Excelsior Mining Corp.

Excelsior Mining Corp.

February 18, 2014 12:05 ET

Excelsior Files Prefeasibility Study for Gunnison

PHOENIX, ARIZONA--(Marketwired - Feb. 18, 2014) - Excelsior Mining Corp. (TSX VENTURE:MIN)(FRANKFURT:3XS)(OTCQX:EXMGF) ("Excelsior" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has filed a National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 Technical Report dated February 18, 2014 on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Report is with respect to Excelsior's Prefeasibility Study ("PFS") on the Gunnison Copper Project in southern Arizona; the results of which were originally announced in a January 17, 2014 news release. The final results of the PFS are presented below in this news release. Some of the final results differ from the results set out in the January 17, 2014 press release, but the variance is less than 1% unless otherwise noted below. Results of the PFS disclosed in this news release are in USD and pre-tax (except where otherwise indicated).

Prefeasibility Study Results

Highlights of the North Star Gunnison Copper Project PFS "Acid Plant" option include:

  • Pre-tax Net Present Value ("NPV") of $1.24 billion (after-tax $0.824 billion) at a 7.5% discount rate (using a copper price of $2.75/lb);
  • Pre-tax Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") of 59.7% (after-tax 44.7%);
  • Pre-tax payback period of 1.8 years (after-tax 2.4 years);
  • Initial estimated capital cost (excluding sustaining capital) of $284.84 million;
  • Average life-of-mine operating costs of US$0.69 per pound;
  • Other costs of $0.13 per pound, including Royalties of $0.029 per pound;
  • Annual production rate of 110 million pounds of copper for the first 14 years, then declining for a 20 year mine life, with a total of 1.682 billion pounds of copper produced over the life of the mine.

Financial Analysis

As highlighted in the tables below, the PFS demonstrates robust project economics in both the "Acid Plant" and "Non-Acid Plant" scenarios, with the Acid Plant option adding an additional $173.8 million to the project pre-tax NPV. Based on an initial annual production rate of 110 million pounds, the PFS indicates that including an Acid Plant as a component of the project, generates a pre-tax NPV of $1.24 billion, at a cash flow discount rate of 7.5%. The pre-tax IRR for this option is 59.7% with a payback period of 1.8 years. On an after-tax basis, the PFS shows an NPV7.5 of $824.17 million, IRR of 44.7% and a payback period of 2.4 years.

Without an Acid Plant, the project still has a significant pre-tax NPV7.5 of $1.06 billion and an IRR of 61.3%, (after-tax NPV7.5 of $720.4 million and an IRR of 46.1%). The after-tax analysis is based on a number of assumptions which will be fully set out in the Report. The level of accuracy of the PFS is considered to be +/-20%.

Both scenarios used the following parameters over the 20 year life of the project:

  • copper selling price of $2.75 per pound,
  • total copper recovery of approximately 47% (based on a combination of metallurgical recovery and sweep efficiency),
  • average of 8.14 pounds of acid consumed for every pound of copper produced,
  • acid price of $45.47/ton for the Acid Plant option and $125/ton for the Non-Acid Plant option,
  • state tax rate of 6.97%, and
  • a federal tax rate of 35%.
PRE-TAX Acid Plant Non-Acid Plant
IRR 59.7% 61.4%
Payback (years) 1.8 1.5
NPV (million $)
Discount Rate
0% 2,368.4 1,956.0
5% 1,522.7 1,293.0
7.5% 1,236.8 1,063.0
10% 1,012.5 880.0
AFTER-TAX Acid Plant Non-Acid Plant
IRR 44.7 % 46.1 %
Payback (years) 2.4 2.0
NPV (million $)
Discount Rate
0% 1,616.1 1,354.9
5% 1,025.8 885.5
7.5% 824.2 720.4
10% 665.2 588.2

Total initial capital expenditures for the "Acid Plant" option (including contingency) are estimated at $284.84 million. Sustaining capital, which includes the acid plant built in year three, water treatment facilities and production wellfield are estimated at $598.8million. Net closure costs are estimated at $52.65 million1. For the "Non-Acid Plant" option, total initial capital expenditures (including contingency) are estimated at $284.84 million. Sustaining capital, which includes the water treatment facilities and production wellfield are estimated at $525.2 million. Net closure costs are estimated at $45.2 million2.

The PFS assumes a copper selling price of $2.75/lb. Average life-of-mine operating direct cash costs are estimated at $0.69/lb for the "Acid Plant" option and $0.98/lb for the "Non-Acid Plant" option.

Acid Plant Non-Acid Plant
Copper Cathode sold (MMlb) 1,682 1,682
Copper Price ($/lb) 2.75 2.75
Gross Revenue (million $) 4,625.9 4,625.9
Operating Costs (million $) Cost/lb (million $) Cost/lb
Production (Wellfield) 447.8 0.27 935.5 0.56
SXEW 360.83 0.21 372.84 0.22
Water Treatment Plant 199.7 0.12 199.7 0.12
G&A 147.3 0.09 147.3 0.09
Direct Operating Cash Costs 1,155.6 0.69 1,655.2 0.98
Royalties 48.3 0.03 48.3 0.03
Other Production Expenses 169.95 0.10 156.46 0.09
Initial Capital Costs (million $) Cost/lb (million $) Cost/lb
Production (Wellfield) 75.3 0.04 75.3 0.04
SXEW + Infrastructure 186.3 0.11 186.3 0.11
Owners Costs 23.2 0.01 23.2 0.01
Sub-total Initial Capital Costs 284.8 0.17 284.8 0.17
Sustaining Capital Costs (million $) Cost/lb (million $) Cost/lb
Production (Wellfield) 440.7 0.26 440.7 0.26
Plant + Infrastructure 158.17 0.10 84.68 0.05
Sub-total Sustaining Capital Costs 598.8 0.36 525.2 0.31
Taxes 752.3 0.45 601.1 0.36

Noted Variances:

118.3% Increase 26.9% Increase 31.4% Increase 41.4% Increase
55% Increase 61.9% Increase 72.5% Increase 84.5% Increase

Project Summary

The Gunnison Copper Project is located in a remote section of Cochise County about 65 miles east of Tucson, Arizona in the Johnson Camp Mining District. The property is within the copper porphyry belt of Arizona.

Technical Report and Qualified Person

The PFS Report was prepared under the supervision of Conrad Huss, P.E. of M3 Engineering & Technology Corporation, Tucson, Arizona, who is a qualified person that is independent of the Company. The Report also received contributions from the following additional qualified persons, who are also independent of the Company:

  • Dr. Ronald J. Roman of Leach, Inc., Tucson, Arizona (metallurgy and leaching recovery).
  • Peter Lenton, P.E. of Haley & Aldrich, Phoenix, Arizona (hydrology, extraction methods, production schedule).
  • Thomas L. Drielick, P.E. of M3 Engineering & Technology Corporation, Tucson, Arizona (SX-EW treatment and related facilities).
  • Mr. Herb Welhener, MMSA-QPM, of IMC of Tucson, Arizona (geology, mineral resource and reserve).

Each of the qualified persons has reviewed and approved the technical information contained in this news release that is relevant to his area of responsibility and verified the data underlying such technical information.

Engagement of Investor Relations Consultant

Excelsior also announces that Liolios Group, Inc. ("Liolios") has been engaged to support the Company's investor relations activities.

Terms of Engagement

During the term of the agreement with Liolios, Liolios will collaborate with Company management on a non-exclusive basis to provide services which will include, but not be limited to, the development, implementation and maintenance of an on-going stock market support system aimed at increasing investor awareness of the Company's activities and to stimulate investor awareness in the Company. Liolios will disseminate public information about the Company to key investment professionals and private parties, and as well to Liolios's existing database of business associates and investment professionals in both the United States of America and Canada. In addition to the ongoing communication and introduction of the company to key members of the financial brokerage and investment community, they will conduct periodic conference calls, identify investor conferences which may be of interest to the Company, and arrange group or individual meetings with portfolio managers, analysts, stockbrokers, and other investment professionals.

As compensation for the services provided under the agreement, the Company agrees to pay fees of up to US$8,000 per month to Liolios, and the Company has sufficient cash in its treasury to pay the fees for Liolios services. The agreement with Liolios shall be automatically renewed on a month to month basis unless either party provides thirty days' notice of termination to the other party. The Liolios' engagement is subject to acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange.

Liolios is independent of the Company, does not hold any securities of the Company and does not have any direct or indirect interest in the Company. Liolios and it principals do not engage in market making activities and the firm will restrict its services to public relations and investor relations consulting. Liolios will provide its services from its offices located in Newport Beach, New York and Toronto.

About Liolios Group

Liolios Group is a highly selective and comprehensive investor relations firm specializing in micro to mid-cap companies. The firm aims to deliver superior performance in corporate messaging and positioning, investor awareness, analyst and financial press coverage and capital attraction. Founded in 1999 by J. Scott Liolios, Liolios Group executives have extensive experience in financial and investments and represent clients in a wide range of industries, including life sciences/healthcare, consumer/internet retail, business services, digital, media/software, clean technology, technology, natural resources and special situations. For more information about Liolios Group, visit www.liolios.com.

About Excelsior

Excelsior is a mineral exploration and development company that is advancing the Gunnison Copper Project. The Excelsior management team consists of experienced professionals with proven track records of advancing mining projects into production.

Further information about the Gunnison Copper Project can be found in the technical report filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com entitled: "Gunnison Copper Project, NI 43-101 Technical Report, Prefeasibility Study" dated February 14, 2014.

For more information on Excelsior, please visit our website at www.excelsiormining.com.


"Stephen Twyerould"
President & CEO

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains "forward-looking information" concerning anticipated developments and events that may occur in the future. Forward looking information contained in this news release includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to: (i) the estimation of mineral resources and mineral reserves; (ii) the robust economics, potential returns associated with the Gunnison Project, (iii) the technical viability of the Gunnison Project; (iv) the market and future price of copper; (v) expected infrastructure requirements; (vi) the results of the PFS including statements about future production, future operating and capital costs, the projected IRR, NPV, payback period, construction timelines, permit timelines and production timelines for the Gunnison Project, (vii) expected acid consumption rates; and (viii) the ability to mine the Gunnison Project using in-situ recovery mining techniques.

In certain cases, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on certain factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, the estimation of mineral resources and mineral reserves, the realization of resource and reserve estimates, copper and other metal prices, the timing and amount of future exploration and development expenditures, the estimation of initial and sustaining capital requirements, the estimation of labour and operating costs, the availability of necessary financing and materials to continue to explore and develop the Gunnison Project in the short and long-term, the progress of exploration and development activities, the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals, the completion of the permitting process, the estimation of insurance coverage, and assumptions with respect to currency fluctuations, environmental risks, title disputes or claims, and other similar matters. While the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect.

Forward looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such factors include risks inherent in the exploration and development of mineral deposits, including risks relating to changes in project parameters as plans continue to be redefined including the possibility that mining operations may not commence at the Gunnison Project, risks relating to variations in mineral resources and reserves, grade or recovery rates resulting from current exploration and development activities, risks relating to the ability to access infrastructure, risks relating to changes in copper and other commodity prices and the worldwide demand for and supply of copper and related products, risks related to increased competition in the market for copper and related products and in the mining industry generally, risks related to current global financial conditions, uncertainties inherent in the estimation of mineral resources, access and supply risks, reliance on key personnel, operational risks inherent in the conduct of mining activities, including the risk of accidents, labour disputes, increases in capital and operating costs and the risk of delays or increased costs that might be encountered during the development process, regulatory risks, including risks relating to the acquisition of the necessary licenses and permits, financing, capitalization and liquidity risks, including the risk that the financing necessary to fund the exploration and development activities at the Gunnison Project may not be available on satisfactory terms, or at all, risks related to disputes concerning property titles and interest, environmental risks and the additional risks identified in the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's reports and filings with applicable Canadian securities regulators.

Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The forward-looking information is made as of the date of this news release. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information.

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, and no securities regulatory authority has either approved or disapproved of the contents of this release.

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