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Canadian resource company Copper Fox Metals has published a promising preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the Schaft Creek copper/molybdenum/gold/silver deposit, in British Columbia.

The project covers 55 779 ha of mineral concessions and is located 60 km south of Telegraph Creek, near existing transportation and energy infrastructure.

The Schaft Creek project, which is managed through a joint venture between fellow Canadian miner Teck Resources as 75% owner and operator and Copper Fox as 25% owner, has an after-tax net present value of $842-million and an internal rate of return of 12.9%.

The PEA envisions that the project can generate yearly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of almost $700-million, at full production, for the first five years and $10.8-billion of earnings for the duration of the 21-year mine life.

The project could also produce about 5-billion pounds, or 2.3-million tonnes, of copper, 3.7-million ounces of gold, 16-million ounces of silver in concentrate and 226-million pounds of molybdenum.

In the first five years of full operation, the Schaft project has the potential to produce, on average, 398-million copper equivalent pounds a year.

Schaft Creek could be constructed for an initial capital cost of $2.6-billion, while sustaining capital cost could range at $848-million.

Copper Fox CEO and president Elmer Stewart says the operator can now consider a C$23-million work programme to advance the project to prefeasibility stage.