Panoro Minerals has announced the results of an independent, NI 43-101-compliant preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of its 100% owned Cotabambas copper-gold-silver project 48 km southwest of the city of Cuzco in southern Peru. The PEA is based on development of an 80,000-mt/d processing plant, with mill feed coming from two open pits. Average annual production of metal in concentrate is estimated at 143.4 million lb/y of copper, 88,000 oz/y of gold, and 967,200 oz/y of silver over a mine life of 19 years.

Initial capital costs to develop the Cotabambas project are estimated at $1.38 billion, including contingencies. Average direct cash costs of production (C1) are estimated at $1.26/lb of copper, net of byproduct credits.

Mining will be by conventional truck-and-shovel methods to feed a processing plant located just north of the limits of the larger of the two pits. Run-of-mine mineralized material will be fed to a primary gyratory crusher, followed by a SAG mill and two ball mills, with classification by hydrocyclones. The flotation circuit will consist of rougher flotation, regrinding, primary cleaning, cleaner-scavenging, and two stages of re-cleaning in conventional flotation cells.

The final flotation concentrate will contain copper, gold, and silver and will be free of deleterious elements. After thickening and filtering, the concentrate will be transported by truck to the Matarani seaport in Arequipa along existing road networks.

Flotation tailings will be thickened to 62% solids and pumped to a tailing storage facility by positive displacement pumps.

Amec Foster Wheeler Perú S.A. prepared the Cotabambas PEA.

Indicated mineral resources contained within the Cotabambas pits total 136.7 million mt averaging 0.35% copper, 0.20 g/mt gold, and 2.5 g/mt silver. Inferred resources total 397.1 million mt averaging 0.28% copper, 0.16 g/mt gold, and 2.21 g/mt silver. The resources include hypogene and supergene sulphides and oxide copper and gold mineralization. The treatment of an oxide copper subzone is not included in the PEA.

Further work leading to a Cotabambas prefeasibility study will include drilling, engineering and marketing studies, hydrological and geotechnical analysis, and various baseline environmental and archeological studies.

Panoro is a Peru-focused Canadian mineral exploration and development company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. It has a portfolio of 13 properties in the Andahuaylas-Yauri province in southern Peru, as well as one polymetallic project in Peru’s northwest.