Silvercorp pursues copper explorer Celsius

Silvercorp pursues copper explorer Celsius

Canada-headquartered Silvercorp Metals has announced the proposed acquisition of dual-listed Celsius Resources, which owns an advanced stage copper/gold project in the Philippines.

The addition of Celsius’ Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog (MCB) project to Silvercorp’s underground silver mining operations will move Silvercorp into being a diversified precious-base metals producer.

“The addition of the MCB project to our growing project portfolio aligns with our strategic objectives of diversifying and growing our asset base and will position us to benefit from copper’s strong fundamentals, a key ingredient in the green energy revolution.

“We believe this is a rare opportunity to leverage our underground mining expertise and financial strength to unlock value for all shareholders through the development of the MCB project, as well as aggressive exploration programmes in the Pacific Rim Metallogenic Belt, one of the most important porphyry copper/gold belts in the world,” commented Silvercorp chairperson and CEO Rui Feng.

Celsius in December 2021 announced a scoping study for the MCB project, which outlined a development plan for an underground mining operation with back-filling and a flotation mill at 2.28-million tonnes a year to produce high-quality copper/gold concentrates for a 25-year mine life.

The estimated average head grade is 1.18% copper and 0.56 g/t gold with a 94% recovery rate for copper and 79% for gold, producing 22 000 t/y of copper and 27 000 oz/y of gold for the first ten years.

Assuming a copper price of $4.00/lb, a gold price of $1 695/oz, and an estimated initial capital expenditure of $253-million, the scoping study concluded that the MCB project has a post-tax net present value, using an 8% discount, of $464-million, an internal rate of return of 31%, and a payback period of about 2.7 years

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