China’s Jinchuan Group has agreed to acquire Vancouver-based Continental Minerals for C$432 million. Continental’s primary asset is its large Xietongmen copper-gold project, located 240 km west of Lhasa, Tibet. The project is currently in the permitting and detailed engineering stage.

The Xietongmen porphyry deposit extends over an area of 1,400 by 500 m and averages 300 m in depth. Measured resources at a 0.15% copper cutoff total 197.5 million mt grading 0.44% copper, 0.62 g/mt gold, and 3.95 g/mt silver and containing 1.9 billion lb of copper and 3.9 million oz of gold. The mineralization is 89% primary hypogene ore, plus 11% enriched supergene material and less than 1% oxide material

A Xietongmen project feasibility study completed in 2007 calls for construction of 40,000-mt/d copper concentrator to process ore mined by open-pit methods. Construction would take about 30 months. A three-stage pit operation is proposed, with each stage lasting three to five years. Mill feed would be 12.4 million mt in the first year of operation, ramping up to 13.6 million mt/y by year four. The plan is to mine most of the 17.4 million mt of supergene material in the first stage. Mine life is projected at 14 years.

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