Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Northisle Copper and Gold’s New Gold Resource May Enhance Economics of Vancouver Island Project

Northisle Copper and Gold (TSXV: NCX) has disclosed its initial resource estimate for the Northwest Expo deposit at its North Island project in British Columbia, revealing results that surpass expectations and hint at promising development prospects.


According to Northisle, the Northwest Expo deposit boasts 40.3 million indicated tonnes, with a grade of 0.1% copper and 0.7 grams of gold per tonne, translating to 100 million pounds of copper and 871,000 ounces of gold. Additionally, the deposit encompasses 30.6 million inferred tonnes, graded at 0.1% copper and 0.6 grams of gold per tonne, equating to 62.8 million pounds of copper and 558,000 ounces of gold.


Sam Lee, President and CEO of Northisle, expressed enthusiasm over the results, stating, “Today’s new resource estimate at Northwest Expo has exceeded our expectations of defining a 40-to-50-million-tonne resource within the gold enriched Zone 1. This sets a strong basis for the rapid advancement of a potential high margin, near surface deposit.”

Following this announcement, Northisle’s shares surged by more than 11% to C$0.44 apiece in Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, with the company’s market valuation reaching C$99.2 million. Notably, share prices have fluctuated between C$0.12 and C$0.49 over the past 52 weeks.

The company is currently engaged in crafting a prefeasibility study for the North Island project, contemplating a phased approach with reduced capital expenditures compared to the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) estimate of C$1.4 billion in 2021. Situated near BHP’s former Island copper mine in Vancouver Island’s northern region, the project hosts approximately 8 million ounces of gold in resources.

The entire project encompasses 567.7 million indicated tonnes, with a grade of 0.2% copper, 0.3 gram gold per tonne, and 0.007% molybdenum, amounting to 2.4 billion pounds of copper, 4.9 million ounces of gold, and 88.2 million pounds of molybdenum. Additionally, it features 447.9 million inferred tonnes, graded at 0.2% copper, 0.2 gram gold, and 0.006% molybdenum, accounting for 1.4 billion pounds of copper, 3 million ounces of gold, and 54.9 million pounds of molybdenum.

Northisle’s strategic development plan prioritizes the higher-grade zones within the Northwest Expo, Red Dog, and Hushamu targets. The company anticipates completing the study by July, laying the groundwork for advanced economic and technical evaluations.

Furthermore, Northisle plans to conduct drilling activities post-March to expand the indicated resource and explore additional areas south of Zone 1 in Northwest Expo and at the West Goodspeed discovery.

The Northwest Expo target demonstrates promising net smelter revenue values, with C$55 per tonne for the indicated resource and C$67 per tonne for a higher-grade zone, surpassing the net smelter value projected in the project’s PEA.

With an after-tax net present value of C$1.1 billion and a 19% internal rate of return, North Island holds considerable potential, supported by assumptions of metal prices including $3.25 per pound copper, $1,650 per ounce gold, and $10 per pound molybdenum.

Spanning a 340-square-kilometer property extending 50 kilometers northwest from the defunct Island copper mine, the project occupies a historically significant mining region. BHP operated the Island copper mine from 1971 to 1995, extracting copper, molybdenum concentrates, as well as gold, silver, and rhenium as by-products.


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