Saturday, July 21, 2012

Big increase in Rosemont copper and moly resources

Augusta Resource Corporation  announced completion of an updated National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 compliant mineral resource for its Rosemont Copper project ("Rosemont") in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson [right, land status map of proposed mine area.  Credit, Rosemont Copper]

The company reports that its updated mineral resource estimate is comprised of:
  • Measured and indicated sulfide mineral resources of 919 million tons, representing an increase of 232 million tons or 34% when compared to the 2008 mineral resource, with average grades of 0.41% copper and 0.014% molybdenum for a total of 7.5 billion lbs of copper and 256 million lbs of molybdenum;
  • Inferred sulfide mineral resource of 139 million tons, representing a decrease of 106 million tons or 43% when compared to the 2008 mineral resource which is a result of successful drilling and model upgrading of a significant portion of the inferred resource to measured and indicated.  Average grades are 0.40% copper and 0.012% molybdenum for an inferred resource of 1.1billion lbs of copper and 35 million lbs of molybdenum. 
The company noted that  their assessment used a total of 266 drill holes, representing 342,700 feet of drilling, to update the geologic block model.

The NI-43-101 report is a Canadian standard that is widely used across the mining industry.

The Augusta press release provided additional explanation about Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources:
This press release uses the terms indicated and inferred resources as a relative measure of the level of confidence in the resource estimate. Readers are cautioned that: (a) mineral resources are not economic mineral reserves; (b) the economic viability of resources that are not mineral reserves has not been demonstrated; and (c) it should not be assumed that further work on the stated resources will lead to mineral reserves that can be mined economically. In addition, inferred resources are considered too geologically speculative to have any economic considerations applied to them. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies or economic studies except for certain preliminary economic assessments. 

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