Curis Resources Announces Preliminary Copper Recovery Results at Florence Copper

VANCOUVER, Feb. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Curis Resources Ltd. (TSX: CUV) ("Curis" or the "Company") announces preliminary results for laboratory test work performed on metallurgical samples obtained from the summer 2011 drilling program at the Florence Copper property in Arizona.

Metallurgical testing to confirm and improve on historical copper recovery estimates began in June 2011 at Metcon Research ("Metcon") of Tucson, Arizona.  Bottle roll testing has been completed on 16 initial samples from the 2011 drilling; the results compare favorably to work completed by BHP Copper ("BHP") in the mid 1990s, as summarized in Curis' September 2010 Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA").  Results for the bottle roll tests as well as the four completed laboratory scale in-situ copper recovery (ISR) tests are summarized below.  The remaining 12 In-Situ Recovery ("ISR") tests are on-going with completion expected in Q2 of 2012.

"We are very pleased with the preliminary results from our extensive metallurgical test program which is being overseen by Dr. Terry McNulty. of T. P. McNulty and Associates, Inc. and Dr. Dave Dixon of the University of British Columbia," stated Dan Johnson, Curis' VP Environment and Technical Services. "The results of these tests indicate that there are significant opportunities to improve on historical estimates of copper recovery at Florence Copper and, ultimately, the overall positive economics of this project."

Bottle Roll Test Overview

Curis delivered sections of core from four drill holes to Metcon.  These holes were part of a larger six-hole program drilled in summer 2011 as described in news releases dated August 16 and October 13, 2011.  Sections of the core were then selected to make up 16 samples, four samples from each of the four drill holes.  Total copper contained in head samples analyzed by Metcon ranged from 0.19 percent to 0.77 percent, with an average of 0.42 percent copper.  Samples were also submitted for mineralogical characterization at Montana Tech of the University of Montana in Butte, Montana, which confirmed chrysocolla as the dominant copper mineral, consistent with the PEA results. However, other non-sulfide copper species are also present.

A total of 16 bottle roll tests were each run for 72 hours while maintaining constant acid concentrations.  On average, the acid-soluble copper ("AS Cu") head grades represented 68 percent of the total copper present, versus the 67 percent assumed in the 6-year recovery model used for the PEA.  At the nominal concentration of 10 grams/liter (g/l) sulfuric acid for extraction testing purposes, the average AS Cu extraction was 90 percent versus the 86 percent extraction that was assumed in the PEA and in BHP's prefeasibility study.

In-Situ Recovery Overview

The goal of the on-going ISR test program is to represent a mineralized block cross-section, and simulate in-situ treatment of the Florence Copper mineralized resource by allowing recovery solutions to flow horizontally through intact pieces of drill core using a specially designed laboratory apparatus.  Historical in-situ laboratory simulations relied on columns that simulated vertical flow rather than horizontal flow and also did not keep the core intact without the use of stabilizing agents.  The current program is believed to be much more representative of actual in ground conditions expected at Florence.

"I believe that the ISR simulation protocol that has been developed by Curis and Metcon staff is the most realistic approach that has been taken to resolving this difficult technical challenge", stated Terry McNulty, TP McNulty and Associates.  "The tests have proceeded smoothly and I feel very positive about the physical conditions of the leached core, the leaching kinetics, and the percentage of copper that dissolved during the leaching."

ISR test results are given in Table 1. A graph of recovery over time is posted in the news release on the Company's website at www.curisresources.com.  To date, four of 16 ISR tests have been completed with copper extraction ranging from 45 percent to 81 percent as compared to a recovery of 49 percent reported in the PEA.  Of these, the tests run using 5 g/l sulfuric acid solution averaged 46 percent copper recovery while the tests run at 10 g/l sulfuric acid averaged 71 percent copper recovery.

Table 1: ISR Laboratory Test Results
Test
No.
Feed
Sulfuric
Acid (g/l)
Leach
Cycle
(Days)
Rinse
Cycle
(Days)
Calculated
Head Assay
(%Cu)
Cumulative 
Extraction
(%Cu)
Box 1 5 152 43 0.46 47.47
Box 3 10 152 43 0.58 81.32
Box 5 5 158 38 1.22 44.76
Box 7 10 154 42 0.52 59.91

A report on the metallurgical test program that includes additional details and photographs is also posted with the release on the website at www.curisresources.com.

The metallurgical test program is being supervised by Dr. Terry McNulty, P.E., of T. P. McNulty and Associates, Inc. of Tucson, Arizona who is a Qualified Person as defined by NI43-101 and has reviewed this disclosure.

About Curis

Curis Resources Ltd. is a mineral development company associated with Hunter Dickinson Inc., a diversified global mining company with a 25-year history of mineral development success. Curis is focused on the acquisition, development and operation of high-quality next-generation copper properties in progressive jurisdictions around the world. It is currently focused on advancing its 100% owned Florence Project in Arizona USA to production.

For more information about Florence Copper and its projected economic impacts and benefits to the local community, please go to www.florencecopper.com.

For more project-level information, sign up to receive News and Updates from the Florence Copper project.

For further details on the Company, please visit www.curisresources.com or contact Susie Bell, Manager of Investor Relations, at (604) 684-6365 or within North America at 1-800-667-2114.

Michael McPhie
President & CEO

No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved of the information contained in this news release.

This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments that the company expects are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include fluctuations in market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, continuity of mineralization, uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary environmental, land use and other permits, approvals, licenses and title on a timely basis and delays due to third party opposition, changes in government policies regarding mining and natural resource exploration and exploitation, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For more information on the Company, investors should review the Company's continuous disclosure filings that are available at www.sedar.com

 

SOURCE Curis Resources Ltd.

For further information:

Susie Bell
Manager, Investor Relations
Tel:  604-684-6365
Email:  Susiebell@hdimining.com

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Curis Resources Ltd.

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