The Caserones open pit mine is developed on a porphyry copper-molybdenum deposit in the Atacama Region of the northern Chilean Andean Cordillera. The mine has been in operation since 2014 and is owned and operated by SCM Minera Lumina Copper Chile SpA, Lundin Mining acquired 51% stake in SCM Minera Lumina Copper Chile SpA, the remaining 49% is held by JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation
The mine produces copper and molybdenum concentrates from a conventional crusher, mill and flotation plant, as well as copper cathode from a dump leach, solvent extraction and electrowinning plant. In 2022 the mine produced 109,009 tonnes of fine copper in concentrate, 3,056 tonnes of fine molybdenum in concentrate, and 15,120 tonnes of fine copper in cathodes (see Lumina’s 2022 Annual Report dated May 26, 2023).
Caserones is located at the southern end of the Maricunga mineral belt and occurs as an Early-Miocene porphyry system. The deposit has a well-developed supergene enrichment profile of oxide copper and secondary chalcocite that overlies hypogene sulfide (chalcopyrite-molybdenite) mineralization. In addition to currently defined zones of mineralization, considerable upside exists on the Caserones property, and exploration for additional resources and reserves has been ongoing.
EMX has filed a Technical Report titled “NI 43-101 Technical Report, Caserones Copper-Molybdenum Mine Royalty, Region III, Chile” with an effective date of February 28, 2022, and report date of March 1, 2022. The Technical Report was prepared by Gregory W. Walker, Independent Consulting Geologist, SME RM, and has been filed on SEDAR under the Company’s profile.
*Historical reserves not reported as Proven and Probable per section 1.3 of NI 43-101
Note: Caserones is considered by EMX to be a material property. EMX filed a Technical Report dated March 1, 2022 titled “NI 43-101 Technical Report – Caserones Copper-Molybdenum Mine Royalty Region III, Chile” which has an effective date of February 28, 2022 and was prepared by independent Qualified Person Gregory Walker, RM SME. The Technical Report restates the Caserones historical reserve estimate reported by JX Nippon Mining and Metals in its 2020 Annual Report dated May 31, 2021. The historical reserve uses categories other than the ones set out in section 1.3 of NI 43-101. This includes reporting “reserves” as “Minerals to Concentrator (Sulfides)” material in terms of tonnes, total copper (CuT %), and molybdenum (Mo ppm) and “Minerals to Dump Leach (Leachables)” material in terms of tonnes and total copper (CuT %), which are processed via conventional concentrator plant or leaching SX-EW leaching, respectively. The tonnes and grades of the “reserves” material are consistent with JX Nippon’s forecast production over the projected life of mine (i.e., 17 years at year-end 2020). EMX’s Qualified Person under NI 43-101 considers that the total material reported for each material type is equivalent to combined Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves. In its 2020 Annual Report, JX Nippon does not provide the detailed assumptions for the estimation of its reported “reserves” but does state ‘Ore reserves are estimates of the amount of ore that can be economically and legally extracted from the Company’s mining properties’.