Falco raised the final $5 million by issuing 12.5 million units at a price of $0.40 per unit to Investissement Quebec. Each unit includes one common share of the company and one-half of a share purchase warrant. Warrants may be exercised to acquire common shares at a price of $0.55 each until July 31, 2025.
This year, Falco updated the feasibility study originally released in 2017. Plans call for an owner-operated underground mine. Bulk mining methods will be used to produce 15,500 tonnes of ore per day over the life of the mine. The plans are drawn around a high degree of equipment automation, minimal waste rehandling, and base backfill.
The mineral processing plant will be built with a single semi-autogenous (SAG) mill and single ball mill, followed by three flotation and thickening circuits to recovery copper, zinc and pyrite concentrates. The pyrite concentrate will then be reground, leached, and gold recovered in a carbon-in-pulp circuit. A tailings management facility will be built on the nearby Norbec and Millenbach sites purchased from First Quantum Minerals.
The updated feasibility study is updated to reflect stronger metal prices, principally gold at US$1,600/oz., compared to US$1,300/oz. in 2017. The study also used a copper price of US$3.20/lb. and a zinc price of US$1.15/pound.
The after-tax net present value at a 5% discount is US$761 million and the internal rate of return is 18.9%. The all-in sustaining cost for an ounce of gold, net of byproduct credits, will be US$587.
The pre-production capital requirements and maintenance costs are estimated to be US$844.2 million, including contingencies but excluding the US$51.4 million incurred at the project through Dec. 31, 2020. The mine would produce 220,300 oz. of gold annually in each year of its 15-year life. Production is expected in the second half of 2025.
The Horne 5 project has measured and indicated resources of 105.6 million tonnes grading 1.44 g/t gold, 14.32 g/t silver, 0.17% copper and 0.8% zinc. The inferred resource estimate is 24.3 million tonnes at 1.35 g/t gold, 21.4 g/t silver, 0.19% copper, and 0.67% zinc. Within the resources, the proven and probable reserves total 80.9 million tonnes grading 1.44 g/t gold, 14.14 g/t silver, 0.17% copper, and 0.77% zinc.
Falco has a silver streaming agreement with Osisko Gold Royalties and an offtake agreement with Glencore for copper and zinc concentrates.
Falco is not ruling out future optimization studies for Horne 5. There is exploration potential to increase mine life and resources, the possibility of increasing the mining rate, and the opportunity to develop synergies with Glencore’s local operation.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)