White Pine North Project

White Pine North Project

Project Overview

The White Pine North Project is a 34% owned brownfield project being developed by White Pine Copper LLC, a joint venture with Kinterra. The preliminary economic assessment completed in 2023 projects a 21.8-year mine life at a processing rate of 15,000 metric tonnes per day.

The project is located on M-64, directly across from the unincorporated town site of White Pine. The copper mineralization in the area of the former White Pine Mine occurs in the bottom 20 feet (6 meters) of the Nonesuch Formation at the contact with the Copper Harbor Conglomerate.

In July 2021, White Pine Copper LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Highland Copper at the time, successfully completed the acquisition of the rights, title and interest in the White Pine North Project from Copper Range Company, a subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals Ltd. In July of 2023, Highland Copper was able to publish the results of an updated preliminary economic assessment on the project, demonstrating the potential for strong project economics.

Also in July of 2023, Highland Copper and Kinterra Copper USA, LLC. signed a joint venture agreement on the White Pine North project in which Kinterra now holds a 66% stake. Kinterra brings substantial financial and technical strength to the partnership, as the joint venture works to advance the project through permitting, infill drilling and a feasibility study.

Project Highlights

Strong JV Partner for Development

Project development plan for the White Pine North project is supported by Kinterra’s financial and technical strength.

Permitting Managed by Michigan

The mine permitting process, rigorously managed by the state, follows established timelines for key milestones.

History of Successful Mine Operation

White Pine North was operated for over 40 years by Copper Range Company, producing over 4.5 billion pounds of copper.

2023 Preliminary Economic Assessment Highlights

The Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) was completed by, and under the supervision of, G Mining Services Inc. in collaboration with Foth Infrastructure and Environment, LLC. It provides a base case assessment of mining the mineral resources of the White Pine North Project on a stand-alone basis, where potential synergies with Copperwood are not considered. The Project is the extension of the historical White Pine mine which operated from 1953 to 1995.  The results of the White Pine North PEA demonstrate the long-lived nature of the project with strong economics and cash flows.

Note: The reader is advised that a PEA is preliminary in nature and is intended to provide only an initial, high-level review of the Project potential and design options. The PEA mine plan and economic model include numerous assumptions and the use of Inferred resources. Inferred resources are too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves and to be used in an economic analysis except as allowed for in PEA studies. There is no guarantee that Inferred resources can be converted to Indicated or Measured resources, and as such, there is no guarantee the Project economics described herein will be achieved.

View Full Assessment

Strong Economic Returns with Leverage to Copper Price Changes

  • After-tax NPV8% of $821 million (at $4.00/pound copper price)
  • 20.8% after-tax IRR
  • At $4.50/pound copper price, after tax NPV8% of $1.2 billion and IRR of 25.4%

Improved NPV to Initial Capital Expenditure Ratio

  • Initial capital expenditures of $615 million, net of pre-production revenue of $265 million 
  • NPV to initial capital expenditure ratio of 1.33

Significantly Increased Resource Base

  • Indicated mineral resource containing 3.5 billion pounds of copper (150.7 million tonnes at 1.05% Cu) and 65.5 million ounces of silver (13.5 g/t Ag)
  • Inferred mineral resource containing 2.2 billion pounds of copper (96.4 million tonnes at 1.03% Cu) and 27.8 million ounces of silver (9.0 g/t Ag)
  • From the above resource, mineralized material included in the mine plan of 115.8 million tonnes at 0.97% Cu and 11.09 g/t Ag, containing 2.47 billion pounds of copper and 41.3 million ounces of silver

Long-lived Asset with Strong Cash Flows

  • Mine life of 21.8 years, including 21 months of ramp-up, with average annual LOM payable copper production of 93.5 million pounds and 1.2 million ounces of silver 
  • Life-of-mine (“LOM”) average C1 cash costs of $1.58/lb, net of by-product  
  • Undiscounted average annual operating cash flow of approximately $210 million and annual free cash flow of approximately $160 million (excluding initial capital)

White Pine North’s Resource Estimates

For information on the White Pine North project’s resource estimate, download the slides from our corporate presentation deck.