Wholly owned by Capstone Mining Corp., the Pinto Valley Mine was acquired from BHP Billiton in October 2013.
The Pinto Valley Mine is located in the Globe-Miami mining district in Arizona, one of the oldest and largest copper districts in the Americas and among the world's most favorable mining jurisdictions with respect to tax, regulation and labour. BHP Billiton invested $194 million in 2012/13 to upgrade and re-commission the operation, which was successfully restarted in December 2012 with a five year mine life in publicly reported reserves.
Copper concentrate production facilities include a primary crusher, secondary and tertiary crushers, six ball mills and copper concentrate and molybdenum flotation circuits. The Pinto Valley Mine is accessible by public road. Cathode production is trucked to domestic customers in the US and copper concentrate production is trucked domestically and to the Port of Guaymas in Mexico for export.
In early 2014, Capstone extended the mine life by 8 years to 2026 (PV2), and in early 2016, more than doubled the remaining mine life to 2039 through the PV3 Pre-Feasibility Study (“PV3 PFS”). The PV3 PFS also calls for an increase in throughput by 8%, without any major capital investment.
A preliminary evaluation has been completed on an optimization and expansion study at Pinto Valley which considers expansion opportunities in the range of 10% beyond the mill throughput level contemplated in the PV3 pre-feasibility study ("PFS"). The expansion study contemplates upgrading the secondary and fine crushing plants and adding two additional haul trucks to bring throughput above 60ktpd for approximately $30 million in capital. Expenditures will align with our permitting schedule, with the expansion capital included in the final year of our 2017 five-year guidance. In addition, Capstone is evaluating potential regional resource opportunities proximal to Pinto Valley to determine if they could provide additional value for the operation.