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:: Sherwood Reports Phase 2 Mill Expansion at Minto Copper-Gold Mine Completed Ahead of Schedule
Sherwood Copper Corporation ha announced that it has completed the Phase 2 mill expansion, from 1,563 tonnes per day to 2,400 tonnes per day, at its high grade Minto copper-gold mine (“Minto Mine”) ahead of schedule. Commissioning of the mill expansion is in progress and will continue into January, resulting in significant copper-gold production in 2008 and beyond.
The Minto Mine is a high-grade open pit copper-gold deposit located in the Yukon Territory of Canada. Sherwood acquired the Minto Project in June 2005 and, in just two years from its acquisition, completed a bankable feasibility study, arranged project financing, and built a $100 million open pit copper-gold mine. Commercial production commenced on October 1, 2007. In parallel with these development activities, Sherwood has been running an exceptionally successful exploration program that has resulted in multiple discoveries of high grade copper-gold mineralization across its Minto Mine property. Sherwood plans to continue this “growth from within” strategy along with further operational optimizations in its relentless pursuit of value.
As announced August 28, 2006, the detailed feasibility study set out a phased expansion of the process plant at the Minto Mine, with Phase 1 commissioning at a throughput rate of 1,563 tonnes per day followed by an expansion to accommodate increased throughput to 2,400 tpd approximately one year after operations commenced. On April 11, 2007, Sherwood announced its intent to accelerate the expansion of the Phase 2 mill expansion, targeting completion by the end of 2007. On May 31, 2007, Sherwood announced that Phase 1 was essentially complete, ahead of schedule. Commercial production was declared effective October 1, 2007. The Phase 2 mill expansion was completed on December 15, 2007, more than two weeks ahead of the accelerated schedule announced in April, and began processing ore that day. Commissioning of Phase 2 will continue through January 2008, with the principal focus being on ensuring sufficient capacity to handle the filtration of tailings and copper concentrates, since the current crushing, grinding and flotation capacity was sized up during the Phase 2 expansion to accommodate up to the 3,500 tonne per day capacity targeted in a Phase 3 expansion.
The pre-feasibility study, the results of which were announced December 12, 2007, lays out the basis for a Phase 3 mill expansion, to 3,500 tonnes per day of throughput, and incorporates a significant portion of the Area 2 resources, resulting in a more than 40% increase in copper and gold production versus the detailed feasibility study. Exploration subsequent to the resource estimates used in the pre-feasibility study suggests additional potential beyond that laid out in the pre-feasibility study.
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