Aggressive exploration programs conducted by Capstone have met with considerable success, with the 2006 and 2007 exploration drill programs resulting in a 140% gain in copper contained in mineral resources. That success continued in 2008-2009, with conversion of a significant portion of the new mineral resources from the inferred to measured and indicated categories. In 2009 and 2010 three deposits were discovered and a further 44% gain was made in copper mineral resources. Ongoing incremental gains to the mine life have continued with a regular process of drilling, mineral reserve and resource addition, permitting and mine expansion. Capstone's discovery cost per pound of copper has averaged 3 cents per pound of copper at Minto for the additional resources that have been discovered since the project was put into production. The most recent expansion is Phase VI PFS adding Copper Keel and Wildfire underground reserves.
In 2012, a further gain of 101 million pounds of copper in the indicated mineral resource and 86 million pounds in inferred mineral resource were made through exploration.