bcMetals Corporation

bcMetals Corporation

May 30, 2006 09:00 ET

bcMetals Corporation: New Red Chris Drill Program to Measure Potential for Doubling Production

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - May 30, 2006) - bcMetals Corporation (TSX VENTURE:C) will undertake a $1.5 million exploration program this summer designed to increase the amount of Measured and Indicated Resources on its Red Chris property. The increase could support doubling the mine's planned production rate from 50,000 tonnes per year (tpy) of copper in concentrates to 100,000 tpy.

The 7,000 to 10,000-metre diamond drilling program will focus on the Far West and Gully Zones, which lie to the southwest of the East and Main Zones, the target of the currently designed open pit. The Far West and Gully Zones have a defined Inferred Resource of 116 million tonnes ("Mt") at 0.32% copper and 0.29 grams per tonne (gpt) gold, at a 0.20% copper cut-off, as derived from 16,432 metres of diamond drilling in 51 holes. The object of the new drilling program is to improve the confidence level of this estimate from "Inferred" to "Measured and Indicated" as a basis for preparing a feasibility study, and to potentially expand the size of the reserve. At least one hole will be drilled in the East Zone to test extensions at depth that could represent a future underground target due to the East Zone's high grade.

The current Red Chris development plan, which forms the basis for its proposed US$110 million debt financing package with Investec Bank (UK) Limited, calls for the open pit mining of 277.8 Mt of Proven and Probable Reserves from its East and Main Zones at average grades of 0.32% copper and 0.27 gpt gold with a life-of-mine stripping ratio of 1.1:1.0 (see Red Chris 43-101 Technical Report at www.sedar.com or www.bcmetalscorp.com).

An in-house scoping level study based on the Proven and Probable Reserves of the East and Main Zones, Main and East Zone Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources outside current pit limits, and the Inferred Resource of the Far West and Gully Zones has indicated that Red Chris could operate for at least 16 years at double its currently planned production rate, assuming that expansion starts in Year 3 of the current development plan.

Main and East Zone Resources outside the current ultimate pit at a 0.20% copper cut-off, are as follows:

Measured and Indicated: 215.6 Mt at 0.34% copper and 0.30 gpt gold
Inferred: 270.8 Mt at 0.30% copper and 0.27 gpt gold

Red Chris resources remain open to the West and at depth.

Red Chris Project

Red Chris is Canada's newest planned copper-gold porphyry mine and will be the first in British Columbia in 10 years. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2006 and production is currently scheduled for mid-2008. Proven and Probable Reserves consist of 1.85 billion pounds of copper and 1.2 million ounces of gold, both contained in concentrates. Average annual production for the first five years of operation is 110 million pounds of copper and 75,000 ounces of gold, both contained in concentrate. Agreements in principle are in place for the sale of the first five years of concentrate production.

Last week the Company issued Letters of Intent to award contracts to two Tahltan companies, Dena Cho Industries Ltd. and Tahltan Tercon Limited Partnership, to undertake logging and construction of the project access road, respectively.

Ian Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer

This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to bcMetals' future plans and objectives with respect to the development of the Red Chris Property and with respect to any new joint venture arrangements. Forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions and are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties inherent in bcMetals' business, including risks inherent in resource exploration and development. There can be no assurance that a new joint venture will be formed or that the Red Chris Property will be placed into production and actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements.

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

Contact Information

  • bcMetals Corporation
    Ian Smith
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (604) 683-0140
    (604) 683-0126 (FAX)