Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. (TSXV:BKM,AMEX:PBM) is a natural resource exploration company focused on base and precious metals. The Company’s wholly-owned advanced-stage Morrison Copper/Gold Project is located in the Babine Copper/Gold District of central British Columbia and is classified as a major project in the province. Pacific Booker has completed a NI-43-101 compliant Feasibility Study showing positive project economics and anticipates production will commence in 2015.
- Located in prolific Copper/Gold Belt near two past producing mines and classified as a major project by the province of British Columbia.
- Metallurgical testing shows recoveries would be similar to nearby former Bell Mine: 84.0% Cu, 56.0% Au and 50.0% Mo.
- A positive Feasibility Study shows a NI 43-101 compliant Mineable Proven and Probable reserves of 224.25 Mt with an average grade of 0.330% Cu, 0.163 g/t Au and 0.004% Mo and an estimated mine life of 21 years.
- Capital cost is estimated at CDN$516.68 million (including a CDN$59.92 million contingency allocation) with an operating cost of CDN$8.15 per tonne over the life of the mine.
- The Pre-Income Tax IRR was determined to be 20.05% with a NPV (at 8.0% discount rate) of CDN$495.9 million and a payback period on capital of 4.2 years.
Morrison Copper/Gold Project – British Columbia, Canada
The Morrison Copper/Gold Project is located 65 km northeast of Smithers, British Columbia in the prolific Babine Porphyry Copper/Gold Belt within 30 km of two former producing mines, Granisle and Bell. The Granisle Mine produced 214,000 tonnes of copper, 6,833kg of gold and 69,753kg of silver from 52.7 million tonnes of ore averaging 0.47% Cu. The Bell Mine produced 303,277 tonnes of copper, 12,749kg of gold and 27,813kg of silver from 77.2 million tonnes of ore averaging 0.47% Cu. Metallurgical testing on the Morrison Project shows recoveries would be similar to nearby former Bell Mine: 84.0% Cu, 56.0% Au and 50.0% Mo.
Excellent regional infrastructure is in place including electrical power supply within 25 km of the site; paved provincial highways to the Village of Granisle, a full service town within daily commuting distance; an all-season barge across Babine Lake; a logging road network that extends 40 km to the Morrison deposit; and a deep-sea shipping terminal at the Port of Stewart.
The Morrison deposit was first discovered by Noranda Exploration (now Xstrata) in 1962. The company drilled 95 holes totaling 13,893 m from 1963 to 1973, publishing two resource estimates, one in 1976 and then again in 1992. In 1997, Pacific Booker Minerals signed a deal with Noranda for a 50 percent interest in the property, later purchasing a 100 percent interest in Morrison in 2004.
A positive Feasibility Study completed in 2009 by Wardrop Engineering, Inc. showed a NI 43-101 compliant Mineable Proven and Probable reserves of 224.25 Mt with an average grade of 0.330% Cu, 0.163 g/t Au and 0.004% Mo and an estimated mine life of 21 years. The study describes the scope, design features and financial viability of a conventional open pit mine with a 30,000 tonnes per day mill to produce copper-gold-molybdenum concentrate.
Feasibility Study Results
The total mineable reserve included in the measured and indicated resource, classified as proven and probable, at Net Smelter Return (NSR) cut-off-value of $CDN 5.60/t, is 224.25 Mt with an average grade of 0.330% Cu, 0.163g/t Au and 0.004% Mo.
The capital cost is estimated at CDN$516.68 million (including a CDN$59.92 million contingency allocation) with an operating cost of CDN$8.15 per tonne over the life of the mine. The Pre-Income Tax Internal Rate of Return was determined to be 20.05% with a Net Present Value (at 8.0% discount rate) of CDN$495.9 million and a payback period on capital of 4.2 years.
Recovered metal is 1.37 billion lbs (625,000 tonnes) Cu, 658,090 oz (25 tonnes) Au and 10.05 million lbs (4,559 tonnes) Mo. The waste total is 184.12 Mt for a strip ratio of 0.82:1.
Silver was not included in the financial analysis; however, there is an opportunity for improved economic performance if silver credits are received from the treatment and refining of the copper concentrate. Metallurgical testing shows silver present in the concentrate ranging from 65.3g/t to 100g/t.
Environmental Assessment and Permitting/Licenses
On September 28, 2009 Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. submitted an Application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate to the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). The Application was accepted for Review on July 12, 2010.
The Environmental Assessment Certificate is required to apply for a Mining Permit for the construction, operation and maintenance, decommissioning and reclamation of the proposed 30,000t/d open-pit mine.
Pacific Booker also submitted a number of permit applications for concurrent review with the Environmental Assessment Certificate Application, including: (1) the Mining Lease application, which grants mineral production rights from surveyed mineral claims; (2) two Licenses of Occupation, which grant surface rights for the use of Crown Land along the proposed Transmission Line and for an area in the proposed Tailings Storage Facility; and (3) various Forestry permits and licenses, which grant the right to cut timber on the mine site and along the proposed Transmission Line route, and grant permission to use forestry roads for mine access.
On October 1, 2012, the Application was rejected by the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Energy, Mines, and Natural Gas – although the EAO’s Assessment Report concluded that:
- the proposed Project does not have the potential for significant adverse effects; and
- First Nations have been consulted and accommodated appropriately.
The Environmental Assessment of the Project was prepared by qualified professionals who have extensive world-wide experience. In addition independent 3rd Party reviews initiated by the EAO supported PBM’s assessment of no significant adverse effects.
PBM has adequately and reasonably addressed all the issues raised by government agencies, first nations and the public.
The Company’s legal counsel, John J.L. Hunter, Q.C. of Hunter Litigation Chambers Law Corporation has filed a petition with the Supreme Court of British Columbia on behalf of the Company, to set aside the decision on October 1, 2012 by the Ministers to deny the Company’s application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate pursuant to the Environmental Assessment Act, SBC 2002, c 43.
The Company is committed to continue to work towards bringing the Morrison/Copper Gold mine to commercial production.
Once the EAC is issued, Pacific Booker Minerals will begin construction of the processing plant and a new 25 km 138kv overhead power line from the existing Bell mine site to the proposed Morrison Mine Site substation.
Led by a management team with experience in resource development and mining, corporate finance, and business development, Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. is focused on further developing its wholly-owned advanced-stage Morrison Copper/Gold Project located in the Babine Copper/Gold District of central British Columbia. The Morrison Project is classified as a major project in the province of B.C. Pacific Booker has completed a NI-43-101 compliant Feasibility Study showing Mineable Proven and Probable reserves of 224.25 Mt with an average grade of 0.330% Cu, 0.163 g/t Au and 0.004% Mo.
Gregory R. Anderson – President, Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Director
Mr. Anderson has a lifetime of business, corporate finance, investment, marketing and brokerage experience. He has, since 1997, been instrumental in funding all aspects of Pacific Booker Minerals Inc.’s growth as well as handling investor relations.
Erik A. Tornquist – Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Director
Mr. Tornquist is an applied science technologist with over forty years industry experience. He has been the Executive VP & COO with Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. since 2005 responsible for the development of the Morrison Copper/Gold Project. Previously he held various management positions with Terasen Gas and Terasen International in Natural Gas Operations, Engineering, International Project Management, Human Resources and Training. He has completed PUBCO 1 at Simon Fraser University, a course on setting-up and managing public companies.
Ruth Swan – Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Swan has over 25 years of bookkeeping experience, with 20 years in the resource sector. She has operated a bookkeeping service since 1986 and has provided bookkeeping & financial reporting services to the Company since 1996.
William G. Deeks, P.Eng., Chem. – Executive Director and Chairman of the Board
Mr. Deeks has 50 years’ experience in mining, covering marketing, R&D, environmental management, health safety and accident prevention at work sites, approval of exploration budgets and work on project feasibilities and is on the Governance committee of the Mining Association of Canada’s “Toward Sustainable Mining” initiative in which Booker will participate. Most recently he was Chairman of Charles Tennant Canada, a mining chemicals/collectors producer and Chemicals Distribution company.
Mark Gulbrandson – Executive Director
Mr. Gulbrandson is the owner and CEO of Apple Auto Group, a multimillion dollar business and a top 100 Ford dealer in the U.S.
John Plourde – Executive Director
Mr. Plourde has over 30 years of investor relations experience and has served as a Director of several public companies. He has been a Director of Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. since December 1999.
William F. Webster – Executive Director
Mr. Webster has 40 years experience in financial management, investment sales and corporate finance.
Dr. Dennis C. Simmons, DDS – Director
Dr. Simmons has a lifetime of experience in business, the medical profession and a background in mining.