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Hudbay acts as operator on the project, which has an April 2012 PEA. The company can increase its 51% stake by advancing the project. In July, however, Aquila announced that Hudbay suspended development work “due to other capital commitments on its key development projects and global economic conditions.” Nevertheless, data from 78 additional holes totalling 21,150 metres made it into the updated resource.
The PEA used an 8% discount rate to project a net present value of $73.6 million and an 18.2% internal rate of return. The report estimated an initial capex of $224.7 million and a seven-year mine life.
In a news release last November, Aquila stated that Back Forty evaluation continues “as both Aquila and Hudbay consider a range of potential structures to continue to advance the project to permitting and potential production. The project is being maintained in a ready-to-go status to capitalize on the engineering, environmental and other work completed by the joint venture.”
Aquila’s other projects include the Bend deposit in Wisconsin, which has an historic, non-43-101 resource of 3 million tonnes averaging 2.4% copper, 1.4 g/t gold and 13.7 g/t silver. Drilling on Wisconsin’s Reef gold project works towards an initial resource estimate. At the Peninsula gold project in Michigan, drilling has traced mineralization over 300 metres in strike and 150 metres at depth, remaining open in all directions, the company states. Aquila has other projects in the Great Lakes region, Georgia and North Carolina.
Hudbay mines zinc, copper, gold and silver at Flin Flon, Manitoba, and expects to begin commercial gold, zinc, copper and silver production at its Lalor project, 215 kilometres away, in Q2 2013. Another Manitoba operation, the Reed copper project, is scheduled to begin production late this year while the Constancia copper mine in Peru is scheduled for initial production by late 2014.
The February 4 announcement saw Hudbay open at $11.54, six cents below its previous close, and rise another penny before ending the day at $11.22. The February 5 high reached $11.55 again before closing on $11.31.
Aquila’s chart stayed flat at $0.15 throughout February 4, then gained a penny the following day.
In other February 4 news, Evolving Gold TSX:EVG released results from a wedge hole drilled from an existing collar at its Carlin project in Nevada. Assays show:
- 4.54 g/t gold over 3.5 metres
- 7.87 g/t over 7 metres
- (including 17.66 g/t over 0.9 metres)
- (including 18.92 g/t over 0.5 metres)
- (including 11.32 g/t over 1.5 metres)
- 5.81 g/t over 0.5 metres
- 20.59 g/t over 1.5 metres
- 14.62 g/t over 2.7 metres
- 11.6 g/t over 1.5 metres
- 13.21 g/t over 0.6 metres.
True widths have not been determined. The first intercept began at 927 metres in depth while the last stopped at 1,067 metres.
The results, the company stated, expand “one of two high-grade zones in the Arch Zone to approximately 100 metres north-south and east-west. The strike direction of this high-grade zone is interpreted as northwest-southeast and it is open in all directions.”
At $0.17, Evolving opened February 4 half a cent above its previous close. The stock then reached $0.18 before closing February 4 on $0.165. By the February 5 closing bell, the shares had regained their $0.18 level.
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