at the site varies between 1,000metresabove sea level ("masl") and 1,280maslwith relatively gentle topographic relief. Access to the project is onekilometreoff the paved highway C-17 from Diego deAlmagrotoCopiap. The magnetite filter plant and stockpile, the copper storage building and port infrastructure will be located in Punta Roca Blanca, 41kilometresnorth of Caldera. The name of the proposed port development is Port Santo Domingo.
For the first five years of full operation, Santo Domingo will have an annual average production of approximately 248 million pounds, or approximately 110,000tonnes, of copper. The LOM average is 128 million pounds of copper (approximately 58,000tonnes) per year over a period of approximately 18 years. The total LOM production is estimated at 2.3 billion pounds, or approximately 1 milliontonnes, of copper.
For the first five years of full operation the average magnetite concentrate production is estimated to be 3.3 million dry metrictonnes("dmt"). The iron ore concentrate production will increase to an average of 4.2 milliondmtper year over the mine life with a total estimated production of approximately 75.1 milliondmtof iron concentrate.
Mineral Resource Estimate
David W.Rennieof RoscoePostleAssociates Inc. ("RPA") (then Scott Wilson RPA) prepared the initial Mineral Resource estimates for the property in 2006 and 2007. Since then RPA has carried out several updated resource estimates, with the most recent being in August 2012. The current Mineral Resource estimate of August 2012 for the property is summarized below.
Mineral Resources, August 31, 2012, Santo Domingo Property
Zone Mt %CuEq %Cu g/t Au %Fe Measured (SDS/Iris) SDS (1-4) 63.3 0.95 0.62 0.083 31.3 Iris (5-6) 1.54 0.46 0.43 0.052 25.3 Total Measured 64.8 0.94 0.62 0.082 31.2 Indicated SDS (1-4) 214 0.72 0.33 0.045 27.4 Iris (5-6) 111 0.63 0.19 0.028 26.0 Iris Norte (7-8) 92.3 0.67 0.12 0.015 26.7 Indicated (SDS/Iris) 417 0.68 0.25 0.033 26.9 Estrellita 31.7 n/a 0.53 0.050 n/a Total Indicated 449 - 0.27 0.034 25.0 Measured and Indicated 514 - 0.31 0.040 25.8 Inferred SDS (1-4) 29.8 0.55 0.26 0.037 23.6 Iris (5-6) 5.05 0.60 0.18 0.024 26.7 Iris Norte (7-8) 20.5 0.70 0.08 0.009 28.0 Inferred (SDS/Iris) 55.4 0.61 0.19 0.025 25.5 Estrellita 2.7 n/a 0.48 0.050 n/a Total Inferred 58.1 - 0.20 0.026 24.3
(1) CIM definitions (2010) were followed for Mineral Resources and are inclusive of Mineral Reserves. (2) Totals may not add due to rounding. (3) Mineral Resources for SDS/Iris are estimated at a cut-off grade of 0.25%CuEq. The cut-off grade forEstrellitawas 0.3% Cu. (4)CuEqgrades are calculated using average long term prices of US$3.50/lbCu, US$1,500/ozAu and US$1.94/dmtuFe (US$120/dmtconc. at 62% Iron).
The estimate was carried out using a block model constrained by three dimensional wireframe envelopes. The wireframes were constructed primarily from lithological boundaries. The principal rock types used for these models were themanto-hosting volcanic and sedimentary units which were clipped against fault boundaries and wireframe models of post-mineral dykes or sills. Eight domains were created within the deposit and three of these (Zones 1, 2 and 3) were further subdivided into magnetite-rich and magnetite-poor variants. Much of the geological interpretation had been done for the 2009 and previous estimates. For the current estimate the wireframe modelling consisted of updating the earlier work with the latest drilling results. RPA notes that only minor modifications to the interpretations were required.
Grades for copper, gold, total iron and magnetic susceptibility (MS) were estimated into the blocks using OrdinaryKriging(OK). Estimates of recoverable iron (Fe_rec) and bulk density were carried out from the estimated iron and MS grades using linear regression relationships. Copper equivalent (CuEq) grades were calculated from the estimated Cu, Au, andFe_rec, using recoveries estimated from recent metallurgical testing.
The Mineral Resources for SDS/Iris were reported at a cut-off grade of 0.25%CuEq, which is consistent with the previous estimate.
Readers are advised that Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Mineral Resource estimates do not account formineability, selectivity, mining loss and dilution. These Mineral Resource estimates include inferred Mineral Resources that are normally considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. Even though test mining has been undertaken in areas with Measured and Indicated class Mineral Resources, there is no certainty that inferred Mineral Resources will be converted to Measured and Indicated categories through further drilling, or into Mineral Reserves, once economic considerations are applied.
Mineral Reserve Estimate
CarlosGuzmn, (FAusIMMof NCLIngenierayConstruccinLtda.) prepared the following Mineral Reserve estimate, effective May 2, 2014. Based on the Mineral Resource estimate, a standard methodology for pit limit analysis, mining sequence, and cut-off grade optimization, including application of mining dilution, process recovery, economic criteria and physical mine and plant operating constraints, has been followed to design the open pit mines and determine the Mineral Reserve estimate for each deposit as summarized in the Mineral Reserve table.
Reserve Category Ore Grade Contained Metal Ore Cu Fe Au Cu Fe Conc. Au (Mt) (%) (%) (g/t) (Mlbs) (Mt) (kOz) Proven Reserves 65.3 0.61 30.9 0.08 878.3 8.2 169.9 Probable Reserves 326.4 0.24 27.6 0.03 1,692.1 66.9 336.4 Total Reserves 391.7 0.30 28.2 0.04 2,570.4 75.1 506.3
(1) Mineral Reserves are reported as constrained within Measured and Indicated pit designs, and supported by a mine plan featuring variable throughput rates and cut-off optimization. The pit designs and mine plan were optimized using the following economic and technical parameters: metal prices of $2.75/lbCu, $1,275/ozAu and $80/dmtof Fe concentrate; recovery to concentrate assumptions of a maximum of 93.6% for Cu and 75% for Au with magnetite concentrate recovery varying on a block-by-block basis; copper concentrate treatment charges of $70/dmt, $0.07/lbof Cu refining charges, $5.0/ozof Au refining charges, $48/wmtand $3/wmtfor shipping Cu and Fe concentrates respectively; mining cost of $1.53/t; process and G&A costs of $7.84/t ore processed; average pit slope angles that range from 37.6 to 43.6; a 2% royalty rate assumption, and an assumption of 100% mining recovery. (2) Rounding may result in apparent summation differences betweentonnes, grade and contained metal content. (3) Tonnage and grade measurements are in metric units. Contained gold ounces are reported as troy ounces.
Mine Production Schedule
The final pit design was based on aLerchs-Grossman shell run at a copper price of $2.75 per pound and $80 pertonnefor magnetite concentrate. Two pits (the Santo Domingo pit and the Iris Norte pit) were designed for the most economic extraction of the resources.
The total annual material movement from the mine peaks at 107.5 milliontonnesper year during Years 1 to 4. The limit on the ore production is the number of benches that it is possible to mine in a year in a single phase, or vertical development per phase.
The Mine Production Schedule Summary and the Plant Feed Production Schedule can be accessedHERE.
The cash flow model is supported by a mine plan developed to an annual level of detail. Approximately 45 milliontonnesof material would be pre-stripped in the year prior to start-up of operations. The life of mine plan contemplates mining of 1.7 billiontonnesof material consisting of 1.3 billiontonnesof waste rock and overburden and 0.4 billiontonnesof ore over an 18 year mine life. The overall strip ratio for the project is 3.3:1. The plan developed for the project mines higher copper grades in the first five years of the mine life with progressively lower copper grades and higher iron grades for the remaining 13 years.
A detailed mine plan can be accessedHERE.
The copper and magnetite recovery plant and associated service facilities will process run of mine ("ROM") ore delivered to a primary crusher feeding a conventional process of crushing and grinding of the ROM ore, copper flotation (in seawater), and magnetite recovery from copper rougher tailings. Copper concentrate will be produced at the process facility for trucking to (and stockpiling at) the port. Magnetite concentrate will be thickened on site prior to being pumped via a concentrate pipeline to the port. At the port, the magnetite concentrate will be washed, dewatered and stockpiled. Both the copper and magnetite concentrates will be loaded onto ships for transportation to third-party smelters.
Grinding and flotationtestworkhas established mill design parameters and copper recovery estimates for the study. The mill will process a total of 392 milliontonnesof ore over an approximate 18-year mine life at an average grade of 0.30% copper, 0.04 grams pertonnegold, and 28.2% iron. Mill throughput will vary from 65,000tonnesper day in the first five years, to 60,000tonnesper day in the latter years when throughput will be reduced as the ore becomes slightly harder. Average mill throughput over the 18-year mine life is projected to be 60,500tonnesper day. Metal recoveries for copper and gold are estimated at 89.1% and 56.3% respectively, averaged over the mine life.
Iron recovery was determined from magnetic separation testing on the copper flotation rougher tailings. Iron recoveries vary directly with the mineralogy of the iron present in the ore. The FS does not consider any process to recover the specular hematite portion of the iron. Therefore, iron recovery is presented in terms of the total mill feed mass recovery. For the life of the project this averages 19.2%, and ranges from a low of 10.1% in year five of the project to a high in excess of 25% in the last four years of the project. Testing indicates that a magnetite concentrate grading 65% iron can be maintained throughout the life of the project. All metallurgical data used in the development of the recovery and concentrate grade estimates for the cash flow models are based on tests conducted using seawater.
An annual production schedule showingtonnesprocessed, grades and recoveries can be accessedHERE.
The tailings storage system will consist of a tailings storage facility ("TSF") located north of the proposed mine. The TSF is designed to store approximately 314 milliontonnesof conventional thickened tailings, which is sufficient capacity for the approximately 18 years of the project life. Storage of both seawater and process water is proposed in lined ponds near the plant site. Water make-up is proposed to be untreated seawater. Based on the conventional thickened tailings disposal method, the estimated water make-up will beapproximately 1,280 m3/h (~355 L/s).
Offsite Infrastructure and Services
The FS envisages agreenfieldport to be located in the Punta Roca Blanca area (Port Santo Domingo) on the coast 41kilometresnorth of Caldera in the Atacama Region. This site will include the terminal station of the concentrate pipeline, storage tanks and filter plant for magnetite concentrate, a copper concentrate storage building, a magnetite concentrate stockpile, seawater intake, integrated building (offices, laboratories, change house and lunch room), guard checkpoint, workshop and warehouse; and ancillary facilities to support the operation. The port facility has been designed to accommodate the current maximum throughout requirements of 5.4 milliontonnesper annum. In addition, there is another 35% of capacity available for third party use. Capstone is seeking a partner to share the capital costs of the port; however 100% of the capital has been included in the FS.
The Santo Domingo Project will be designed to use seawater, which will be pumped to the mine/process site via a 111.5kilometrelong pipeline from a pump station to be located at Port Santo Domingo. While the flotation process will use seawater, there will be small desalination plants at both the site and at the port to provide water where seawater cannot be used (i.e. for potable water, reagent mixing, copper concentrate washing at site, and magnetite washing at the port).
A magnetite concentrate pipeline will transport magnetite concentrate from the process plant to the filter plant at the port via a pipeline starting at an elevation of 1,027masland ending at the port at an elevation of 16masl. The copper concentrate will be trucked from the site to Port Santo Domingo.
Both the water and the concentrate pipelines will use the same right-of-way and will run parallel to existing roads for the majority of the distance from the mine area to the port. The pipeline route will largely follow the valleys with the single route high point located approximately 45kilometresfrom the mine site near Anglo American'sMantoverdemine operation.
A 220 kV transmission line has been designed to supply power from the Diego deAlmagrosubstation to the Santo Domingo site. The line is 8.9kilometreslong, running underground for the first 0.5kilometres.
Access to the mine site is sixkilometressouth of Diego deAlmagroon Highway C-17. This section is paved and in good condition. Due to the location of the planned Iris Norte pit, process facility and tailings storage facility, approximately 18.7kilometresof the existing C-17 road will require relocation. The existing C-17 road will remain in service during the relocation effort. In addition, a new bypass road will be built around Diego deAlmagroto minimize traffic impacts from the project. The Diego deAlmagrobypass is approximately 4.7kilometresin length and will be built in the early stage of the project.
Santo Domingo's mine and port sites will be connected to the Central Interconnected System (SistemaInterconectadoCentral or "SIC") which covers the central part of Chile and has coal and diesel thermoelectric plants in the project area. The closest connection point between the SIC and the mine site is via a direct connection to the Diego deAlmagrosubstation, located about fivekilometresfrom the mine area.
The FS has assumed a cost for power of $0.124 per kWh, which is consistent with rates being discussed in current negotiations with potential power providers. The estimated annual average operational power demand for both the mine and port is 86 MW, with a maximum (peak) demand of 112 MW.
Capital Cost Estimate
The initial capital cost has been estimated at $1.7 billion and is shown in the following table. This estimate is based upon a foreign exchange rate of between 517 and 557 Chilean Pesos ("CLP") to US$1.00 during the development period of 2014 through 2017, with a constant 532 CLP to US$1.00 foreign exchange rate from the start of operations in 2018 to the end of the life of mine. The initial capital cost estimate was independently reviewed by two global EPCM companies, with the completed reviews confirming the estimate is within the accuracy range of -10% to +15%.
Total Amount Description (k$) Mine Equipment 105,853 Mine Pre-Production Stripping 51,143 Crushing 44,020 Grinding 134,702 Flotation 60,844 Magnetic Separation 39,016 Thickening and Tailings Handling 56,147 Reagents 9,056 Copper Concentrate 12,697 Tailings Storage Facility 23,575 Plant/Mine Infrastructure 163,382 Seawater Pipeline 84,861 Magnetite Concentrate Pipeline 87,560 Port - Process 31,673 Port - Concentrate Handling/Loading 120,546 Port - Infrastructure 28,225 Total Direct Cost 1,053,300 Development - Indirects 183,122 EPCM Costs 115,323 Owner Costs 105,721 Contingency (16.5% of total costs) 242,306 Total Indirect Costs 646,472 TOTAL PROJECT 1,699,772
Mine pre-production stripping costs are estimated at $51 million and are included in the Capital Cost Estimate. Life ofmine sustaining capital, estimated at $368 million over the 18 year mine life, is not included in the above figure. Mine closure costs have been estimated at $92 million and have been allowed for in operating costs.
Total Project Operating Costs(1)
LOM LOM C1 Cost LOM Total Average ($/lb payable Summary of Cash Costs (k) ($/t) Cu) Mining 2,471,905 6.31 1.12 Process 2,725,682 6.96 1.23 G&A 439,567 1.12 0.20 Cu Concentrate Transport (onshore & offshore), Insurance & Sales 272,230 0.69 0.12 Sub-Total 5,909,384 15.09 2.67 By-Product Metal Credits (3.05) TC/RC Costs 0.32 TOTAL - C1 Cu Cash Cost (1) (net of Fe & Au by-product credits) (0.06)
(1) These are alternative performance measures; please see "Alternative Performance Measures" at the end of this release.
As shown, the estimated total C1 cash production costs for copper over the life of the project are estimated at a negative $0.06 per pound of payable copper, when including gold and iron credits. The co-product total cash production costs are estimated at approximately $1.50 per pound of payable copper and $43.00 pertonneof magnetite concentrate.
Parameter EBITD&A After-Tax or IRR NPV IRR NPV Variation Value (%) @ 8.0% (%) @ 8.0% ($M) ($M) Copper Price ($/lb) -20% $2.28 14.8% 597.0 12.5% 368.2 -10% $2.57 18.1% 875.6 15.2% 583.9 Base Case $2.85 21.3% 1,154.1 17.9% 797.4 10% $3.14 24.6% 1,432.6 20.6% 1,008.1 20% $3.42 27.7% 1,711.2 23.2% 1,217.7 Magnetite Iron Price ($/dmtu Fe) -20% $1.05 17.6% 739.8 14.7% 482.9 -10% $1.18 19.5% 946.9 16.4% 641.0 Base Case $1.31 21.3% 1,154.1 17.9% 797.4 10% $1.44 23.0% 1,361.3 19.4% 953.1 20% $1.57 24.6% 1,568.4 20.7% 1,108.1 Total Operating Costs ($/t LOM average) -20% $11.81 25.0% 1,546.7 21.0% 1,091.5 -10% $13.29 23.2% 1,350.4 19.5% 945.2 Base Case $14.76 21.3% 1,154.1 17.9% 797.4 10% $16.24 19.4% 957.8 16.3% 647.6 20% $17.72 17.3% 761.5 14.5% 496.6 Initial Capital Costs ($M) -20% $1,359.8 27.2% 1,398.7 23.5% 1,043.3 -10% $1,529.8 24.0% 1,276.4 20.5% 920.3 Base Case $1,699.8 21.3% 1,154.1 17.9% 797.4 10% $1,869.7 19.0% 1,031.8 15.8% 674.4 20% $2,039.7 17.1% 909.5 13.9% 551.4 Power Cost ($/kWh) -20% $0.099 23.1% 1,340.3 19.4% 937.6 -10% $0.112 22.3% 1,252.4 18.7% 871.6 Base Case $0.124 21.3% 1,154.1 17.9% 797.4 10% $0.136 20.2% 1,045.5 17.0% 714.9 20% $0.149 19.0% 926.5 16.0% 623.6
On October 29, 2013, Capstone formally submitted the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Santo Domingo project. This initiated the formal environmental assessment process, which is expected to take approximately 15 to 18 months. For purposes of the FS schedule a period of 16 months has been estimated. A critical permit for the operation of the port, the Maritime Concession, is expected to be granted in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Over the course of the next 10 months leading up to completion of the first stage-gate decision point, Capstone will focus on:
- Advancing project engineering.
- Working with regulators and communities to obtain approval for the EIS and secure the required social license.
- Securing a long-term power purchase agreement.
- Developing detailed marketing studies leading to expressions of interest and/or letters of intent for at least 75% of the operation's output.
- Securing the port concession.
- Developing a robust project execution plan, including the assessment and selection of available EPC and EPCM options for the construction of all or portions of the project.
- Assessing project and corporate financing alternatives.
The next gate will be the approval of the EIS, which is anticipated at the end of the first quarter of 2015. The second gate will be when engineering is advanced to approximately 60% to 65% with an estimate accuracy of 10%, expected in the third quarter of 2015. The final gate will be at the point when engineering is effectively complete with a definitive cost estimate of +10%/-5%, which is expected to be in the first quarter of 2016. At each gate Capstone will evaluate the status of the Project and communicate the next steps. Each decision will reflect, among other factors, the progress made in the areas outlined above, general and project specific market conditions, the financing market, project economics and alternatives available to the company at that time. The decisions will be targeted at maximizing the value of the project to Capstone shareholders in a manner that ensures financial flexibility for continued growth and security for the Company's existing operations.
The Technical Report that will be prepared in compliance with National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"), which will be based on the full Santo Domingo Feasibility Study, will be filed under Capstone's profile on SEDAR athttp://www.sedar.comwithin 45 days.
Conference Call and Webcast Details
Capstone will host a conference call and webcast for investors and analysts to discuss the Santo Domingo FS on Thursday, June 5, at 10:30 am Eastern Time (7:30 am Pacific Time).
The conference call replay will be available until June 19, 2014. The conference call audio and transcript will be available on Capstone's website within approximately 24 hours of the call athttp://capstonemining.com/s/conference-calls.asp.
About Capstone Mining Corp.
Capstone Mining Corp. is a Canadian base metals mining company, focused on copper. We are committed to the responsible development of our assets and the environments in which we operate. Our three producing mines are the Pinto Valley copper mine located in Arizona, US, theCozamincopper-silver mine in Zacatecas State, Mexico and theMintocopper mine in Yukon, Canada. In addition, Capstone has two copper development projects; the large scale 70% owned copper-iron Santo Domingo project in Region III, Chile, in partnership with Korea Resources Corporation, and the 100% owned copper-zincKutchoproject in British Columbia, Canada, as well as exploration properties in Chile and Mexico. Using our cash flow and strong balance sheet as a platform, Capstone's strategy is to continue to grow with mineral resource and reserve expansions and exploration, and through acquisitions in politically stable, mining-friendly regions. We will pace our growth with our financial capacity, ensuring we retain, as a priority, sufficient financial flexibility to meet the requirements of our existing operations and our committed development projects, while maintaining an adequate cushion to deal with market volatility and operating risks inherent in the mining industry. Our headquarters are in Vancouver, Canada and we are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Further information is available athttp://www.capstonemining.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This document may contain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively, "forward-looking statements"). These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document and Capstone Mining Corp. (the "Company") does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required under applicable securities legislation.
Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect Company management's expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources, the conversion of mineral resources to mineral reserves, the expected timing for commencement of construction of the Santo Domingo Project, the market for project debt as contemplated by the Capstone/KORES development agreement for Santo Domingo, Capstone's ability to raise its equity contribution to the project, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures, success of mining operations, environmental risks, the timing of the receipt of permits, the timing and terms of a power purchase agreement, unanticipated reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims and limitations on insurance coverage. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "outlook", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative of these terms or comparable terminology. In this document certain forward-looking statements are identified by words including "scheduled", "plan", "planned", "estimated", "projections", "projected" and "expected". Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions which may prove incorrect, including, but not limited to, the development potential of the Santo Domingo project and current and future commodity prices and exchange rates. By their very nature 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 be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of commodities; possible variations in mineral reserves, grade or recovery rates; accidents; dependence on key personnel;labourpool constraints;labourdisputes; availability of infrastructure required for the development of mining projects; delays in obtaining governmental approvals, financing or in the completion of development or construction activities; objections by the communities or environmental lobby of the Santo Domingo project and associated infrastructure and other risks of the mining industry as well as those factors detailed from time to time in the Company's interim and annual financial statements and management's discussion and analysis of those statements, all of which are filed and available for review on SEDAR athttp://www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements.
The following qualified persons (QPs) have reviewed the content of this news release and will be responsible for the preparation of their relevant portions of the Technical Report that will be based on the FS:
- David Frost,FAusIMM(AMECIngenierayConstruccinLtda.)
- HansGopfert, RM CMC (AMECIngenierayConstruccinLtda.)
- JoyceMaycock, P.Eng(AMECIngenierayConstruccinLtda.)
- VikramKhera, P.Eng(AMECIngenierayConstruccinLtda.)
- Roy G.Betinol, P.E. (BRASS Chile S.A.) - Seawater and Magnetite Concentrate Pipeline System
- CarlosGuzmn,FAusIMM(NCLIngenierayConstruccinLtda.) - Mineral Reserve Model, Mine Equipment and Mine Development
- Tom Kerr, P.E. (KnightPisoldS. A.) - Tailings Storage Facility
- DavidRennie, P.Eng(RoscoePostleAssociates Inc.) - Mineral Resource Model
The technical information in this news release has been reviewed by CourtMuggli, P.E., Project Director, Capstone Mining Corp., and Gregg Bush, P. Eng., Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Capstone Mining Corp., both Qualified Persons under NI 43-101.
Readers are cautioned that the conclusions, projections and estimates set out in this news release are subject to important qualifications, assumptions and exclusions, all of which are detailed in the Feasibility Study and Technical Report. To fully understand the summary information set out above, the Technical Report that will be filed on SEDAR athttp://www.sedar.comshould be read in its entirety.
Alternative Performance Measures
"Total C1 Cash Production Costs" and "Total Project Operating Costs" are Alternative Performance Measures. These performance measures are included because these statistics are key performance measures that management uses to monitor performance. Management uses these statistics to assess how the Company is performing to plan and to assess the overall effectiveness and efficiency of mining operations. These performance measures do not have a meaning within International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") and, therefore, amounts presented may not be comparable to similar data presented by other mining companies. These performance measures should not be considered in isolation as a substitute for measures of performance in accordance with IFRS.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors
This news release contains disclosure that has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Canadian securities laws, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. Without limiting the foregoing, this news release refers to a technical report that uses the terms "indicated" and "inferred" resources. U.S. investors are cautioned that, while such terms are recognized and required by Canadian securities laws, the SEC does not recognize them. Under U.S. standards, mineralization may not be classified as a "reserve" unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve determination is made. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of indicated resources will ever be converted into reserves. U.S. investors should also understand that "inferred resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and as to whether they can be mined legally or economically. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of "inferred resources" will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Therefore, U.S. investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of inferred resources exist, or that they can be mined legally or economically. Accordingly, information concerning descriptions of mineralization and resources contained in this news release may not be comparable to information made public by U.S. companies subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements of the SEC.
For further information:
Cindy Burnett, VP, Investor Relations and Communications
SOURCE Capstone Mining Corp.
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