The Santo Domingo Project is strategically located near key infrastructure (highway, rail, power lines and sub-station, port and airport) at low elevation (1,000 metres) in an established mining district with several significant copper and iron mining and smelting operations. The project is 100 kilometres from the Pacific coast, providing seawater to the site and access to deep water port facilities.
The Santo Domingo Project 2014 Feasibility Study considers the development of two open pit mines using conventional drilling, blasting, loading with diesel hydraulic shovels, and truck haulage, and a copper-iron concentrator designed to process a nominal 65,000 tonnes per day ("tpd") to 60,000 tpd (throughput is reduced in the latter years as the ore becomes harder) using Semi-Autogenous Grinding (SAG) and ball milling, with conventional flotation utilizing seawater to produce a copper concentrate. The 2014 Feasibility Study calls for Magnetite iron to be recovered from the copper rougher tailings using Low Intensity Magnetic Separation (LIMS). The study envisions copper concentrate produced at the process facility will be trucked to the port with magnetite concentrate thickened on site and pumped via a concentrate pipeline to the port. Both the copper and magnetite concentrates will be loaded onto ships for transportation to third-party smelters.
The 2014 Feasibility Study indicates that for the first five years of full operation, Santo Domingo will have an annual average production of approximately 248 million pounds, or approximately 110,000 tonnes, of copper. The Life of Mine (LOM) average is 128 million pounds of copper (approximately 58,000 tonnes) per year over a period of approximately 18 years. The total LOM production is estimated at 2.3 billion pounds, or approximately 1 million tonnes, of copper.
In July 2015, Capstone received approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Santo Domingo project. Deteriorating commodity prices in September 2015 resulted in Capstone suspending development at Santo Domingo in an effort to preserve financial flexibility.
Capstone is reviewing options for advancing the project as a copper-only project. A scoping level study was commissioned in Q3 2016 to evaluate the economics of combining Santo Domingo with another copper deposit under a central processing facility. This study has been completed and we are presently reviewing next steps.