Stingray Developing Sonora Copper Project

Stingray Copper, a Toronto-based Canadian junior company, is proceeding with development of its El Pilar copper project in Sonora, Mexico, 45 km northwest of Grupo Mexico’s Cananea copper mine and 15 km from the Mexico-United States border. Stingray acquired the project when it purchased Noranda Exploracion Mexico from Xstrata in April 2007. Based on the results of a definitive feasibility study released in April 2009, Stingray’s board of directors has approved development, subject to financing, of a low-cost, open-pit mine and solvent extraction and electro-winning facilities to treat oxide reserves and produce LME Grade A copper cathodes.

El Pilar project design calls for production of 35,000 mt/y of cathodes over a period of 14 years. The mine plan is based on proven and probable reserves of 229.7 million mt, averaging 0.31% total copper calculated at a cut-off of 0.15% total copper. Open-pit mining will be done by a mining contractor, followed by owner-operated primary crushing, conveying and stacking of ore onto a heap leach pad. The life-ofmine stripping ratio is estimated at 1.61:1, waste to ore.

The El Pilar crushing plant will be sized to deliver 48,000 mt/d of ore to the leach pads by year three of operation. Initial capital costs are estimated at $209 million, including costs for a co-generation acid/power plant. The operating cash cost for the project is calculated at $1.20/lb of copper.

As featured in Womp 2009 Vol 05 -