International PBX Ventures Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : PBX

International PBX Ventures Ltd.

November 02, 2009 10:06 ET

International PBX Ventures Completes Preliminary Assessment on Its Copaquire Copper-Molybdenum-Rhenium Project in Chile

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 2, 2009) - International PBX Ventures Ltd. (the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:PBX) is pleased to announce the completion of a positive, independent Preliminary Assessment ("PA") for the Company's copper-molybdenum-rhenium Copaquire property located in Region I, Chile. The Study entitled "Preliminary Assessment on the Copaquire Project, Region I, Chile", will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days and available at the same time for viewing on the company's website www.internationalpbx.com.

The National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") compliant study was completed by AMEC International (Chile) S.A. ("AMEC") and prepared under the supervision of Mr. Tony Maycock, P.Eng. of AMEC. The study utilized resource estimates from the Cerro Moly area made by Mr. Eduardo R. Videla, in the NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate report that was delivered to the Company in May 2009 (see www.sedar.com for the full report). Inferred mineral resources were included in the study. Mr. Maycock and Mr. Videla are both qualified persons as that term is defined under NI 43-101.

The purpose of the scoping level study is to provide preliminary mine plans for an optimized selected option which included mining and metallurgical plant designs, capital costs, operating costs and financial evaluation. The scope of work includes mine, waste dump, metallurgical plant, infrastructure and ancillary facilities, power and water supply, tailings pipeline and tailings dam.

The resources at Copaquire will be mined by open-pit. AMEC has developed an ultimate pit and a scoping level production plan to process 36,000 tonnes of mill feed per day.

The plant design is a conventional process including primary crushing, SAG/ball mill grinding with pebble crushing and two concentration circuits, copper-molybdenum flotation followed by molybdenum flotation, to produce molybdenum and copper concentrates. The expected recovery in collective flotation is 85% for copper and molybdenum at a P80 of 150 microns and a copper grade of 25%. In the molybdenum circuit the molybdenum concentrate grade is expected to be 50%. The global molybdenum recovery is expected to be 70%. The final copper concentrate grade is expected to be between 26% and 30%.

The copper concentrate is thickened, filtered and trucked to a port or a local smelter. The molybdenum concentrate is thickened, filtered, dried and packed into drums for transportation to a refinery.

The PA suggests a mine capable of producing approximately 785.4 million lbs of copper and 166.4 million lbs of molybdenum over a 24-year mine life at an operating cost of $7.15 US$/t.

The capital cost of the project is estimated to be US$ 774.4 million including a 20% contingency of US$ 129.0 million.

The metal prices used for the base case are US $2.00 per pound copper and US $11.50 per pound molybdenum. At the base case prices the resulting cumulative net cash flow value is $69.1 million. To demonstrate the price sensitivity the study further provides other case scenarios based on copper/molybdenum prices as presented below:

Commodityprices US$ /lb
Copper2.002.803.00
Molybdenum11.5014.0020.00
Parameter(US$ millions)
Cumulative Net Cash Flow (CNCF)69.1886.71,788.0
Net Present Value @5%-256.0118.7505.2
Net Present Value @8%-306.4-21.6267.7

Note: See cautionary notes regarding Preliminary Assessment and forward-looking information at end of news release.

While the base case economics produce a positive Cumulative Net Cash Flow (CNCF) of US$69.1 million, the significant economic value of this deposit is clearly demonstrated when using today's commodity market prices (approximately US $3.00 per pound copper; approximately US $14.00 per pound molybdenum), which generates a CNCF of US$1,009.2 million.

AMEC recommends various ways to continue moving the project forward and improving the project economics by:

  1. Additional drilling to be carried out in the surrounding Sulfato copper porphyry area directed to increasing the copper resources.
  1. Metallurgical testing has shown that the deposit mineralization contains rhenium. It is recommended that all available samples be analyzed for this element and that future metallurgical testing evaluate the potential for its recovery.
  1. Evaluate the possibility of design simplification at lower capital cost.
  1. Re-evaluate the resource model at higher cut-off grades to determine if improved economic results can be obtained.
  1. Carry out an infill drilling campaign to improve the resources quality.
  1. Investigate the possibility of a long term advance sales agreement at higher copper and molybdenum prices.

In view of AMEC's recommendation PBX has initiated the following plans.

  1. Additional drilling be carried out in the surrounding Sulfato copper porphyry copper area directed to increasing the copper resources:
    As the resource and subsequent PA has focused entirely on the Cerro Moly zone which comprises of a surface area of only 25% of the entire Sulfato copper-moly porphyry system, the company is planning for an infill-drill program in the Sulfato South zone which is immediately adjacent to the Cerro Moly deposit. Results from previous drilling in this area suggests that this area could potentially add substantial higher grade tonnage to the overall resource which could have a significant positive impact on the economics of the project.
  1. Include rhenium in future economic evaluations:
    As assaying for rhenium started in the latter part of the drill program earlier drill samples were not assayed for rhenium. Over 1,700 drill samples have now been sent to ALS laboratories in La Serena, Chile for re-analysis of rhenium. Metallurgical testing will evaluate the potential recovery levels and the results will be included in a future updated PA. The current price of rhenium is approximately US $2,600 per pound and future potential rhenium credits could have a significant positive impact on the economics of the project.
  1. Design simplification at lower capital cost:
    The Company has initiated studies to significantly reduce the initial capital investment required. Also alternative processing methods are being studied. One such process utilises Hydrometallurgical technology which produces on site a more refined and higher quality end product such as Molybdenum Trioxide (high purity) as opposed to a Molybdenum concentrate, Copper Sulfate (or copper cement) as opposed to a Copper concentrate and Ammonium Perrhenate (the most common form in which rhenium is traded) or Metallic Rhenium.

George Sookochoff, President & CEO of PBX, states, "I am very pleased with the results of the PA as it recognizes that even though the project has considerable value at today's prices there still remains a significant upside economic potential with the possible addition of rhenium from within the existing deposit and higher grade copper from the surrounding copper porphyry."

"With the completion of the PA we now have available to us a number of options for continuing to move the project forward. With the "stand-alone" option whereby we continue to progress towards mine development, the PA provides for the first time a preliminary assessment of the project which in turn provides us with a basis for discussions with potential strategic partners. As another option we are pursuing the potential synergies which exist between the Copaquire project and the producing mines in the immediate vicinity."

The Preliminary Economic Assessment is preliminary in nature and includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative, geologically, to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is no certainty that the conclusions reached in the Preliminary Assessment will be realized. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

This press release contains "forward looking statements" which are subject to risks, both known and unknown, which may affect the outcome of such forward looking statements. Known risks include, but are not limited to, financing risks, commodity price risks, scheduling risks and engineering risks.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF INTERNATIONAL PBX VENTURES LTD.

George Sookochoff, President & CEO

Click here to view accompanying map to this news release: http://www.internationalpbx.com/projects/copa/images/Copaquire-map.jpg

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • International PBX Ventures Ltd.
    George Sookochoff
    President & CEO
    (604) 681-7748 or Toll Free: 1-877-681-1154
    (604) 681-0586 (FAX)
    www.internationalpbx.com