Capstone Copper Corp Taps ASX, With Sale Of First Copper Concentrate In Chile

Capstone Copper Corp (ASX:CSC) (TSE:CS) achieved a major milestone by producing the first saleable copper concentrate from its flagship Mantoverde Development Project (MVDP) in Chile.

MVDP is expected to enable the mine to process 236 million tonnes of copper sulphide reserves over a 20-year expected mine life

Capstone is advancing towards ramp-up to full production levels with nameplate operating rates expected to be achieved during Q3 2024.

Importantly, MVDP will increase Capstone’s annual production by more than 50% from 164,000 tonnes of copper to around 260,000 tonnes of copper, on an annualised run rate.

Aims for ASX 300

The Canada-listed mid-tier copper producer was admitted to the ASX in January as a Foreign Exempt Listing without raising capital.

While Capstone Copper doesn’t have an asset in Australia, an ASX secondary listing of its CDIs enables the company to tap a responsive investor pool familiar with resources businesses.

Capstone CEO John MacKenzie said: “We’re very fortunate one of our major shareholders was a private equity firm looking to sell down its position.

“We convinced them to place those shares into Australia and that’s given us a pathway through to inclusion in the ASX 300 index hopefully by September.”

Background

Capstone was born from acquiring the low-cost, underground Cozamin copper mine in Mexico in 2004.

The company’s next notable milestone was the 2011 acquisition of Far West Mining, which gave it ownership of the Santo Domingo copper project in Chile.

In 2013, Capstone acquired its long-life Pinto Valley open-pit copper mine from BHP Billiton in a prolific mining district in Arizona, USA.

Capstone Mining merged with Mantos Copper in 2022 to form Capstone Copper Corp, cementing its position as a mid-tier copper producer with a diversified asset base.

Today, Capstone has more than 7,900 employees and contractors and operations in Arizona, Mexico and Chile, with headquarters in Canada.

Project Mantoverde Optimised

Once the first phase of the Mantoverde project comes online, the focus will shift to its expansion, called Mantoverde Optimised.

This will increase processing capability from 32,000 tonnes of copper per day up to 45,000 tonnes per day.

Mantoverde Optimised will have a payback period of just over a year and will increase copper production by ~20,000 tonnes with an investment of ~US$150 million.

A feasibility study for this project is anticipated by mid-year.

Santo Domingo

Interestingly, Capstone’s fully-permitted Santo Domingo project is larger than Mantoverde.

The company aims to use the experience gained at Mantoverde and apply it to Santo Domingo, whose six-year-old feasibility study is being updated.

Copper is critical for net zero

Copper supply is constrained and the pipeline of copper projects is smaller than it has been at any time in the past 25 years.

MacKenzie said: “We are going to need an enormous amount more copper.

“It takes eight times as much copper to produce one megawatt of offshore wind energy as it would to produce one megawatt of coal- or gas-fired energy.

“Expansion of the energy grid and distribution networks will also require vast amounts more copper.”

 

 

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