International PBX Ventures Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : PBX

International PBX Ventures Ltd.

December 17, 2009 09:00 ET

PBX Files 43-101 Preliminary Assessment Report on Its Copaquire Copper-Molybdenum-Rhenium Project in Chile

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2009) - International PBX Ventures Ltd. (the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:PBX) is pleased to announce that it has filed the report "Preliminary Assessment on the Copaquire Project, Region I, Chile Technical Report NI 43-101" completed by AMEC International (Chile) S.A ("AMEC") at SEDAR.com.

The Preliminary Assessment ("PA") report which expands on the company's news release of November 02, 2009 provides preliminary mine plans for an optimized selected option which included mining and metallurgical plant designs, capital costs, operating costs and financial evaluation at a scoping level.

The resources at Copaquire will be mined by open-pit and AMEC has developed an ultimate pit and selected a scoping level production plan to process 36,000 tonnes of mill feed per day. 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 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 capital cost of the project is estimated to be US$ 774.4 million including a 20% contingency of US$ 129.0 million.

AMEC re-assessed the previous May 10, 2009 resource estimate by Mr. Eduardo Videla, B.Sc. Geol, MAusIMM using updated metal prices. To demonstrate reasonable prospect of economic extraction, AMEC optimized a pit shell based on long-term forecast prices of US$12.65/lb for Mo and US$ 2.30/lb for Cu, process cost of US$4.48/t, refining cost of US$1.14/lb for Mo and mining cost of US$1.83/t. Although AMEC used different base case assumptions, and constrained the resource estimate using an optimized pit, there are no material differences between the Videla (2009) estimate and AMEC's estimate.

Revised Mineral Resource Statement for Copaquire Deposit using 0.03% MoEq Cut-off

  Resource Tonnage      Mo      Cu MoEq
  Category (Mt) (%) (%) (%)
  Indicated 229 0.039 0.11 0.069
  Inferred 194 0.026 0.15 0.066

The prices used to establish the based case cut-off grade (0.028% MoEq) is US$12.65/lb and for Cu is US$2.30/lb.

AMEC assessed the sensitivity of the resource estimate to cut-off grade.

Sensitivity Analysis of Resources to cut-off grades

  Cut-Off            
  MoEq   Tonnage Mo Cu Re MoEq
       Case (%)    Category (kt) (%) (%) (ppm) (%)
20% 0.023  Indicated 310,051 0.035 0.101 0.089 0.063
     Inferred 291,979 0.025 0.127 0.055 0.059
10% 0.026  Indicated 269,507 0.037 0.106 0.097 0.066
     Inferred 243,305 0.025 0.134 0.059 0.062
     Base 0.028  Indicated 229,474 0.039 0.111 0.104 0.069
     Case    Inferred 193,888 0.026 0.146 0.063 0.066
-10% 0.032  Indicated 181,374 0.042 0.118 0.116 0.074
     Inferred 141,595 0.027 0.162 0.065 0.071
-20% 0.036  Indicated 141,848 0.045 0.126 0.125 0.079
     Inferred 105,675 0.028 0.179 0.068 0.077

Molybdenum equivalent (MoEq) grades are calculated using the following formula:

MoEq (%) = Mo(%) + 1.35*(Cu (%)*2.3 / (Mo(%)*12.65-1.14)) The formula assumes a selling cost of US$1.14/lb for Mo and metallurgical recoveries of 84% for Cu and 62% for Mo.

Although Rhenium was not considered in the pit optimization AMEC suggests that project economics will be improved if rhenium (Re) can be shown to be extracted as a saleable product and included in future resource estimates.

The metal prices used for the financial analysis 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:

Financial Analysis Summary (Million$US)

  Price (US$/lb) Cu = 2.0 Cu = 2.0 Cu 2.8 Cu= 3.0
    Mo= 11.5 Mo= 14 Mo = 15.5 Mo = 20.0
    Base case      
  CNCF 69.1 396.4 1,081.4 1,788
  NPV @ 5% -256.5 -117.2 200.7 505.2
  NPV @ 8% -306.4 -201.7 39.7 267.7

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

While the base case economics ($2.0/lb Cu & $11.50/lb Mo) produces a positive Cumulative Net Cash Flow (CNCF) of US$69.1 million, the significant economic value of this deposit is clearly demonstrated when using values closer to present commodity market prices of $2.80/lb Cu & $15.5/lb Mo, which generates a CNCF of US $1.08 Billion.

AMEC's assessment indicates that the deposit is potentially mineable and recommends various ways to continue moving the project forward and improving its economics.

The PA's economic evaluation also shows the Cumulative Net Cash Flow (CNCF) for the project is highly sensitive to copper grades and previous drill results in the adjacent Sulfato South copper mineralized zone (not included in the current resource) indicates that with a minimal infill drill program a significantly higher grade copper resource can be achieved adding further value to the project. It is the company's intention to add this additional value before partnering or selling the project in the future.

George Sookochoff, President & CEO of PBX, states, "With the delivery of AMEC's Preliminary Assessment Report the company has achieved a significant milestone in moving the Copaquire Copper Moly project towards production. The PA recognizes that even though the project has considerable value at today's commodity 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 Sulfato copper porphyry."

"The PA now shows the Copaquire as having the potential to stand on its own as a mining operation with a projected mine life of 24 years and this is achieved with utilizing material from only 15% (surface area) of the entire Sulfato copper mineralized zone. As we make plans for our 2010 drill program in the Sulfato copper mineralized zone we are already responding to enquiries from a number of mining related companies who now recognize the potential of the Copaquire project to become a copper- molybdenum mine."

AMEC QUALIFIED PERSONS:
AMEC's Qualified Persons responsible for the preparation of this Report includes:

Aldo Vasquez, MAusIMM, Senior Geologist, Rodrigo Marinho, CPG, Principal Geologist; Gregory Wortman, PEO, Technical Director, Process for AMEC Mining and Metals; Francisco Labbé, Senior Mining Engineer; Emmanuel Henry, Principal Geostatistician, CP AusIMM, Consulting Group Manager for AMEC.

The AMEC's personnel that provided input and review include: Tony Maycock, Project Director; Juan Carlos Molina, Principal Engineer and Project Manager; Greg Gosson, Technical Director (Peer Review); Graham Wood, Technical Director (Peer Review) and Kirk Hanson, Principal Engineer (Peer Review). Additional professional support was provided by Albert Chong, Senior Geologist; Francisco Castillo, Mining Engineer and Manuel Aros, Mining Engineer.

PBX QUALIFIED PERSON:

Victor Jaramillo M.Sc.A., P.Geo. a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101 has reviewed and approved the technical disclosure in this news release.

ABOUT COPAQUIRE:

The property hosts a large porphyry copper-molybdenum system located in the productive Chilean porphyry belt (Domeyko fault system) of northern Chile that includes 30 porphyry Cu-Mo deposits and prospects with the largest copper concentration in the world. Nearby mines include Teck Resources Quebrada Blanca mine (9km SE), (1 billion tonnes at 0.6% oxide copper and 1 billion tonnes of 0.5% sulphide copper with 0.02% Molybdenum) and Xstrata/Anglo American's Collahuasi mine (15km E) (mineable reserve; 5.2 billion tonnes at 0.8% copper and 0.02% molybdenum).

The area of immediate interest is the Sulfato copper mineralized zone 1.5 by 3 kilometres in size. The south end (Cerro Moly) contains a higher grade molybdenum-copper bulk tonnage porphyry deposit (area of the PA). The top 200 metres of this area (exposed as a hill) (Sulfato South) is more copper rich and somewhat lower in molybdenum. Sulfato North is part of the same system but about 1/2 km farther north and about 200 metres higher topographically. This is the more copper rich level of the system which has been converted from primary copper to secondary (leachable) copper by groundwater action. "With most Chilean porphyry systems the richest copper ores commonly underlie partially leached, oxidized rocks forming irregular blankets containing supergene copper sulphides". "The Geology of Chile" Published by The Geological Society of London.

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

"George Sookochoff"

George Sookochoff, President & CEO

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. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that the conclusions reached in the Preliminary Assessment will be realized.

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.

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)
    Website: www.internationalpbx.com