General Moly is allocating $2.5 million of its 2011 budget to its Liberty molybdenum-copper project, located about 25 miles northwest of Tonopah, Nevada. General Moly CEO Bruce D. Hansen said, “In early 2009, with the collapse of the global metal markets, we suspended evaluation activities at the Liberty project. However, given our positive outlook for both the moly and copper markets, and the Liberty project’s potential economics, we will begin advancing our second world-class project toward production.” General Moly’s Mount Hope project, currently in the permitting process, is located 35 miles north of Eureka, Nevada.
The Liberty project includes the former Hall-Tonopah molybdenum deposit that was mined at two different times between 1982 and 1991 by the Anaconda Co. and Cyprus Minerals. Between the two companies, it is estimated that approximately 50 million st at average grades of 0.1% molybdenum were mined and processed. According to the company, the pit is open and accessible for mining, and usable infrastructure remains at the site. Mineralization within the existing pit is visible, and no pre-stripping is expected to be necessary.
A project pre-feasibility study released in April 2008 indicated annual production of 19 million lb of molybdenum and 18 million lb of copper at molybdenum cash costs of $6.15/lb net of copper credits for the first five years of operations based on a copper price assumption of $1.50/lb. Based on current copper prices of over $4/lb, General Moly estimates the project’s cash cost could be closer to $4/lb of salable molybdenum net of copper credits over the first five years of operation.
During the coming year, General Moly will focus on collecting baseline data for Nevada state permits, hydro-geological groundwater characterization of the open-pit, infill drilling, and logging and assaying of prior drill core to improve and update the existing geologic model. The company anticipates an update to the pre-feasibility study by the end of 2011, including an evaluation of full feasibility study options.