Corriente seeks US$204mn to construct Mirador copper project

- Thursday, April 14, 2005

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Vancouver-based Corriente Resources (TSX: CTQ) will start looking for US$204mn in financing for its Mirador copper-gold project in southeast Ecuador, the company said in a statement.

Corriente, which announced a positive 25,000t/d feasibility study at Mirador, said financing proposals were being considered from both lending and potential mining partners.

"For the equity component of the project, Corriente will consider the sale of a portion of Mirador," the statement said.

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The project is one of the only "significant" greenfield copper-gold projects in the world that can be ready for construction within the next 12 months, according to Corriente.

The Mirador feasibility study outlines annual production for the first five years of 58,000t of copper, 32,000oz of gold and 395,000oz of silver. The mine model indicates a 12-year mine life.

At a long-term copper price of US$1.0/lb, the study indicates a pre-tax internal rate of return for the project of 15.5% and a net present value (NPV) of US$78mn. This increases to an IRR of 40% and NPV of US$419mn if a US$1.45/lb copper price is used.

The company plans shortly to complete community consultation and the environmental impact study (EIS) to apply for environmental permitting in May.

In addition, Corriente said it had amended the current feasibility study to look at an expansion of the starter project of 75,000t/d to optimize the large resource base. The initial 25,000t/d development phase for Mirador is able to support the infrastructure for a potentially larger project.

The starter project is based on indicated mineral resources in the open-pit zone of 111Mt averaging 0.67% copper and 0.22% gold.

Drilling continues at Mirador, which currently has a total indicated mineral resource of 310Mt grading 0.65% copper and 0.2g/t gold and 315Mt of inferred resources of 0.56% copper and 0.17g/t gold.

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