CASA GRANDE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Arizona—Elim Mining Incorporated (“Elim Mining” or the “Company”), a private copper exploration and development company, has begun its 26,050 ft (7,940 m) drilling program at its wholly-owned Cactus Mine (the “Property”) in Pinal County, Arizona. In addition, the Company has appointed Llee Chapman as CFO and Travis Snider, SME, CHF as VP Sustainability and External Relations.
Drilling will be used to evaluate the open pit layback opportunity at Cactus West and the potential for underground or open pit mining at Cactus East (see FIGURE 1). The drilling results, along with relogging and re-assaying of historic drilling data, will be used to produce a maiden NI 43-101 Mineral Resource and Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the property. The Mineral Resource and PEA are expected by Q2 2021.
Highlights of the Property:
- Privately-owned land
ASARCO operated the 9,000 tpd open pit and sulphide flotation mill operation on the west deposit, from 1972 – 1984:
- Processed 38 Mt, producing 398 Mlbs Copper, 1.4 Moz Silver, 30 koz Gold
- 87% Copper recoveries from the mill
- Site Improvement Plan (SIP) complete, including reclaimed Tailings Storage Facility and Mill complex
- A well-organized exploration core shed, containing historic drill core and records from the Cactus Mine and adjacent Parks/Salyer Property
- Porphyry copper mineralization composed of secondary enriched oxides and supergene chalcocite upgraded from primary chalcopyrite-pyrite zones
John Antwi, Elim Mining President and CEO commented, “Since incorporating just over a year ago, we have worked with a lean team to lay the foundations of a strong Arizona-based company. We are thrilled today to expand our team with Arizona-based industry experts, Travis and Llee. Along with our recently completed financing, we now have the foundation in place to prioritize generating value for our shareholders. It is rare to find a brownfields opportunity in a top tier jurisdiction with in-place infrastructure, access to the workforce, readily available historic data, and an environmental liability equivalent to a greenfields exploration site. We look forward to keeping our shareholders up to date on our progress at the Cactus Mine.”
Ian McMullan, Elim Mining Chief Operating Officer: “While the SIP was being completed and with access agreements in place, Elim Mining had the rare opportunity to begin work on the site. Initial drilling confirmed historic drill data, great headway was made in a relog/re-assay program, and we released a Preliminary Economic Assessment on processing the Stockpile Project, which demonstrated $140 million in cumulative free cash flow over the eight-year operation. Given the amount of work already completed on the site, along with our planned activities, we will be able to advance through the required technical studies with an anticipated construction decision in 2022.”
History of the Property
Elim Mining finalized the purchase of the Cactus Mine (formerly the Sacaton Mine), situated in Arizona’s major copper mining district, from the ASARCO Environmental State Custodial Trust on July 13, 2020, following the completion and approval of the site reclamation program. While operating, ASARCO’s Sacaton porphyry copper mine processed ~9,000 tpd from the Cactus West open pit over a 12-year period, ending in 1984. Additionally, ASARCO completed a positive feasibility study, constructed a vent raise and production shaft and began underground development to access the Cactus East orebody prior to low copper prices and financial problems caused the operation to be closed. Modern heap leaching with solvent extraction-electrowinning (“SXEW”) metallurgical processing may offer significant economic advantages by processing oxide and supergene enriched sulphide ores compared to ASARCO’s sulphide-only flotation mill-based operations.
Located 6 mi (10 km) northwest of Casa Grande and 44 mi (70 km) south of Phoenix, the property has access to nearby manpower and facilities, including water, rail and power. In total, the Cactus Mine and Elim’s Parks/Salyer Property cover 2,548 acres. The historic orebodies are comprised of secondary enriched oxide and supergene chalcocite zones, upgraded from primary chalcopyrite-pyrite mineralization. The underlying mineralization and alteration styles of the Cactus and Parks/Salyer zones are typical of major copper porphyry deposit styles throughout Arizona.
The mandate for Elim Mining is to ensure its employees and contractors always return home safely and healthy to their families. As such, the drilling program will adhere strictly to the CDC guidelines for a healthy and COVID-19-free workplace. Guidelines include, but are not limited to, washing hands often, using a face covering to prevent spread from coughs and sneezes, physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces regularly.
Management Team Additions
Joining as CFO, Mr. Chapman is a mining executive with over 30 years of experience in the mining industry. He is a former Regional Vice President, North America for then Newmont Mining Corporation. He was responsible for the development and business planning in the North American Region, including the Capital Effectiveness Program, Accounting, Information Technology and Supply Chain functions. Mr. Chapman is also experienced with mine start-ups and Initial Public Offerings. Mr. Chapman has also held public company CFO level management in positions with Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Apollo Gold Inc., Knight Piesold & Co., Idaho General Mines (now General Moly). He was also involved with the building of the Chimney Creek Mine for Gold Fields. Mr. Chapman began his career at ASARCO Inc. He also served as interim CEO & President of Veris Gold Inc. while rebuilding the Jerritt Canyon Mine.
Mr. Chapman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Idaho State University and is a licensed CPA in Idaho and Arizona.
Joining as VP Sustainability and External Relations, Mr. Snider is an Arizona-based mining executive with over 20 years of broad industry experience in exploration, production, permitting, development, and consulting for mining companies. With an engineering background, Mr. Snider specializes in developing new mining ideas and opportunities utilizing innovative approaches, particularly in Arizona. Mr. Snider’s focus on sustainability and efficiency has led numerous mining operations to design and implement onsite solar energy projects. Most recently he was the Mining Project Manager at Engineering & Environmental Consultants. Previously Mr. Snider has served as a Director for Alliance Mining Corporation, Elm Tree Minerals, and was on the Board for the Arizona Mining Association. He has also worked for Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation and served as Senior Vice President of Operations for Sierra Resource Group Inc. in restarting operations at the Emerald Isle Mine in Arizona. Mr. Snider also was Vice President of Mining and Oil Operations for the engineering firm, Wilcox Professional Services. Wilcox specialized in EPC services for large industrial projects and specialized in exploration drilling. Along with Wilcox Mr. Snider worked for several other large engineering and environmental firms, including NV5, Kleinfelder and Mactec. While at Mactec, he developed renewable energy projects for mining companies to utilize their lands for energy development.
Mr. Snider holds Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Chemistry from Arizona State University and is part of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration and the Chemical Heritage Foundation.
Elim Mining Incorporated is a private mineral resource development company with corporate headquarters in Reno, Nevada and operating headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. Elim is rooted in the identification, acquisition, exploration, development, and sustainable production of precious and base metal properties in well-known geologic regions. The company seeks assets with significant potential for proven and probable mineral reserves. Elim is managed by mining executives with over 210 years of combined experience in mine operations and business. With a history and reputation for strategically launching, revitalizing, and leading multi-million-dollar mining organizations, the team has achieved tremendous growth and value for investors in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of Elim to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect the outcome include, among others: future prices and the supply of metals; the results of drilling; inability to raise the money necessary to incur the expenditures required to retain and advance the properties; environmental liabilities (known and unknown); general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; results of exploration programs; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; political instability, terrorism, insurrection or war; or delays in obtaining governmental approvals, projected cash operating costs, failure to obtain regulatory or shareholder approvals.
Although Elim has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release and Elim disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.
John Antwi, President and CEO
Alison Dwoskin, Investor Relations