Using the assumptions of $3.00/lb copper, $1,300/oz gold, and $17/oz silver , the Los Azules project generates a robust after-tax Net Present Value (NPV) discounted at 8% of $2.2 billion and an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 20.1%. The project economics for Los Azules contemplates two years of permitting, drilling, and feasibility studies; followed by a three year project implementation phase for production of the first copper concentrates. The economic values presented in the 2017 PEA are after-tax financial outcomes at the point of commencing the project implementation phase. The key financial results are summarized in Table 1 and Figure 1.
|Table 1: After-tax Financial Results|
|Parameter||Unit||2017 PEA Result|
|Initial CAPEX||$ millions||2,363|
|Phase 2 CAPEX||$ millions||278|
|NPV 8%||$ millions||2,239|
|C1 Costs 1 (first 10 years)||$/lb.||1.11|
|C1 Costs 1 (Life-of-mine)||$/lb.||1.28|
|1C1 cash costs include at-mine cash operating costs, treatment and refining charges, mine reclamation and closure costs, and copper concentrate transportation.|
|Table 2: Estimate of Mineral Resources for Los Azules Deposit (0.20% Cu Cut-Off)|
|Average Grade||Contained Metal|
|Category||Million tonnes||Cu %||Au g/t||Mo %||Ag g/t||Cu Billion lbs.||Au Million oz.||Mo Million lbs.||Ag Million oz.|
|Cu = copper, Au = gold, Mo = molybdenum, Ag = silver|
MiningThe life-of-mine (LOM) ore tonnage is estimated to be 1,488 million tonnes of concentrator feed and 1,510 million tonnes of waste stripping. The stripping ratio, including stockpile re-handling, is projected at 1.05 (tonnes of waste per tonne of sulfide ore milled). Excluding the three-year preproduction period, the mine life is estimated at 36 years.The concentrator feed during the first five years of operation is predicted to have a higher average grade of 0.73% copper. These grades are approximately double the average grades in the later years of mining (after Year 20). In the first five years of mining, 93% of this initial mill feed is presently classified as Indicated mineralized material and the remaining 7% is Inferred mineralized material. The 2017 PEA is preliminary in nature. The mine plan and economic model include the use of Inferred resources. Inferred resources are conceptual in nature and are considered to be too speculative to be used in an economic analysis except as allowed for by Canadian Securities Administrators' National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) in PEA studies. There is no guarantee that Inferred resources can be converted to Indicated or Measured resources. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. As such, there is no guarantee the project economics described herein will be achieved. ProcessingPreliminary metallurgical test work has been conducted intermittently since 2008 to determine how the mineralized material responds to flotation as a means of recovering payable copper metal. Results have consistently proved favorable and flotation has been adopted as the processing option of choice. The Los Azules concentrator will produce copper concentrate as a final product. The process flowsheet has been modeled on the Antapaccay copper concentrator (Glencore - Peru) due to similarities in ore properties and process plant altitudes. Some minor design changes, in equipment sizing only, have been incorporated based on operating experience at Antapaccay. The plant has been designed for average daily throughput of 80,000 tpd. The concentrator would be constructed on-site and would employ one comminution circuit consisting of a primary crusher, stockpile feed conveyor, reclaim conveyor, one SAG mill, two pebble crushers and two ball mills. The comminution circuit would be followed by flotation, thickening and filtration circuits, a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) and concentrate storage. LOM recovery of copper to concentrate is expected to be 91% at a concentrate grade of 30% Cu.
¿It is planned to expand the capacity of the plant to 120,000 tpd by Year 5 through the installation of additional comminution and flotation capacity. ¿Gold and silver are recoverable to the copper concentrate. No other metals have been identified that would yield by-product credits, nor that have significant amounts of penalty elements. ¿Capital CostsA key desired outcome of this study was to provide a project capital estimate with a reasonable level of accuracy. A summary of the initial capital estimate is provided in Table 3.
|Table 3: Capital Cost Estimate|
|Area||CAPEX ($ Millions)|
|Mine Pre-stripping Cost||$||193|
|Surface Scope (Concentrator, Power Line, Tailings, etc.)||$||979|
|Total Direct Cost||$||1,387|
|Total Indirect Costs||$||508|
|Total Initial Capital Cost||$||2,363|
|Table 4: Operating Cost Estimate|
|Cost Area||LOM ($ millions)||$/t Mill Feed||$/t Cu||$/lb. Cu|
|Au & Ag Credits||(2,449||)||(1.65||)||(444||)||(0.20||)|
|Table 5: Summary of Qualified Persons|
|Responsible Person||Company||Primary Areas of Responsibility|
|D. Brown, C. P. Eng||McEwen||Mining, Project Infrastructure, Geology|
|M. Bunyard, C. Eng, FAusIMM||Hatch Ltd||Metallurgical, Process Plant|
|B. Davis, FAusIMM||BD Resource Consulting, Inc.||Sampling, Data Verification, Resource Estimates|
|J. Duff, P. Geol||McEwen||Geology, Exploration|
|R. Duinker, P. Eng, MBA||Hatch Ltd||Financial Analysis|
|J. Farrell, P. Eng||Hatch Ltd||Environmental|
|W. Rose, P. E.||WLR Consulting Inc.||Mining|
|K. Seddon, CPEng||ATC Williams||Tailings|
|R. Sim, P. Geo||SIM Geological Inc.||Drilling, Resource Estimates|
About McEwen Mining ( www.mcewenmining.com )McEwen Mining has the goal to qualify for inclusion in the S&P 500 Index by creating a high growth gold and silver producer focused in the Americas. McEwen Mining's principal assets consist of the San José mine in Santa Cruz, Argentina (49% interest), the El Gallo Gold mine and El Gallo Silver project in Mexico, the Gold Bar project in Nevada, the Timmins projects in Canada and the Los Azules copper project in Argentina.McEwen Mining has a total of 312 million shares outstanding. Rob McEwen, Chairman and Chief Owner, owns 25% of the Company. QUALIFIED PERSON Technical information contained in this news release has been prepared under the supervision of Mr. Donald Brown C. P. Eng., who is an officer of the Company, and a "qualified person" within the meaning of NI 43-101. An independent qualified person manually verified the geologic database supporting the resource estimate by randomly selecting drill holes and verifying the data back to the original source. No significant errors were found. CAUTION CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This news release contains certain forward-looking statements and information, including "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements and information expressed, as at the date of this news release, McEwen Mining Inc.'s (the "Company") estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations or beliefs as to future events and results. Forward-looking statements and information are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties, risks and contingencies, and there can be no assurance that such statements and information will prove to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements and information. Risks and uncertainties that could cause results or future events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements and information include, but are not limited to, factors associated with fluctuations in the market price of precious metals, mining industry risks, political, economic, social and security risks associated with foreign operations, the ability of the corporation to receive or receive in a timely manner permits or other approvals required in connection with operations, risks related to fluctuations in mine production rates, risks associated with the construction of mining operations and commencement of production and the projected costs thereof, risks related to litigation, the state of the capital markets, the ability of the Company to obtain financing, environmental risks and hazards, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral resources and reserves, and other risks. The Company's dividend policy will be reviewed periodically by the Board of Directors and is subject to change based on certain factors such as the capital needs of the Company and its future operating results. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information included herein, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to reissue or update forward-looking statements or information as a result of new information or events after the date hereof except as may be required by law. See McEwen Mining's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, under the caption "Risk Factors", for additional information on risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to the forward-looking statements and information regarding the Company. All forward-looking statements and information made in this news release are qualified by this cautionary statement.
The NYSE and TSX have not reviewed and do not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the contents of this news release, which has been prepared by management of McEwen Mining Inc.
CONTACT INFORMATION: Mihaela IancuInvestor Relations(647) 258-0395 ext firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsitewww.mcewenmining.comFacebookfacebook.com/mcewenrob Twittertwitter.com/mcewenmining150 King Street WestSuite 2800,P.O. Box 24Toronto, Ontario, CanadaM5H 1J9 (866) 441-0690