Copper production in 2011 was 42.8 million pounds, a decrease of 2.68 million pounds from 2010. The lower grade and recovery were expected as the 2011 mine plan included a significant portion of mill feed from low grade stockpiles, while the pushback of the Main Zone Extension pit (MZX) was being completed. In 2012 the majority of mill feed will be from low grade stockpiles, and copper production is estimated to be approximately 33.0 million pounds.
|Huckleberry Production||Planned 2012*(1)||2011||2010|
In January 2012 the Main Zone Optimization (MZO) plan was approved by Huckleberry's board of directors, thus extending the mine life from 2014 to 2021. The MZO plan is estimated to have a net present value of $150 million, at a discount rate of 8% based on US$3.40/lb copper for 2012, and a price of US$3.14/lb copper from 2013 to 2021 with the US/Cdn exchange rate at par.
The MZO plan is based on the development of a Proven/Probable Mineral Reserve (beneath original Main zone pit) of 39.7 million tonnes grading 0.343% copper. The strip ratio for the MZO plan, including the MZX, is 1.46 to 1.0.
With the implementation of the MZO plan, production from 2011 to 2021 is estimated to be 424 million pounds copper, with copper production averaging 43.2 million pounds per year from 2011 to 2019. Production in 2020 and 2021 is reduced as low grade stockpiles are milled.
Exploration in 2011 included a ground geophysics (Titan 24) survey consisting of four lines, each averaging 2.5 km. The lines extended from the eastern portions of the mining claim to the west, encompassing an area that includes the mined out Main Zone pit and a portion of the MZO pit. Exploration also included 3,695 metres of diamond drilling designed to test the Titan 24 targets and to investigate a possible extension of the MZO pit into the old NAG (non acid generating) quarry. Drilling in the old NAG quarry yielded interesting near surface results. While the grades are low, this mineralization starts near the surface and mining in this area could generate NAG waste which would be used, rather than quarried rock, for construction of the new tailings facility. Drilling in the NAG quarry area and other areas in the vicinity of the Main Zone pit will continue into 2012 as part of Huckleberry's 2012 exploration initiative.
The Huckleberry mine is located 123 km southwest of Houston, British Columbia. The property consists of a mining lease covering 1,912 hectares, and 38 mineral claims encompassing ~16,594 hectares. Huckleberry Mines Ltd. also has an interest in three mineral claims covering 3,059 hectares on a property eight km north of the Huckleberry mine known as Whiting Creek.
For additional information, refer to the Company's Quarter Reports, or Annual Information Form, or the technical report:
- Huckleberry Mine - Technical Report on the Main Zone Optimization NEW