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American CuMo Mining Corporation (TSXV:MLY,OTCPINK:MLYCF) is a resource exploration and development company focused on establishing itself as a low-cost, top-tier molybdenum producer. American CuMo is advancing its wholly-owned CuMo Project towards feasibility. The deposit, located near Boise, Idaho, has the potential to become one of the world’s largest and lowest-cost primary molybdenum mines. Significant copper and silver production will also aid in significant reductions to overall operating costs.
The project is ranked as one of the top 25 silver deposits in the world and hosts a large, easily recoverable copper resource estimated at 8 billion pounds. American CuMo is managed by a professional team with decades of industry experience in mine management, development and optimization.
- Potential lowest-cost primary producer in the world – able to compete directly with by-product producers
- Largest un-mined molybdenum deposit with significant copper and silver credits
- Ranked as one of the top 25 silver deposits in the world with 386 million ounces of silver
- Large scale, low-cost profile and multi-metal profile make for sustainable operations during times of low metals prices
- Experienced, successful management team and Board of Directors complete with expertise in all areas of mining including operations, finance and environmental sustainability
- Located in politically stable, mining-friendly Idaho in a historic mining jurisdiction that includes world-renowned Thompson Creek molybdenum mine
- Only 60% of the Deposit has been drilled to date
- Advancing towards a Bankable Feasibility Study
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CuMo Project – Boise County, Idaho
The CuMo Project is located 37 miles northeast of Boise, Idaho at the southwestern end of the Idaho-Montana Porphyry Belt. The CuMo Project is 100-percent owned by American CuMo. The property consists of 345 contiguous mining lode claims covering an area of approximately 7,100 acres located on the historic gold placer-mined Grimes Creek. The CuMo deposit is classified as a porphyry molybdenum-copper deposit (molybdenum greater than 0.04% and copper being economically significant).
The vast size of the CuMo deposit gives the project the large economies of scale, equivalent to or exceeding that of high-grade molybdenum deposits such as Henderson or Climax. The deposit also hosts other potentially economic metals including silver, tungsten, rhenium and gallium.
An independent NI 43-101 preliminary economic analysis, prepared in 2009 by consulting firm Ausenco, concludes that the CuMo Project has the potential to become the world’s largest and lowest-cost primary molybdenum producer.
The region, which includes the world-renowned Thompson Creek molybdenum mine, hosts excellent infrastructure including major road and rail network access, electric power and water. Exploration and mining can be conducted year-round, due to the established road and its proximity to infrastructures. The area is serviced by the Idaho Power Company and the nearest rail line is the Idaho Northern & Pacific line that runs through the town of Banks, approximately 32 kilometres (20 miles) by road to the west of the property. Equipment, supplies and services for exploration and mining development projects are available at Boise. There is also a trained mining-industrial workforce available in Boise.
Based on the data compiled from the 2005 – 2012 drill campaigns, a Measured, Indicated and Inferred resource estimate for the project was determined in the November 2015 independent NI 43-101 Technical Report (see table below).
The current estimated mineral resource indicates an annual production rate of 90 million pounds to 100 million pounds molybdenum oxide and 60 million pounds to 67 million pounds molybdenum metal over a mine life of 40 years. Annual production rates for copper and silver are estimated at 70 million pounds to 80 million pounds and 2.5 million ounces to 3.5 million oucnes respectively.
The updated resource estimate significantly expanded the overall mineral resource and further confirmed that CuMo is the largest un-mined, open-pit accessible primary molybdenum project with significant copper and silver resources. Metallurgical test work indicates excellent recoveries (+90 percent MoS2). The CuMo Project ranks as one of the top 25 silver deposits in the world and contains a large, easily recoverable 8 billion pounds of copper resources. The large copper and silver resources are likely to expand and increase as additional mineralized zones are developed.
The diversity of metals found at CuMo occurs in two distinct layers: the upper half of the CuMo deposit contains higher grades of silver and copper compared to molybdenum while the lower half is rich in molybdenum, with lower grades of silver and copper. The total recoverable value of both layers is what gives the CuMo Project such excellent economic potential. The copper value alone is expected to contribute from 25 percent to 30 percent of revenues, helping to reduce overall operations costs.
The significant reduction in operating costs and potential for steady revenues can make the CuMo Project profitable under most economic conditions. Estimated production costs are less than $4 per pound molybdenum or $0.51 per pound copper equivalent.
American CuMo initiated a 15,000 foot diamond drilling program in May 2012 to further explore the project. To date, sixty percent of the deposit has been drilled and assays show the deposit boasts excellent grade continuity. The drilling program was completed in October 2012 for a total of 4,713 meters in nine holes. All holes intersected molybdenum-bearing mineralization with some holes ending prematurely in higher grade areas.
In keeping with the company’s commitment to sustainable natural resource development, American CuMo has engaged an inter-agency task force to fully address any environmental concerns. The CuMo Project sits near the head of Grimes Creek, a tributary of the Boise River. The project area lacks any endangered species or plant life and is not located in a wilderness or pristine area, but a heavily disturbed and mildly contaminated area of historic mining and logging. Logging and mining activity over the past 100 years has contaminated the creek, according to the Idaho State Department of Environmental Quality.
North American project development is governed by three levels of increasingly stringent analyses to evaluate the environmental impacts of proposed projects.
The CuMo Project and exploration team completed the Lower Level analysis Categorical Exclusion (CE) in 2011 and have received the necessary Middle Level Environmental Assessment (EA) permits to proceed with advanced exploration and site analysis. CuMoCo continues to gather the required scientific information to bring the project to the highest level Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and to make informed, responsible and intelligent decisions.
In October 2015, the U.S. Forest Service issued the final Supplemental Decision Notice (DN) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the CuMo project. The issuance of the DN/FONSI allows exploration and development work to continue on the CuMo Project.
Receiving environmental approval is a huge milestone for American CuMo, allowing the company to advance the project towards a bankable feasibility study. “We are excited to return to complete the important exploration work that is needed to advance the Project to the next phase,” commented Shaun Dykes, President and CEO of American CuMo. The company is currently in talks with potential financing partners for funding.
Work focused on optimizing the CuMo deposit in preparation for the feasibility study has already begun using industry-leading ore-sorting technology. Preliminary results show that the deposit is amenable to upgrading and support its potential as a large-scale, low cost producer of molybdenum, copper and silver.
The long-term outlook for molybdenum is strong with pricing expected to remain stable over the next decade. Moly has many industrial uses, but its primary demand comes from the steel industry where it is used as an alloy in the manufacturing of stronger, lighter and less corrosive steel for use in pipelines, nuclear power plants, oil rigs, pollution control equipment and aircraft components.
Demand for moly is expected to outstrip supply as the current low pricing environment has curbed production of the metal as a by-product, its main source of production. As a large primary molybdenum mine, the CuMo Project holds the distinction of remaining low-cost and sustainable even during low metal price cycles.
“With demand for molybdenum forecast to increase by 100 million pounds by 2019, the CuMo Project with its billions of pounds of low-cost molybdenum has assets in a class by itself,” said Dykes.
Shaun Dykes M.Sc. (Eng.), P.Geo – President and Chief Executive Officer
Shaun Dykes was the company’s Exploration Manager from 1995 until 2011, during which tenure he played a key and leading role in the acquisition and development of the CuMo Project. Techniques developed combined with over 35 years of practical experience in the management, exploration and analysis of mineral properties, at varying stages of development from grass roots to pre-development, have been directly involved or responsible for the discovery of several mineral deposits, five of which have been placed into commercial production.
Dykes spent 15 years working as a project geologist with Westmin Resources Ltd. He has managed a wide variety of projects with budgets ranging from $50,000 to $5,000,000 including Big Missouri, Stewart, B.C., from initial stages of exploration to pre-production. He was responsible for the outlining and discovery of the Premier open pit deposit and worked directly as a team member in the development and subsequent production of the Stewart properties.
Dykes founded Geologic Systems in 1994 to supply geological expertise to the mining and exploration community. Clients included Cominco (now Teck Resources), Rio Algom,EchoBay, Billington, Placer Dome and Redfern Resources. He has been involved in the evaluation, exploration and/or development of some of the world’s major mineral deposits including: CuMo, Voisey’s Bay, Cariboo Gold, Petaquilla,Dunka Road (now Northmet), Red Chris, Tulsequah, Pine Point (extension), Wernecke, HW and Myra Falls and Premier.
Dr. John Moeller – Chairman of the Board
Dr. John Moeller is a Principal of Forsgren Associates, a civil and environmental engineering firm, with offices across the western U.S. He has taken the lead in representing the company before state, local, and federal agency officials and the public about the CuMo Project’s exploration. He was the point person to track, expedite and respond to the project’s highly visible and contentious environmental assessment. His team has identified nearly 100 permits, approvals, exemptions and consultations that may be required before a mine could go into production.
Dr. Moeller managed water quality and hazardous materials programs during a nine-year tenure at Idaho DEQ and has maintained and grown extensive relationships across a wide spectrum of state and federal agency staff and managers. Early in his career, he co-founded a state and federal inter agency task force to permit a $400 million open pit molybdenum mine in the headwaters of Idaho’s Salmon River.
Dr. Moeller earned his PhD in Water Quality/Limnology from Idaho State University, his Master of Science in Zoology/Water Quality from the University of Kentucky, and his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, also from the University of Kentucky. For the past ten years, he has been an adjunct graduate faculty member at Boise State University, teaching water quality management. He was awarded an EPA Bronze Medal for his efforts associated with hazardous waste capacity assurance and development of pollution prevention programs. He served on the board of directors for the Idaho Conservation league.
Trevor Burns—Chief Financial Officer and Director
Trevor Burns has over 25 years of diversified experience in the financial markets. He is the founder and President of Tiger Capital, a venture capital/investor relations firm with offices in Toronto, Singapore, and Beijing that manages a diverse and privately-held investment portfolio and provides a full range of Investor Relations and Corporate Finance services for publicly-traded companies. In late 2012, he was appointed Vice-President Public Relations for American CuMo Mining and in 2014 was appointed CFO.
Joseph Baird – Director
Joseph Baird is a partner in the Boise, Idaho law firm of Baird Hanson Williams LLP, which has permitted more mining projects in Idaho than any other law firm. Mr. Baird provides environmental and mining counsel to a wide variety of New York Stock Exchange, Toronto Stock Exchange and venture capital mineral companies, including base and precious metal production companies, industrial mineral producers, exploration programs and mineral land management companies.
Baird practiced mining and environmental law in Colorado for seven years, where he was Associate General Attorney with Union Pacific Resources Company and an attorney with the Holland & Hart law firm. He clerked for Exxon Minerals Company, USA in 1980 and the American Mining Congress in 1979. He has also worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.
Baird has served in several officer positions and as a trustee for the Northwest Mining Association, the largest mining organization in the United States with extensive contacts within the mining industry and state and federal governments, and which continues to lobby for the mining industry in the United States. His professional memberships also include the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (formerly as a Trustee at Large) and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. He is a member of the Colorado and Idaho State Bars. He graduated from the University of the Virginia School of Law in 1981. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colgate University in 1976, with majors in Geology and Political Science.
Thomas Conway holds a B.Sc Mining Engineering (University of Minnesota) and attended Harvard Business School’s Executive MBA program. He is a results-oriented executive with 20 years of diverse experience largely with Newmont Mining Corporation in operations, general management, environmental affairs and risk management, including serving as Newmont’s Vice President of Risk Management. His operational experience at Newmont covered domestic and international assignments in open pit and underground operations where he has a record of enhancing operations through improved cost control and productivity innovations, while maintaining safety and environmental standards.
Conway served as Vice President/General Manager Carlin Operations for Newmont where he was responsible for a 2 million ounce per year operation with 1,600 salaried and hourly employees; and Vice President/General Manager Minera Yanacocha where, under his guidance, Yanacocha expanded annual gold production from 300,000 ounces to 1.2 million ounces in 3 years. Conway also served as assistant General Manager at Yanacocha where he was responsible for the startup – ahead of schedule and under budget – of two metallurgical plants and three open pit mines.
Conway has a strong understanding of the permitting process through time served as Manager, Environmental Affairs Carlin Operations, where he was responsible for compliance and permitting, and negotiations with the US EPA and the State of Nevada regulators. Since February 1, 2011, he has served as President and CEO of I-Minerals Inc., a TSX Venture Exchange listed company developing two unique industrial mineral deposits in Idaho, USA.