OverviewSolar and wind energy are expected to power 90 percent of the world’s electricity by 2050, accelerating the demand for raw materials needed to supply this transition. In fact, a copper boom is already in motion and could last for decades.
Copper producers will need to double the amount of global production just to keep up with a 30 percent penetration rate of electric vehicles (EVs) alone, and in the next two decades, the world must produce more copper than was ever produced in human history.World Copper (TSXV:WCU,OTCQX:WCUFF) has managed to secure the largest copper oxide asset, currently in exploration and development, in Chile through its Escalones project. Early estimates reveal that it could become a major copper producer using heap leaching to produce copper in cathodes, at very competitive costs when compared to other similar copper deposits found throughout Chile and Latin America.World Copper has three outstanding pillars of growth, all located in safe and stable mining jurisdictions across the Americas:The Zonia copper-oxide porphyry project in Arizona with an estimated copper cathode production of 49 million pounds (22 kt) per year.The Escalones porphyry-skarn project is located 30 kilometers East of El Teniente with an estimated copper cathode production of 115 million pounds (52 kt) per year and with upside exploration potential in supergene and skarn extension targets.The Cristal property in northern Chile, located in a prospective porphyry copper belt, and with high potential for additional large porphyry discoveries.
These three prime projects comprise a total of 4 billion pounds of copper on the ground.
World Copper’s acclaimed management team consists of executive director Marcelo Awad, president and chief executive officer Nolan Peterson and general manager Krzysztof Napierała, all of whom have decades of combined experience in the mining industry and corporate finance. Awad has also demonstrated experience within Chile, earning the prestigious title as the number one CEO in Chile from the Harvard Business Review in 2012. His experience navigating Chilean law has proven invaluable to the success of World Copper.“Chile is a fantastic mining jurisdiction for copper, it’s the world’s largest copper producing-nation, and it has the world’s largest reserves in resources, so we are in a very good jurisdiction for a copper development project. Our flagship project, Escalones, is in the Santiago region of Chile with excellent infrastructure. The world’s largest underground copper mine, El Teniente, is 35 kilometers to the west of the property. We would leverage off those advantages going forward,” said CEO Nolan Peterson in an interview with Shares Magazine.Company HighlightsWorld Copper is an exploration and project development company focused on developing key assets in Chile and Arizona into major copper-producing mines.The company is led by a strong management team of accomplished professionals with decades of experience in business finance, mine design and operations in Chile, the US and Canada.The company’s year-in-review announcement showcased the continued growth of the company, including acquiring a new asset in Arizona and redesigning its Chilean flagship project as an oxide copper mine.The company’s properties are located in mining-friendly jurisdictions and have access to the infrastructure required for future operations.World Copper’s Escalones project has tremendous potential to become Chile’s largest new copper oxide project in development.Key ProjectsThe Escalones ProjectThe Escalones copper porphyry project is located in Santiago, Chile and is only 30 km east of El Teniente, one of the largest underground copper mines in the world, which has been operating for more than 100 years and is continuously expanding eastwards. This 70 square kilometer property runs north-south in the central Andes Mountains.World Copper reported an updated inferred resource estimate of 426 M tonnes at 0.367 percent total copper in the oxidized zone at the Escalones project, confirming its potential for development as a sizable copper oxide deposit.President and CEO Nolan Peterson shared, “As an oxide project, Escalones now has a streamlined and more expedited path to production, and we look forward to updating the market on additional developments as we pursue our new strategy.”Project Highlights:Existing Infrastructure: The 70 square kilometer property has access to roads, seaports, electricity, and a gas line.Amenable to Heap Leaching: Metallurgical tests indicate that the inferred 3.45 B lbs of copper should be amenable to heap leaching with an average recovery of 71 percent. Heap leaching is an economical and more eco-friendly mining technique, it uses less water and is lower in emissions than conventional flotation.Future Expansion: The Escalones deposit has room to expand to the south, east and west. Only half of the alteration zone has been drilled to date.Untested Mineralization: No drilling has been carried out on northern targets and it may contain the last remaining mineralized porphyry clusters in Chile.Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) as of February 2022 – The Escalones property has a post-tax NPV8 of $1,499.6 M at 46.2% IRR with a 2.2-year payback of initial capital. The project also has an initial capital of only $438.4 M and 3.44X NPV/CAPEX Ratio with a 20-year life of mine.
In 2022, the Regional Environmental Committee (Comisión de Evalucaión Ambiental) approved World Copper’s 5,000 meters diamond drilling programme to be carried out at the Escalones project. A Resolución de Calificación Ambiental (RCA) was issued on March 7, 2022.World Copper also completed 1,676 meters of additional drilling along the western-most, road-accessible edge of the Mancha Amarilla zone confirming copper oxide mineralization that extends at least 150 meters south from previous drilling, and oxidation extends to depths of 280 meters below the ridge.Cristal Copper ProjectAdjacent to the Peruvian border sits the Cristal Copper Project, a claim that is highly prospective for porphyry copper deposits. The project can be easily accessed via highway 135 from either the north or south. No exploration has been carried out since 2012.
Project Highlights:Magnetic Anomaly: Initial surveys indicate the presence of a porphyry copper target and have potential for additional large porphyry.Proposed Exploration: The company plans to drill 4 to 6 RC/core drill holes ranging from 500 to 800 meters deep each. The results will confirm the presence of the porphyry copper deposit.Future Plans: World Copper plans to follow up on this initial exploration work with a budget between U$1 million and 1.5 million, focusing on a large geophysical anomaly. The company proposes an initial drill program of four to six holes, each 500 to 1,000 meters long, to test the target.Zonia Copper-Oxide DepositZonia is an undervalued and advanced brownfield project in Yavapai County, approximately 100 miles northwest of Phoenix, Arizona. The large 4,280-acre property has excellent potential for additional discoveries, as there are already known targets that may contain additional copper-porphyry targets.
Project Highlights:Easy Access and Infrastructure: A 67kV line runs to the entrance of the mine, along with the presence of groundwater to help support operations.Permitting Advantage: All resources and phase I 2018 PEA production within the 100 percent owned private land.Expansive Sample Grid: A 150-m spaced rock sample has generated a large coherent anomaly.Permit Application Filed: A permit has been filed for a 5,000 m program on both Arizona and BLM land.
World Copper completed an internal technical review of the exploration and development potential of the Zonia Copper Oxide Project confirming significant potential growth drivers for the Zonia Project. The resource expansion targets adjoining the existing Zonia resource provide an opportunity to enlarge the outlined mineralization through step-out drill programs.Updated Resource EstimateIn 2023, World Copper updated Zonia’s mineral resource estimate which includes 75.7 million short tons grading 0.30 percent total copper (indicated resource) containing 450.5 million pounds of copper and 122.0 million short tons grading 0.24 percent total copper (inferred resource) containing 575.4 million pounds of copper.Management TeamNolan Peterson – President and CEONolan Peterson is an engineer and finance executive with an extensive career in project development, corporate finance, accounting, engineering and project management in the mining industry. He brings a strong technical and financial background as he holds an MBA from UBC’s Sauder School of Business, a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from UBC, a CFA® charterholder, and a professional engineer in British Columbia and Ontario.Henk van Alphen – ChairmanHenk van Alphen has more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry. He has been a key player in companies such as Corriente Resources, Cardero Resources, Trevali Mining, Balmoral Resources, and International Tower Hill. He also founded Wealth Minerals in 2005 and has raised over $1 billion raised in various financial transactions via van Alphen’s involvement.Marcelo Awad – Executive Director (Chile)Marcelo Awad has a long and distinguished career in the mining industry 18 years with Codelco, most recently as executive vice-president 16 years with Antofagasta Minerals S.A., the Mining Division of Antofagasta Plc, including 8 years as CEO from 2004 to 2012, a period of significant growth for Antofagasta. In the 2011 Harvard Business Review, Awad was ranked as the number one CEO in Chile, 18th in Latin America and 87th in the world.Krzysztof Napierała – General Manager (Chile)Krzysztof Napierala is a professional with 12 years of experience in mining and manufacturing industries. He is a driven executive with a strong background in business development, exploration, project management, and the management and restructuring of mining operations. His career is highlighted by over ten years with the KGHM Group, one of the world’s largest copper and silver miners, where he started as an associate in the exploration and development team, supporting the company’s business development activities and new acquisitions.John Drobe – Chief GeologistJohn Drobe is a geologist with over 30 years of experience specializing in porphyry copper-gold, epithermal and skarn deposits throughout the Americas. Drobe has a deep experience with organizing and managing exploration campaigns, particularly in South America, where he has participated in the exploration and development of projects in Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela and Chile.Marla Ritchie – Corporate SecretaryMarla Ritchie brings over 25 years of experience in public markets working as an administrator and corporate secretary specializing in resource-based exploration companies. Currently, she is also the corporate secretary for several companies, including International Tower Hill Mines Ltd. and Trevali Mining Corporation.
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