Mr. J.J. Jennex reports
EXCELSIOR MINING COMPLETES CONSTRUCTION AND STARTS WET COMMISSIONING
Excelsior Mining Corp. has provided a construction update ahead of the commencement of mining operations at the Gunnison copper project in southern Arizona. Excelsior remains on schedule for first copper cathode production in Q4 2019.
All significant construction related to well-field operations is now complete. Wet commissioning is currently being conducted, whereby downhole pumps are being turned on and water is being transported from the various ponds by the pipeline corridor to test operational readiness. Excelsior is now awaiting regulatory approval for commencement of mining operations, which it expects to receive within the next several weeks.
Stephen Twyerould, the president and chief executive officer, said: "I would like to congratulate and thank the entire Excelsior team for their tremendous effort that puts us on the cusp of production. We look forward to commencing operations and ramping up to low-cost copper production, while at the same time protecting the environment and going home safe each day."
Construction began in December, 2018 (see Excelsior news release dated Dec. 4, 2018), and has culminated with the successful completion of the following milestones:
- Well-field drilling: A total of 41 production wells and 16 compliance wells have been completed along with the associated infrastructure such as pumps, piping and header skids.
- Power upgrades: A new transmission line has been installed and power upgrades at the Johnson camp mine have been completed; these upgrades will improve overall energy efficiency.
- Pipeline corridor: A two-mile pipeline now connects the well field to the production facilities; this construction element included the installation of a pipeline bridge and conduit under the I-10 freeway.
- Holding ponds: A total of seven ponds consisting of raffinate, evaporation, pregnant leach solution, utility and drain down are now ready for operations.
- Acid storage: Three new acid storage tanks have been completed, along with new acid-handling facilities.
- Operational readiness: All key positions deemed essential to the commencement of mining operations are in place and ready to execute Excelsior's transition to producer status.
Minor construction items remain to be completed in the solvent extraction-electrowinning plant which are not required to commence well-field operations. These items will be completed by the end of the year to allow for copper production.
About Excelsior Mining Corp.
Excelsior is a mineral exploration and development company that is advancing the Gunnison copper project in Cochise county, Arizona. The project is an advanced-staged, low-cost, environmentally friendly in situ recovery copper extraction project that is fully permitted to 125 million pounds per year of copper cathode production. The feasibility study projected an after-tax net present value of $807-million (U.S.) and an internal rate of return of 40 per cent using a $2.75 (U.S.) per pound copper price and a 7.5-per-cent discount rate.
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