Preliminary Economic Assessment Completed for San Javier Copper Project, Mexico



    TSX: CCU

    DENVER, CO, Dec. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Constellation Copper Corporation (the
"Company") (CCU:TSX) is pleased to report the positive results from an
independently prepared Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") or scoping
study of its San Javier Copper Project that has recently been completed by
Independent Mining Consultants ("IMC") of Tucson, Arizona. Also participating
in the preparation of the PEA is KD Engineering ("KD") of Tucson and Golder
Associates ("Golder") of Denver, Colorado. The San Javier Project is located
about two hours drive east from Hermosillo, Sonora and is immediately adjacent
to Mexican Highway 16, the major highway between Hermosillo and Chihuahua
City.
    The PEA evaluates the potential of the 100% Company owned or controlled
San Javier Project to be a significant producer of LME Grade A copper cathode
using conventional mining, leaching and recovery methods. The PEA estimates
the capital and operating costs for an integrated facility in which
copper-bearing material is mined primarily from an open pit on the main Cerro
Verde deposit, crushed to a nominal -12 mm (-1/2 inch) size and then placed
via conveyors onto a conventional heap leach pad. The material will be leached
using dilute sulfuric acid with the resulting copper-bearing solutions being
passed through a solvent extraction and electrowinning plant to recover the
copper as saleable cathodes.
    The PEA concludes that the Project is both technically and economically
feasible and recommends that the Project be advanced towards a Feasibility
Study.
    The resource base used in the PEA was updated from an earlier estimate
prepared by SRK Consulting and published in a technical report filed on SEDAR
in June 2007, to incorporate data from some 89 core holes totaling
12,083 meters that were drilled in 2007 but which were not included in the
earlier resource estimate. This updated resource was prepared by the Company
and reviewed and validated by IMC. The PEA uses a base case resource of
89.5 million tonnes grading 0.34 percent copper mineable at an overall strip
ratio of 0.83/1.0 waste/ore and which contains an estimated 671 million pounds
of copper. About 37 percent of this resource has been classified as Indicated,
with the remainder classified as Inferred. In accordance with the nature of
this PEA none of the current mineral resources can be classified as mineral
reserves and hence do not have demonstrated economic viability. A processing
rate of 30,000 tonnes per day of ore is specified in the PEA which indicates a
base case mine life of about nine years and an average copper production rate
of 49.3 million pounds per year over the first five years of production at an
average operating cost of $1.14 per pound of copper produced. Estimated
initial capital required is $238.9 million which includes all mining equipment
and $39.2 million in contingency.
    The following table summarizes the base case economic parameters and
results using an assumed copper price of $2.50 per pound and also examines the
sensitivity of variations in capital costs, operating costs and other copper
prices. All results refer to fourth quarter 2007 U.S. dollars and are on a
pre-tax basis.

    
    Sensitivity Analysis of Economic Model
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         Value
                                         ($ or     NPV 8%      IRR   Payback
    Sensitivity Parameter               $000's)  ($000's)       (%)   (years)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Copper Price +20%                     3.00   205,933      26.0       3.0
    Copper Price +10%                     2.75   142,867      21.0       3.4
    Copper Price Base Case                2.50    79,802      15.7       3.9
    Copper Price -10%                     2.25    16,736       9.7       4.7
    Copper Price -20%                     2.00   -46,330       8.0       8.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    LOM Operating Cost +20%            569,228    17,797       9.8       4.7
    LOM Operating Cost +10%            521,792    48,799      12.8       4.2
    LOM Operating Cost Base Case       474,357    79,802      15.7       3.9
    LOM Operating Cost -10%            426,921   110,804      18.3       3.6
    LOM Operating Cost -20%            379,485   141,806      20.9       3.4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Initial Capital Cost +20%          286,698    31,635      10.6       4.6
    Initial Capital Cost +10%          262,807    55,718      13.0       4.3
    Initial Capital Cost Base Case     238,915    79,802      15.7       3.9
    Initial Capital Cost -10%          215,024   103,885      18.8       3.6
    Initial Capital Cost -20%          191,132   127,968      22.5       3.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    Using an 8% discount rate and with the base case assumptions, the Project
has an NPV of $79.8 million, an IRR of 15.7% , a payback period of 3.9 years
and an undiscounted cumulative net cash flow of $227.9 million. An 18 month
construction and preproduction period is anticipated. The Project is
particularly sensitive to capital cost and economics improve markedly if the
capital cost is reduced and/or additional mineral resource can be defined and
the mine life extended. The current mineral resource does not include any
contribution from the Mesa Grande area of the Project which the Company
believes has the potential to extend the base case mine life by several years.
    The company has proposed an 18 month work program to advance the Project
through a Feasibility Study, estimated to cost some $7.1 million including the
remaining land payments required to own 100% of the mineral rights.

    This press release was prepared by Gary A. Parkison, Vice President of
Exploration and Development for the Company and a Qualified Person as defined
by NI 43-101. It is anticipated that the complete PEA will be filed on SEDAR
within two weeks.

    This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. In
certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of
words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or
variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions,
events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur"
or "be achieved". Forward-looking statements involve 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 statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related
to changes in commodity and power prices, changes in interest and currency
exchange rates, inaccurate geological and metallurgical assumptions (including
with respect to the size, grade and recoverability of mineral reserves and
resources), unanticipated operational difficulties (including failure of
plant, equipment or processes to operate in accordance with specifications,
cost escalation, unavailability of materials and equipment, delays in the
receipt of government approvals, industrial disturbances or other job action,
and unanticipated events related to health, safety and environmental matters),
political risk, social unrest, and changes in general economic conditions or
conditions in the financial markets. 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 statements, there
may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from
those anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that
forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and
future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such
statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on
forward-looking statements
    %SEDAR: 00002465E




For further information:

For further information: Constellation Copper Corporation: Patrick M.
James, Chairman & CEO; Michelle Hebert, Manager-Corporate Affairs; (720)
228-0055, Toll Free: 1-877-370-5400, Fax: (303) 863-1736,
info@constellationcopper.com, www.constellationcopper.com; Renmark Financial
Communications Inc.: Neil Murray-Lyon: nmurraylyon@renmarkfinancial.com;
Barbara Komorowski: bkomorowski@renmarkfinancial.com; Media - Vanessa Napoli:
vnapoli@renmarkfinancial.com; (514) 939-3989, Fax: (514) 939-3717,
www.renmarkfinancial.com

Organization Profile

Constellation Copper Corporation

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890