[Minnesota] Ely copper deposit estimate doubles – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – June 14, 2012)

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

Already reported as the world’s largest untapped deposit of copper, the Twin Metals mine exploration area near Ely contains even more copper, nickel, platinum and other valuable metals than previously estimated, the mine’s parent company said Wednesday.

Already reported as the world’s largest untapped deposit of copper, the Twin Metals mine exploration area near Ely contains even more copper, nickel, platinum and other valuable metals than previously estimated, the mine’s parent company said Wednesday.

Toronto-based Duluth Metals released an updated resource estimate that’s double its 2009 estimate, though the new findings aren’t likely to change the already developing plans for Twin Metals mining operations.

Data gathered from exploratory drill sites, including 170 new drill core samples reviewed in the past nine months, indicate a staggering 8 billion pounds of copper, 2.5 billion pounds of nickel and 12 million ounces of palladium, platinum and gold underground at the site along Highway 1 near the Kawishiwi River.

Tests indicate an “inferred” but not yet proven estimate of up to 13.5 billion pounds of copper,

4.6 billion pounds of nickel and 15.8 million ounces of palladium, platinum and gold. Company officials said Wednesday the deposit could hold more than $100 billion worth of the ore.

The company has analyzed thousands of feet of drill-core samples taken from more than 650 old and new drilling sites across the Twin Metals exploration area, which covers about 32,000 acres the company has access to. And the company reported strong signs of major deposits just outside its current proposed mine, areas for future expansion.

“It’s big news. But it’s not surprising,” said Bob McFarlin, Twin Metals vice president of public and government affairs. “It’s (Wednesday’s report) part of the project development process. It’s an affirmation of the fact that we are talking about (a copper-nickel-platinum) deposit of world-class magnitude.’’

McFarlin said among the most interesting aspects of the new report is the scale of copper-nickel-gold deposits now confirmed. It’s the added value of those precious metals that give the Twin Metals project a huge financial boost, he noted.

While Wednesday’s was the most recent formal update of the value of the underground resources, most Northlanders who have followed the project already have seen its expanding scope. Just last month, Duluth Metals reported that there is so much copper in between their Nokomis and Maturi proposed mine sites that they would merge the two deposits under the Maturi name.

It’s not uncommon for proposed mines to upgrade their estimates for the value of resources in the ground, especially as analyses of hundreds of drill core samples come back positive. The updates are required by Canadian law of Canadian mining companies to keep investors accurately abreast of what so-called Canadian Junior mining companies are finding at their project sites.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Duluth News Tribune website: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/234333/

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