The Ann Mason Project is an advanced, large-scale, PEA-stage copper-molybdenum project located in Nevada, one of the world’s best mining jurisdictions.
The Ann Mason Project hosts two known mineral deposits: Ann Mason, which is the 4th largest copper porphyry resource in Canada/U.S.A, and Blue Hill, which is predominantly an oxide-copper deposit overlying deeper sulphide mineralization.
The project is located in west-central Nevada, approximately 75 kilometres southeast of Reno and 7 kilometres west of the town of Yerington. The project is easily accessible from Reno by highway and it is a 20 minute drive from Yerington. The nearest access to the rail network is located 17 kilometres north of Yerington. The area boasts strong community support for the project, excellent infrastructure and with other explorers in the region, potential for district consolidation.
Several other under-explored copper oxide and sulphide targets are located throughout the project area, including the Ann Mason-Blue Hill IP trend, Blackjack IP, Blackjack Oxide, Roulette, Minnesota and Shamrock.
The project area is defined by the mineral rights to 1,658 unpatented lode claims on public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management, and title to 33 patented lode claims. The project covers approximately 12,735 hectares (31,468 acres). A portion of the unpatented claims peripheral to the Ann Mason and Blue Hill deposits are under: (1) a lease with option to purchase agreement (226 claims); and (2) an option agreement with EMX Royalty Corporation (formerly Eurasian Minerals Inc.) (216 claims; Mason earning 80%). Seventeen of the patented lode claims (outside of the current Ann Mason and Blue Hill mineralization) are subject to a 2% net smelter returns (“NSR”) royalty granted to a third party. In addition, 235 of the unpatented lode claims, including the claims covering the Ann Mason and Blue Hill deposits, are subject to a 0.4% NSR royalty. Mason also has an option to purchase 21 unpatented placer claims within the project boundaries.
The results of an updated Preliminary Economic Assessment (“2017 PEA”) on the Ann Mason deposit were released on March 10, 2017. Highlights include:
- Mine: Open pit, truck and shovel
- Mill: Conventional sulphide flotation, with a mill throughput of 120,000 tonnes per day
- Mine life: 21 years (with potential for another 15+ years)
- Life-of-mine production:
- Copper: 5.1 billion pounds (or an average of 241 million pounds per year)
- Molybdenum: 46 million pounds
- Gold: 400,000 oz.
- Silver: 8.8 million oz.
- Strong metallurgy
- 30% clean copper concentrate
- 92% copper recovery
Approximately 95% of the mineralization constrained within the ultimate PEA pit (“Phase 5”) is classified as either Measured or Indicated resources with the remaining 5% classified as Inferred resources, limiting the amount of drilling required to take the deposit to a Pre-Feasibility level. The 2017 PEA also includes results of a detailed metallurgical program, completed by SGS in 2016, designed to better characterize the metallurgical processes and recoveries in the 2017 PEA and to support a future Pre-Feasibility study.
The 2017 PEA is preliminary in nature and includes Inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the 2017 PEA will be realized. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
A first mineral resource estimate for the Blue Hill deposit was completed in October 2012 and reviewed in 2017. The resource estimate was prepared as a first step in determining if Blue Hill could serve to generate early cash flow for the Ann Mason Project, should the Ann Mason deposit advance to production. The near surface oxide and mixed mineralization at Blue Hill is acid-soluble and amenable to low-cost heap leach and solvent extraction/electrowinning (“SX/EW”) processing. Preliminary column leach test work shows the average recoveries (at a ¾ inch crush) for the oxide mineralization is 86%, while the mixed mineralization has 83% recovery. The Blue Hill deposit was not included in the 2017 PEA economics.
The Ann Mason and Blue Hill deposits remain open in several directions.
Robert Cinits, P.Geo., Mason’s COO, approved the scientific and technical information about the Ann Mason Project on this website. For more information on the 2017 PEA, see the technical report titled “2017 Updated Preliminary Economic Assessment on the Ann Mason Project, Nevada, U.S.A.” with an effective date of March 3, 2017, prepared by AGP Mining Consultants Inc. and Amec Foster Wheeler Americas Limited. A copy of the 2017 PEA is available on the Company’s website here and on SEDAR.
The results of the 2017 PEA constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. While these forward-looking statements are based on expectations about future events as at the effective date of the 2017 PEA, the statements are not a guarantee of the Company’s future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties, factors and assumptions include, without limitation, future metal prices; that the size, grade and continuity of deposits and production and mineral resource estimates have been interpreted correctly from exploration results; smelter terms; labour rates; consumable costs; royalties and taxation; and equipment pricing. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.