Two presentations on Monday at the SME Arizona Conference in Tucson on the status of the Curis Resources in situ recovery copper project in Florence [right, location map. Credit, Curis Resources] described a 14 month long test set to begin in 2011 to evaluate the process before starting full production in 2013.
Daniel Russin with SRK Consulting offered a geologic overview of the deposit which consists of 62 million year old copper porphyry intruded into Precambrian quartz monzanite. Porphyry dikes were subsequently broken up and offset by Basin and Range faulting. The oxide zone is dominated by chrysocolla, with the sulfide zone dominated by chalcopyrite.
The measured and indicated reserves total 390 Mt of 0.336% Cu. Mel Lawson with Curis said they expect to drill 2,400 wells (injection and recovery) over the life of the project, with each well having about a 6-year life cycle. He projects production of 76-86 million pounds of pure CU cathodes per year, which he says bring 5-8% price premiums over LME spot prices.
Ironically, Curis bought the property from a real estate developer in 2009 when the down turn in the housing market wiped out plans to build on it. Curis just went public on November 24 and Lawson said the stock was oversubscribed. The companies forecasts capital costs of the mine at $238 million.