Phoenix Copper Ltd (PXC) achieved a further milestone in its strategy for a staged development of the potentially world-class Empire copper mine in mining-friendly Idaho, US. The new economic model for an open pit “starter mine” is key to the Feasibility Study due by 2Q’20. Capital and cash operating costs have been cut by 25% and 7%, respectively, with minimal production impact. This mine will provide cashflow to explore far more extensive mineralisation in the deeper sulphide ore body and adjacent land package. While we evaluate PXC’s upside in more detail, our estimated DCF valuation for the first mine is 32p/share, and 49p/share using the company’s base-case assumptions.
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