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|Wed Jan 4, 2006|
Lisbon Valley Copper Mine Copper-Rich Leach Solution Flowing Construction Update
DENVER, Colorado, Jan. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Constellation Copper Corporation CCU:TSX) is pleased to report that bright green-blue copper-rich solutions "PLS") started flowing out of the heap and to the PLS pond from the leach pad on Monday December 26, 2005. Copper-Rich Pregnant Leach Solution (PLS)
Initial PLS flow was 450 gpm (gallons per minute) by December 28, 2005. Acid solutions were first applied to the leach pad on December 19, 2005, at an application rate of 450gpm. The application rate was increased to 600 gpm by January 2, 2006, and will continue to increase as more ore is loaded onto the leach pad. Initial copper concentration in PLS solution was approximately 7 gpl (grams per liter) Cu (see photo - http://files.newswire.ca/357/PLS.doc). Copper-rich PLS volumes will continue to increase and PLS will build up in the ponds while we complete plant construction.
The ore currently on the leach pad is primarily from the Sentinel deposit, and the results of leaching to date compare very favorably with the previous metallurgical test work from the deposit. Initial PLS grades from a large diameter 20 ft. tall column leach test on this ore were 4-5 gpl Cu,increasing to 6 gpl Cu after 24 days of leaching. Recovery of 90% of the contained copper from Sentinel ore was achieved in 40 days, and complete recovery of 94% of contained copper was achieved in 55 days.
The Company has been successful in locating another pipe fitting crew to supplement the construction contractors who are working on completing the SX-EW plant at the mine site. The additional crew completed their MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) training the week of December 26th and commenced work on the SX-EW plant on December 30th. In addition to the new pipe-fitting crew the Company has dedicated a crew of 17 personnel from the mining and crushing/conveying/stacking departments to supplement the construction crew on completing the processing plant in a timely manner. With the additional crew of pipe-fitters and site personnel applied towards construction and commissioning, we anticipate completing construction of the SX-EW plant in mid-January. Water testing of various components of the solvent extraction plant commenced on December 29th. Water testing of the electrowinning plant and associated reagent tanks will follow immediately completion of construction.
Constellation Copper Corporation looks forward to the commencement of copper production in Q1 2006, and being able to capitalize on the current high prices for copper, including capturing the current arbitrage of COMEX over LME prices, and the cathode premium, which combined are currently $0.09-$0.10/lb. above the LME price.
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