Arizona Sonoran Copper Co. Inc. (ASCU) named Ausenco’s Tucson, Arizona-based team as lead engineer to deliver an integrated Pre-feasibility Study (PFS) at the Cactus and Parks/Salyer Project by early 2024. The project, on private land, is a brownfields site with in-place infrastructure and is accessible via highway, 45 miles south of Phoenix, Arizona.

Ausenco will initially review the Cactus draft PFS and incorporate into the new re-scoped PFS, which includes Parks/Salyer. The study will explore a simple heap leach operation, targeting a potential of 50,000 tons per annum of LME Grade A Copper Cathode from an onsite solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX/EW) plant. Mineralized material will be sourced from four deposits initially, including the Stockpile, Cactus East, Parks/Salyer and Cactus West. Pending a successful metallurgical program with Rio Tinto’s Nuton Technologies, and a subsequent commercial agreement, ASCU and Ausenco will layer in the primary sulphides as a fifth source of mineralized material for the SX/EW plant. In addition to its own technical staff, Ausenco will lead a technical consultant team comprised of Samuel Engineering, AGP Mining Consultants, Stantec, MineFill Services, Clear Creek Associates and Call & Nicholas Inc.

A PFS detailing the oxide and enriched mineralized material is projected to take approximately 10 months to complete, with results currently expected in Q4 2023. Based on the results of current metallurgical testing with Nuton, layering in the primary sulphide material into the mine plan would extend delivery into early 2024.