The Mineral Park Mine is a open pit copper mine with an estimated 20 year life* (as at June 2013), is currently producing copper, molybdenum and silver in concentrates and cathode copper by solvent extraction/electrotwinning ("SX/EW") leach extraction. Through a two-phase expansion program, Mercator completed at the end of the third quarter 2011 the Phase II expansion to 50,000 tons per day of throughput capacity.
The Mineral Park operation provides investors with exposure to a cash flowing operation and near term exposure to increased copper, molybdenum and silver production at one of the largest molybdenum/copper milling operations in North America. Mineral Park is the flagship cornerstone operation for Mercator.
The Mineral Park Mine is an open pit copper-molybdenum mine located in northwestern Arizona, approximately 120 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Investment highlights of Mineral Park include:
- The project is fully permitted;
- 20 year remaining life of mine* (as at June 2013)
- Measured and Indicated ("M&I") Resources of 2.0 billion lbs of copper, 670 million lbs of molybdenum and 75 million ounces of silver (at a CuEq cut off of 0.136%)*;
- Short ore and waste hauls; the milling facility is in the center of the pit;
- Low life-of-mine strip ratio of 0.28 to 1 *
- High metallurgical recoveries (82% for copper and 80% for molybdenum)*;
- Mercator has a highly experienced operating team at Mineral Park.
Mineral Park Mine presentation - February 2013
Click here to view PDF (5.4MB)
2011 in Review
Since 2010, the Company has completed construction, commissioning and commenced commercial production operation of the Phase 1, Phase 1.5, and Phase 2 mill expansions at Mineral Park which were designed to increase mill capacity from 25,000 tpd to 50,000 tpd. This included the completion and commissioning of the Phase 2 expansion of the mine and plant processing facilities in September of 2011 which was the final step to increasing ore throughput to 50,000 tpd. The Phase 2 expansion included a SAG mill, two ball mills, 11 additional roughers, five wells and waterline, and second primary crushing line. This has resulted in a substantial increase in copper and molybdenum production and unit cost of sales are anticipated to decrease on a going forward basis as operations are optimized. Also, in August of 2011, the Company finished installation and placed in service the natural gas turbine at Mineral Park, which currently is presently supplying the majority of power to the mine operations, up to 40 megawatts. The Company expects the turbine to assist in further reducing operating costs at Mineral Park.
2012 in Review
At the start of the year we launched a safety program called "Safe Production" which recognizes the importance of safety as a value by creating a culture in which safety prospers. We realize a safe operation is a productive operation. This has resulted in zero lost time accidents for 400 consecutive days (as at year-end) with over 1 million man-hours worked. At the beginning of April 2012, we also launched a program of non-capital initiatives to optimize operations and reduce costs at Mineral Park. Our goal is to bring best-in-class processes to help us optimize all aspects of our operations. These initiatives resulted in record production during the year with over 87 million pounds of copper equivalent (using a moly/copper factor of 4.53) produced. This included 40.9m lbs of copper, 10.3m lbs of molybdenum and 677,500 oz of silver produced. Mineral Park also achieved better than design rates of metal recoveries. For the last three quarters of the year, copper recoveries were above design rates of 80% and above design rates for molybdenum of 75%. Also, during the year, the Company continued to better understand the mine's complex ore body which has optimized the mill's Phase II expansion.
Plans for 2013
During 2013, we plan on continuing to improve and build upon the foundation of "Safe Operations" launched in 2012. Our focus will be to continue to optimize operations, by increasing throughput rates and thereby increasing metal production and lowering units costs. Goals for 2013 are to produce 93 million pounds of copper equivalent (using a moly/copper factor of 4.65) which consists 41.5 million pounds of copper, 11.0 million pounds of molybdenum and 620,000 ounces of silver. Cash costs** of production (co-product accounting basis) are expected to be $2.50 per pound for copper and $9.45 per pound for molybdenum in 2013.
* Metal Prices used for calculation of M&I resources is based on 3-year trailing averages of $3.66/lb Cu and $13.65/lb Mo (refer to 2013 technical report).
** Non-IFRS performance measurement, refer to latest MD&A for definition.
The Mineral Park Mine has a long history of copper production. The Duval Corporation commenced production at Mineral Park in 1963 as a 12,000 ton per day ("tpd") mill and concentrate operation. Mineral Park was acquired by Cyprus Mining Company in 1986 and was converted to an SX-EW operation in 1995. Equatorial Mining of Australia purchased Mineral Park in 1997. In 1998 Equatorial increased the SX-EW capacity to 6000 gpm. Mercator purchased Mineral Park from Equatorial in 2003.
Mineral Park produces copper, molybdenum and silver in concentrates and cathode copper by SX/EW leach extraction, and currently has an estimated 20 year mine life based on the Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves. Mineral Park has a significant measured and indicated resource base which is not currently included in the mine plan, which may extend the mine life. Further, the deposit is open at depth.
Mercator commissioned and received a preliminary feasibility study in September 2006, which was subsequently updated in December 2006, supporting the two phase expansion at Mineral Park with the construction of a 50,000 tpd milling operation.
In 2007, the Company commenced construction of the 50,000 tpd mill facility at Mineral Park as a two phase expansion, the first phase at 25,000 tpd and the second phase to 50,000 tpd. During the second quarter of 2009, the Company completed the commissioning of and attained commercial production of the first phase of the 25,000 tpd mill. Phase II of the expansion, increasing to 50,000 tpd was completed in the third quarter 2011.
As a result of constructing the milling operation, Mineral Park is producing copper, molybdenum and silver concentrates in addition to the existing SX-EW copper production.
The following table summarizes Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves by destination (as at June 1, 2013):
Footnotes to the Mineral Park Reserves table:
|Mineral Resource Class
||Tons of ore (millions)
||Average Copper %
||Average Molybdenum %
||Average Silver (oz per ton)
||Copper (million pounds)
||Molybdenum (million pounds)
||Silver (million ounces)
|Proven - Mill
|Probable -- Mill
|Proven -- Leach
1/Mineral reserves calculated in accordance with CIM Guidelines
2/Metal Prices used for calculation of reserves were $2.60/lb Cu, $9.95/lb Mo, and $3.51/oz Ag
3/ Metallurgical recoveries are 82% for Cu, 80% for Mo, and 50% for leach Cu
4/ Cut-off grades used were variable, but based on breakeven cut-offs of 0.21% CuEquiv
5/As calculated under the supervison of Qualified Person, Gary Simmerman, FAUSIMM, consultant to the company.
NI 43-101 Technical Report
Mineral Park Mine
Mohave County, Arizona
August 12, 2013
Click here to view PDF (14MB)
Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Guide
Click here to view PDF (44KB)
Click to view photo gallery
Gary Simmerman, BSc, Mining Eng. FAusIMM, consultant to the Company, a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 supervised the preparation of and verified and approved the technical information contained on this website in respect of the Mineral Park Mine.