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Updated study improves value, lowers costs for Panoro's Antilla copper project

An updated preliminary economic assessment for Panoro Minerals Ltd.'s Antilla copper property in Peru improved the project's value and reduced costs, according to a May 14 release.

The mine plan focused on the higher grade, near-surface secondary sulfides, which can be processed using heap leaching, solvent extraction, and electrowinning. This approach showed a 59% decrease in initial capital costs to US$250.4 million, while the sustaining capital required for a tailings facility was eliminated.

Using a copper price of US$3.05/lb and applying a 7.5% discount rate, the project's after-tax net present value rose to US$305.4 million from US$225 million previously, while the internal rate of return now stands at 25.9%. The payback period was also reduced to 3.0 years from 4.1 years.

The project is estimated to produce 46.3 million pounds of copper per year over a mine life of 17 years. The designated throughput, meanwhile, was pegged at 20,000 tonnes per day.

The study incorporated indicated resources of 113.3 million tonnes averaging 0.45% copper and inferred resources of 5.4 million tonnes at 0.26% copper. It also recommended further work leading to a pre-feasibility or feasibility study.

Panoro said it will now work to complete a strategic review of the development and financing plans for Antilla.