Cañariaco Norte Copper project
Candente Copper has now resumed feasibility studies on the Cañariaco Norte copper project. A Pre-Feasibility Study is slated for completion in Q4 2010, with a final Feasibility Study expected approximately 6 months thereafter.
"We are extremely pleased to resume the development program for the Cañariaco Norte copper project. It is a compelling, large scale copper project in a country with a well established mining industry that we believe will be one of the next generation of Peruvian copper mines," said Sean Waller, P.Eng., President of Candente Copper. "Completion of the Pre-Feasibility and Feasibility Studies will be major milestones in this development of Cañariaco Norte."
The selection process for an internationally recognized engineering firm to complete the Pre-Feasibility Study on Cañariaco Norte is underway, with contract award anticipated by mid-April 2010.
A geotechnical drilling program in the Cañariaco Norte pit area is planned to commence in the second quarter of 2010 following the end of the rainy season. This program will provide the geotechnical data required to complete the pre-feasibility level design of the Cañariaco Norte pit. It is anticipated that the additional data will permit optimization of the pit wall slopes with the potential to improve the open pit mine plan grade, particularly during the early years of production.
The feasibility level metallurgical test work will resume shortly at SGS Lakefield Research in Santiago, Chile. This test work will determine the projected metal recoveries and other metallurgical parameters required to finalize the Cañariaco Norte process flow sheet. When SRK completed the Preliminary Economic Assessment in 2008 the feasibility level metallurgical test work was already more than 50% complete.
As part of the metallurgical assessment program, Candente Copper recently contracted CESL Limited, a subsidiary of Teck Resources Limited, to assess the applicability of their hydrometallurgical technology to treat the Cañariaco Norte copper concentrate and produce LME grade A copper cathode on-site. This technology has the potential to significantly improve the Cañariaco Norte copper project.
The Cañariaco Norte Pre-Feasibility Study will also evaluate the potential impact of a proposed new deep water port at Eten, Peru, 130 kms from Cañariaco Norte. Use of this proposed port has the potential to reduce transportation costs substantially (~C$170 million) over the life of the Cañariaco Norte mine when compared to the SRK 2008 Preliminary Economic Assessment report, which modelled trucking copper concentrate 420 kms to the operating port of Salaverry, Peru.
In addition, AMEC (Peru) S.A. has now resumed the Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) on the Cañariaco Norte copper project area.
Cañariaco Sur & Quebrada Verde Copper Projects
Evaluation drilling on the Cañariaco Sur copper porphyry, 1.5 kms SW of the centre of the Cañariaco Norte copper deposit, is also planned to commence in May 2010. Exploration to define drill targets on the Quebrada Verde zone 1.5 kms further to the southwest is also planned for 2010.
Two discovery holes drilled into the Cañariaco Sur target in 2008 intersected extensive sections of copper mineralization, including 83 metres grading 0.55% copper equivalent within a larger 176 metre intersection grading 0.48% copper equivalent. These holes, when combined with highly anomalous soil geochemistry and geophysics indicate that Cañariaco Norte, Cañariaco Sur and Quebrada Verde together comprise an extensive copper-gold porphyry complex covering a minimum length of five kilometres and an average width of two kilometres.
"The discovery of a second porphyry copper deposit and the excellent potential for the discovery of a third in such close proximity to the Cañariaco Norte copper deposit could significantly add to the scope and economics of the Cañariaco project development through shared infrastructure and facilities." states Mr. Waller. "A significant amount of our exploration effort will be focussed on the evaluation of these targets."
Other Copper Exploration Targets
Candente Copper holds a number of earlier stage copper and base metal properties in Peru. Evaluation, prioritization and drill target selection on these properties has also begun and exploration drilling is planned for select targets in 2010.
About Candente Copper
Candente Copper's flagship project is the 100% owned, 7.7 billion pound feasibility stage Cañariaco Norte copper project located in northern Peru's prolific mining district. The Cañariaco Norte deposit contains 102 million tonnes in a high grade, near-surface resource shell at 0.61% copper equivalent, 622 million tonnes of Measured and Indicated resource grading 0.52% copper equivalent, and 128 million tonnes of Inferred Resource at 0.47% copper equivalent*.
A positive Preliminary Economic Assessment was completed on the Cañariaco Norte copper project in late 2008, which shows robust economics at both current and consensus long term copper prices. Since this report was published, a number of factors have been identified which have the potential to significantly improve the project's economics.
Sean Waller, P.Eng., President and Joanne C. Freeze, P.Geo., CEO, are the Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101 for the projects discussed above. They have reviewed and approved the contents of this release. All resources quoted in this release are based on a 0.30% copper cut-off grade and 72,189 metres drilled in 249 holes since 2004. *All copper equivalent grades quoted in this release are based on US$1.90 per pound copper, US$600 per troy ounce gold, US$10 per troy ounce silver, and 100% metal recoveries.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. Candente relies upon litigation protection for forward-looking statements.
CAUTIONARY NOTE TO U.S. INVESTORS
We advise U.S. investors that this news release uses terms that are not recognized by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including "mineral resources", "measured resources", "indicated resources" and "inferred resources". The estimation of measured and indicated resources involves greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic feasibility than the estimation of proven and probable reserves. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that mineral resources in these categories will be converted to reserves. The estimation of inferred resources involves far greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic viability than the estimation of other categories of resources. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that estimates of inferred mineral resources exist, are economically mineable, or will be upgraded into measured or indicated mineral resources. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that mineral resources in any of these categories will be converted into reserves.
On behalf of the Board of Candente Copper Corp.
"Sean Waller" P.Eng.
President & Director
For further information please contact:
Manager, Investor Relations
mobile: +1 (604) 306-8477
local: + 1 (604) 689-1957 ext 3
toll free: 1 (877) 689-1964 ext 3