Vancouver, B.C., Feb 14, 2023. Kutcho Copper Corp. (TSXV: KC) (OTC: KCCFF) (“Kutcho Copper” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide results from a Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) intensity study completed by Environmental Resource Management (ERM) based on the Company’s 2021 Feasibility Study on its high-grade copper – zinc development project located in north-western British Columbia.
Vince Sorace, President & CEO of Kutcho Copper stated: “We are proud to have been able to deliver a Feasibility design for the Kutcho Project that has resulted in a low GHG intensity of 1.3 kg CO₂e/kg Cueq inclusive of all construction and closure requirements. Based on public reports, other comparative carbon intensity reporting measures place Kutcho below the median of BC operating mines despite many of those mines have the added benefit of hydroelectricity sourced grid power as compared to Kutcho’s reliance on site LNG generator sourced power.”
Kutcho Carbon Intensity
The simplest measure for carbon intensity requires estimating the average annual production of GHG emissions from the burning of hydrocarbons such as LNG, diesel, and explosives and dividing that by the produced copper metal (cradle to gate calculation). On this basis the carbon intensity for the Kutcho Project has an average operational annual GHG of 1.94 kg CO₂e/kg Cu. Figure 1 shows publicly available information for operating mines in British Columbia in 2018 in comparison to the Kutcho Project. The Kutcho Project average operational annual GHG lies below the median of these other operating mines.
The average operational annual GHG per unit of copper does not give the full picture of carbon intensity. The Kutcho Project also produces significant amounts of zinc, silver and gold and, as such, a GHG intensity measured against copper equivalent production is more appropriate. The average operational annual GHG per pound of copper equivalent metal produced is 1.1 kg CO₂e/kg Cueq. BC based comparative information is not available for this equivalent metal measure.
Further, the average operational annual GHG does not measure the construction and closure periods, which also produce GHGs. A more complete carbon intensity calculation for the Kutcho Project was estimated for the entire project lifecycle commencing with construction, through operation and to end of closure; what is often referred to as the “total annualized life cycle GHG”. The total annualized life cycle GHG for the Kutcho Project was estimated as 1.3 kg CO₂e/kg Cueq (2.2 kg CO₂e/kg Cu). The Kutcho Project lifecycle GHG intensity compares favourably to other copper operations globally (Figure 2).
The low GHG intensity of the Kutcho Project is favoured by design efforts that focussed on minimizing footprint area and materials movement whilst maximizing mining efficiency and mineral recovery. The Projects high grade is a natural advantage. The Kutcho Project’s low GHG intensity is achieved despite the requirement to use LNG power generation. Many other projects in British Columbia have access to zero emissions hydroelectric grid power.
-Source for comparison data: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/data/industrial-facility-ghg.
-Comparison data (dark blue) is for 2018 and is most appropriately compared to the green bar for Kutcho.
-Comparison data based on a presentation by Associate Professor Gavin M. Mudd from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia at the UBA Raw Materials and Environment Conference in 2019.
– The data provided by Mudd does not specify how multi-metal mines are calculated nor if the full life cycle is included.
-Kutcho Copper Life Cycle GHG Intensity includes access road construction, mine construction, operations, and closure with pit backfilling and is based on a cradle-to-gate calculation.
-Kutcho Copper is a multi-metal mine (copper, zinc, silver, and gold), so a copper equivalency is also shown based on metal value. Copper-equivalent grades at Main are calculated based on the formula: Cueq = (Cu% x 876) + (Zn% x 0.241) + (Au g/t x 0.441) + (Ag g/t x 0.006). Copper-equivalent grades at Esso are calculated based on the formula: Cueq = (Cu% x 0.945) + (Zn% x 0.310)+(Ag g/t x 0.006)+(Au g/t x 0.466).
Opportunities for Further GHG Reductions
Kutcho has identified several opportunities that are being investigated to further reduce the GHG intensity of the project including:
- The potential to build a powerline to the project and connect hydroelectric or geothermal sourced grid power.
- The potential electrification of the underground mining fleet in order to reduce ventilation power, ventilation capital and air heating requirements and costs.
- The potential to develop CO₂ sequestration technology to permanently store CO₂ using chemical reactions that are inherent to tholeiitic basalt. Some 16 million tonnes of such basalt is proposed to be mined in the open pit during the mine life and there may be a means to utilize this material as for carbon capture. Kutcho Copper Corp management will continue to monitor this and other industry research and assess its applicability to the Kutcho Project.
The technical or scientific information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Andrew Sharp, P.Eng BC (Lic. No. 47907), FAusIMM, Chief Operating Officer for Kutcho Copper, who serves as a qualified person under the definition of National Instrument 43-101.
About Kutcho Copper Corp
Kutcho Copper Corp is a Canadian resource development company focused on expanding and developing the Kutcho high grade copper-zinc project in northern British Columbia. Committed to social responsibility and the highest environmental standards, the Company recently completed a feasibility study on the Kutcho project and is advancing permitting with the objective of getting to a positive construction decision.
President & CEO, Kutcho Copper Corp.
For further information regarding Kutcho Copper Corp., please email email@example.com or visit our website at www.kutcho.ca.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release contains certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements” with respect to the Company within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words “believes”, “objective”, “potential”; “resulted in” and similar expressions, or that events or conditions “will”, “may”, or “could” occur. Although Kutcho Copper believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance, are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results or realities may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such material risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, statements and information related to the Feasibility Study; the projected carbon dioxide emissions vs those in actual operations; the potential for carbon capture;the outcome of potential optimizations and opportunities identified in the Feasibility and subsequently; the Company’s ability to raise sufficient capital to fund its obligations under its property agreements going forward, to maintain its mineral tenures and concessions in good standing, to explore and develop the Kutcho project or its other projects and for general working capital purposes; changes in economic conditions or financial markets; the inherent hazards associates with mineral exploration and mining operations, future prices of copper and other metals, changes in general economic conditions, accuracy of mineral resource and reserve estimates, the ability of the Company to obtain the necessary permits and consents required to explore, drill and develop the Kutcho project and, if obtained, to obtain such permits and consents in a timely fashion relative to the Company’s plans and business objectives for the projects, including the environmental assessment process; the ability of the Company to conclude agreements with First Nations; the general ability of the Company to monetize its mineral resources; and changes in environmental and other laws or regulations that could have an impact on the Company’s operations, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, aboriginal title claims and rights to consultation and accommodation, dependence on key management personnel and general competition in the mining industry. Forward-looking statements are based on the reasonable beliefs, estimates and opinions of the Company’s management on the date the statements are made. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the event that management’s beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change.