Mar. 31, 2011 (Canada NewsWire Group) --
VANCOUVER, March 31 /CNW/ - Copper Fox Metals Inc. ("Copper Fox" or the "Company") (TSXV: CUU) announces its operating and financial results for first quarter of 2011. The Company is working toward completing an Environmental Assessment Application, an updated National Instrument 43-101 compliant Resource Estimate and completion of a Feasibility Study of the Schaft Creek Mineral Deposit. Copper Fox incurred a net loss for the first quarter of $358,211 ($0.00 loss per share) and incurred $3,055,491 in expenditures toward furthering the development of the Schaft Creek project. Copies of the financial statements, notes and related management discussion and analysis may be obtained on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, the Company web site at www.copperfoxmetals.com or by contacting the Company directly. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated.
TSX Venture 50®
On February 15, 2011 Copper Fox was honored by receiving recognition as being the top performing company in its sector and also the top performing company of all the listed companies on the TSX Venture Exchange. The TSX Venture 50® are the top 10 companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, in each of five major industry sectors - mining, oil & gas, technology & life sciences, diversified industries and clean technology - based on a ranking formula with equal weighting given to return on investment, market cap growth, trading volume and analyst coverage. All data was as of December 31, 2010.
Subsequent to the quarter end, Copper Fox completed two separate transactions that resulted in the acquisition of very significant and strategically located mineral properties (three mineral claims totaling 2,978 Hectares) located immediately north of the Schaft Creek deposit.
The significant technical aspects of the recent acquisitions are:
a) A zone that measures 1,100m long by 300m wide and contains widespread copper mineralization (bornite and chalcopyrite) in argillic and propylitic altered volcanic. The 32 samples (historical and current surface grab and chip sampling) collected from within this zone averaged 0.87% copper and 0.31 g/t gold, and;
b) A second zone measuring 1,700m long by 250m wide containing widespread copper mineralization (bornite and chalcopyrite) hosted in argillic and propylitic altered volcanic. A total of 17 (grab and chip) samples were collected from this zone in 2008 that averaged 1.24% copper, 16 g/t silver and 0.07 g/t gold.
The consideration paid for both transactions was $600,000 cash and 1,250,000 common shares of Copper Fox. A 2% NSR royalty applies to each transaction subject to a Partial NSR Buyout Option which allows the re-purchase at any time of one-half of the NSR royalty from each of the vendors for a cash payment of $1.5 million for each transaction.
These mineral claims are located within the Area of Interest (essentially an "Area of Mutual Interest") set out in the Teck Resources Limited (Teck) option agreement, accordingly participation in these claims will be offered and included in the joint venture should one be negotiated with Teck (see About Copper Fox below).
Copper Fox also acquired 1.47% of the issued and outstanding shares of Liard Copper Mines Ltd. ("Liard"), a private company incorporated in BC from Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Dunn for a cash payment of $269,540 and 245,000 common shares of Copper Fox. Liard holds a 30% Net Profits Interest (NPI) in the Schaft Creek project.
During the quarter ended January 31, 2011 the Company received $3,915,600 (net of costs) in proceeds from a private placement and the exercise of warrants and options and incurred an additional $3,055,491 of capital expenditures related to the Schaft Creek project. In March 2011, the Company completed a private placement for total proceeds of $3,750,000 and acquired two very significant mineral properties and purchased shares of Liard Copper Mines Limited.
The information set out below has been previously released by way of news releases made by Copper Fox over the past few months.
- The 2010 diamond drilling confirmed the presence of a large higher-grade zone of copper-gold-molybdenum-silver mineralization that is open to the north, east and at depth;
- Two large zones of copper mineralization that exhibit many similarities to the higher-grade mineralization located in 2010 in the north end of the Schaft Creek deposit have been added to the Schaft Creek project;
- The resource estimation has been temporarily delayed until the end of April 2011. Copper Fox is working with AMEC to resolve database issues identified during the data verification process.
- Copper Fox received a Section 11 Order approving the Application Information Requirement (AIR - formerly the Terms of Reference) for the cooperative environmental assessment being conducted pursuant to both the British Columbia's Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
The balance of the work to be completed on the Feasibility Study requires the Updated Resource Estimate and accompanying Block Model. On receipt of this work, Wardrop, a TETRA Tech Company, the main contractor for the Feasibility Study, can commence work on the Reserve Estimation, Mine Plan and Pit Optimization Studies. All engineering deliverables (except for the mining and civil site) were completed during the first quarter of 2011. Finalization of the haul road and water diversion ditches will resume after the Mine Plan and Pit Optimization Studies are completed. Capital costs estimates are expected to be completed toward the end of the Feasibility Study.
Work on the Feasibility Study by Knight Piésold Ltd. (Geotechnical consultant) slowed considerably during the quarter pending receipt of the Resource Estimate. Knight Piésold requires the Mine Plan and Pit Optimization Studies to complete their portions of the Feasibility Study.
Discussion with the owners of the bulk concentrate handing facilities at the Port of Stewart, British Columbia were held to secure facilities for the shipping of bulk concentrate for smelting and refining.
The intersection of higher-grade mineralization at the north end of the Schaft Creek deposit in September 2010 provided Copper Fox the possibility of not only increasing the size of the deposit but also the possibility of increasing the overall average grade, a very important feature in improving the economics of a porphyry copper deposit. In order to include the drilling results from the higher-grade zone in the resource estimate, work on the resource estimation was temporarily delayed until all of the analytical results from the 2010 drilling and re-sampling programs were available. AMEC Americas Limited ("AMEC") received the updated database at the end of February 2011 and resumed work on the Resource Estimation.
The majority of the data (generated by Asarco, Hecla, Teck) for the Schaft Creek deposit was collected between 1960 and 1985. The verification of historical data is challenging, especially in deposits with a considerable amount of historical data.
A geo-statistical analysis by AMEC showed that the correlations for copper-gold-and molybdenum analysis between the various companies that worked at Schaft Creek are acceptable and can be used in the resource estimation whereas the correlation for silver is low and unacceptable for resource estimation purposes. The analysis of the core over the past 60 years (including 2010) shows a significant concentration of silver occurs with the copper-gold-molybdenum mineralization in the Schaft Creek deposit. Initially, it was thought that the issue related to the silver could be resolved to allow inclusion of the silver in the resource estimate, however, this turned out not to be the case. The poor correlation for silver is most likely due the variation in analytical methods and detection limits used over the exploration history of the property. Notably processing of the mineralization at Schaft Creek would result in a significant portion of the silver reporting to the copper concentrate as a by-product credit.
Environmental Assessment Application
On February 7, 2011, Copper Fox received a Section 11 Order approving the Application Information Requirement (AIR - formerly the Terms of Reference) for the cooperative environmental assessment being conducted pursuant to both the British Columbia's Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Preparation of the Environmental Assessment Application and the collection of additional environmental data continued during the quarter.
The Company's primary objective and main focus is to have AMEC complete the Resource Estimate. Wardrop, Knight Piésold and Stantec require the Resource Estimate in order to complete the outstanding portions of the Feasibility Study and the Environmental Assessment Application.
Field activities for the next quarter include environmental studies and a high sensitivity airborne magnetic survey to identify areas of porphyry style copper-gold-molybdenum-silver mineralization. A Titan-24 geophysical system has been retained for a period of one month to complete additional ground geophysical surveys, on targets identified by the airborne magnetic survey or other exploration completed on the property.
The proposed 2011 drilling program is expected to commence in mid-May (subject to weather conditions) to test the zone of higher grade mineralization from the 500m to the 800m level below surface. DDH CF406, which was temporarily suspended in December 2010, would be the first hole completed in 2011.
The proposed 2011 re-sampling and additional diamond drilling does not affect the completion date for the Feasibility Study on the Schaft Creek deposit which is expected by the end of June or early July, 2011.
Selected Financial Information
Net (loss)/income per share -
basic and diluted
Liquidity and Capital Resources
The Company's working capital deficiency, defined as current assets less current liabilities, was $305,904 at January 31, 2011. The Company has sufficient funds available to meet its current obligations.
During the quarter, the Company completed a private placement for total proceeds of $4,005,000, 525,000 options were exercised for total proceeds of $144,900 and a Director loaned $1,500,000 to the Company. The loan bears no interest and there are no fixed terms of repayment. In addition, the Company completed a private placement in March for total proceeds of $3,750,000.
The Company has in place a budgeting process to help determine the funds required for the completion of the Feasibility Study. As at March 29, 2011 the Company has spent approximately $58.1 million of qualifying expenditures toward this study. The Company will require additional capital to complete this study and to provide for the administration of its Vancouver and Calgary offices. The Company believes that it will be able to raise the capital required to complete the Feasibility Study through the continued exercise of its outstanding options or through the public market if required.
About Copper Fox
Copper Fox is a Canadian based resource company listed on the TSX-Venture Exchange (CUU) focused on completing a Feasibility Study on the Schaft Creek deposit, one of the largest undeveloped copper, gold, molybdenum and silver deposits in North America. Categorized as a "giant porphyry deposit" this project is at the advanced development stage with a Preliminary Feasibility Study ("PFS") prepared by Samuel Engineering, Inc. of Denver, Colorado, in September 2008. The results of the PFS were extremely "robust" reporting a NPV @ 8% (before tax) of $2.8 billion dollars over a 23 year mine life. They contemplated processing 100,000 tonne per day ("tpd") from an open pit mine using a standard flotation recovery process. The PFS estimated the current Mineral Resources (using a 0.2% copper equivalent cutoff) at Schaft Creek includes; Measured Resources of 463.5 million tonnes grading 0.30% copper, 0.23 g/t gold, 0.02% molybdenum and 1.55 g/t silver, Indicated Resources of 929.8 million tonnes grading 0.23% copper, 0.15 g/t gold, 0.02% molybdenum and 1.56 g/t silver.
A Feasibility Study on a minimum 120,000 tpd open pit mine is expected to be completed in 2011.
Copper Fox holds title and a 100% working interest in a contiguous 24,003.5 hectares (59,311 acres) property which includes the Schaft Creek deposit subject to certain royalty agreements, a 30% carried interest held by Laird Copper and an earn back option held by Teck Resources Limited ("Teck"). Copper Fox is currently earning a 78% interest in Liard Copper from Teck. Teck's earn back option to acquire 20%, 40% or 75% of the Schaft Creek project is triggered upon completion of a Positive Feasibility Study. Should Teck elect to exercise its option for 75% they are required to fund subsequent property expenditures up to a total of 400% of those incurred by Copper Fox ($58.1 million as of March 29, 2011) and arrange for project financing, including the Copper Fox portion. For full details of the option please refer to the Company's website www.copperfoxmetals.com.
*United States investors are advised that current Mineral Resources are not current Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimate and in keeping with "best practice principles".
Elmer B. Stewart, MSc. P. Geol., President of Copper Fox, is the Company's nominated Qualified Person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101, Standards for Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has reviewed the technical information disclosed in this news release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Elmer B. Stewart
President & Chief Executive Officer
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of the Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information is generally identifiable by use of the words "believes," "may," "plans," "will," "anticipates," "intends," "budgets", "could", "estimates", "expects", "forecasts", "projects" and similar expressions, and the negative of such expressions. Forward-looking information in this news release include statements about the preparation, timing, and anticipated filing of the Environmental Impact Statement/Application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Schaft Creek project; continuation of baseline studies and collection of additional environmental information; the timing and anticipated results of the proposed Updated Resource Estimate; the timing and scope of the Feasibility Study for the Schaft Creek project; estimated timing and amounts of future expenditures and "earn-back" options; geological interpretations and potential mineral recovery processes. Information concerning mineral reserve and resource estimates also may be deemed to be forward-looking information in that it reflects a prediction of the mineralization that would be encountered if a mineral deposit were developed and mined.
The forward-looking information contained in this news release, Copper Fox has made numerous assumptions, regarding, among other things: the geological, metallurgical, engineering, financial and economic advice that Copper Fox has received is reliable, and is based upon practices and methodologies which are consistent with industry standards; and the continued financing of the Feasibility Study. While Copper Fox considers these assumptions to be reasonable, these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies. Additionally, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause Copper Fox's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information contained herein. Known risk factors include, among others: the preparation and anticipated filing of the Environmental Impact Statement/Application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Schaft Creek project may not occur on a timely basis, or at all; the Feasibility Study may not be completed within the contemplated time frame, or at all; the possibility that an Environmental Assessment Certificate may not be obtained on a timely basis, or at all, or that additional approvals will be necessary in order to obtain an Environmental Assessment Certificate; fluctuations in copper and other commodity prices and currency exchange rates; uncertainties relating to interpretation of drill results and the geology, continuity and grade of mineral deposits; uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating costs, recovery rates, and estimated economic return; the need to obtain additional financing to develop properties and uncertainty as to the availability and terms of future financing; the possibility of delay in exploration or development programs or in construction projects and uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones; uncertainty as to timely availability of permits and other governmental approvals.
A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Copper Fox is disclosed in Copper Fox's continuous disclosure filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities at www.sedar.com. All forward-looking information herein is qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement, and Copper Fox disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking information or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking information contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.
Investor line 1-866-913-1910 or J. Michael Smith, EVP, at 1-403-264-2820