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The PEA indicates a pre-tax net present value of US$3bn (8% discount rate) and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 17.6%. After-tax NPV has been estimated at US$$1.7bn (8% discount rate).
Annual copper production during the first five years is expected to average 255,000t, with average cash operating costs of US$$0.87/lb copper (net of gold by-product).
Life of mine (LOM) annual copper production is forecast to average 171,000t over 35 years, with average cash operating costs of US$$1.08/lb copper (net of gold by-product).
Initial capital costs for the construction of the mine and a 120,000t/d process plant have been estimated at US$3.9bn, while capital payback on a pre-tax basis has been estimated at 3.8 years at US$3.00/lb copper and US$1,300/oz gold.
Los Azules has an indicated resource of 5.4Blb of copper and 800,000oz of gold and an inferred resource of 14.3Blb of copper and 2.6Moz of gold.
McEwen also has the El Gallo gold-silver mine in Mexico, a 49% stake in the San José gold mine in Argentina and mining assets in the US.