Company News Releases...
August 11, 2004
Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. has received the Preliminary Assessment Report on
its Morrison / Hearne Hill Project prepared by Beacon Hill Consultants (1988)
The Morrison / Hearne Hill Project is located 65 kms northeast of Smithers, BC.
The Morrison deposit is approximately 22 kms north of the former producing open
pit Bell Copper mine (15,000 tonnes per day) and approximately 30 kms north of
the former producing Granisle open pit Copper mine (12,000 tonnes per day).
Pacific Booker was therefore originally planning the open pit mine at Morrison /
Hearne Hill to produce at 18,000 tonnes per day. Pit optimization studies in the
Beacon Hill report indicate that the deposit would ideally be mined at 25,000
tonnes per day, using a 12m bench height, 150 tonne haulage trucks and a
conventional floatation mill. The concentrate should be of good copper grade
(28%) and low in impurities. Plans are to truck the concentrate to Stewart for
shipment to Asian smelters.
It is proposed that the majority of the 180 person mine work force will live in
the nearby community of Granisle and commute to the mine twice daily by bus and
barge across Babine Lake. A 40 person camp will be maintained at the mine site
for those individuals, particularly Babine First Nations from Old Fort and Burns
Lake, for whom it is impractical to commute on a daily basis.
Besides the plans for mining, milling and operating the proposed mine, the
Beacon Hill report also describes the various aspects of the Environmental
Assessment program such as surface and ground water monitoring, acid rock
drainage and metal leaching, fisheries and aquatic studies, flora and fauna
studies, archaeology and socio-economic issues.
The Beacon Hill report indicates that the project is potentially viable based
upon the proposed 25,000 tonnes per day mining rate and an estimated capital
cost of Cdn$175.2 million. At an average operating cost of $6.07 per tonne
(mining and milling), a copper price of US$1.10 per pound and a gold price of
US$385 per ounce, the project would generate an after tax internal rate of
return (IRR) of 14.69% with a Net Present Value (NPV) of Cdn $186.4 million
undiscounted and $80.8 million discounted 5%. Payback of initial capital can be
achieved in 5.6 years.
The optimized mineral resources for the open pit are estimated at 86,892,000
tonnes, grading 0.45% Cu and 0.257 grams/tonne Au. Waste rock produced is
estimated at 125,256,700 tonnes giving a waste to ore ratio of 1.44.
Approximately 97% of the mineral resources are classified as measured and
indicated while the remaining 3% are inferred. Contained within this waste is
material that would be placed on a low-grade stockpile and, subject to
prevailing metal prices, processed after the foregoing mineral resource was
depleted. This low-grade stockpile consists of 28,152,000 tonnes with a grade of
0.278% Cu and 0.123 grams/tonne Au. The economic results are based upon the
processing of the stockpile during the last 3.5 years of the mine life.
The sensitivities for gold selling price, mining grade, capital cost, operating
cost and copper selling price show that the project is robust. The Volume 1
Summary of the report is posted on the Pacific Booker website.
Pacific Booker has been doing many of the Environmental programs such as water
monitoring, fish and wildlife studies and acid rock drainage for many months as
detailed in various news releases and on the website. Pacific Booker’s current
plans are to initiate the various other programs needed for the feasibility
study, such as geotechnical drilling in both the pit area and waste rock /
tailings storage areas and advanced metallurgical test work.
Chris J. Sampson, President
Pacific Booker Minerals Inc.