Kwanika-Stardust Project

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Mine TypeOpen Pit & Underground
StagePreliminary Economic Assessment
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Silver
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Block caving
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotThe Stardust deposit forms a key part of the Kwanika-Stardust project as outlined in the recent PEA, the results of which were released on January 5, 2023.


NorthWest Copper Corp. 100 % Indirect
On September 7, 2022, NorthWest Copper Corp. completed the third issuance of Consideration Shares (“Tranche 3”) to POSCO International Corporation (“POSCO”) pursuant to the previously announced agreement whereby NorthWest agreed to purchase POSCO’s approximately 31% interest in Kwanika Copper Corporation (“KCC”) for total consideration of C$11 million (the “Transaction”), payable in shares of NorthWest (the “Consideration Shares”). KCC is a British Columbia corporation which owns 100% of the Kwanika project. Following the completion of the issuance of all Consideration Shares, KCC has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of NorthWest, and NorthWest now owns a 100% interest in the Kwanika project.



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Deposit type

  • Porphyry
  • Vein / narrow vein


The Kwanika Project consists of two mineralized areas: Central Zone and South Zone. In the Central Zone the most economically significant intrusive body is a north-northeast trending monzonite stock that dips shallowly to steeply to the west. The intrusion has a strike length of nearly 1.3km and a thickness of 50m to 350m. The high-grade copper- gold mineralization (>0.6% copper equivalent (CuEq) in the Central Zone is dominantly hosted within, and immediately adjacent to, the monzonite intrusive. Monzonite has also been intersected at depth in the western and southwestern parts of the Central Zone and is thought to connect to the sill-like body in the central part of the deposit, suggesting the possibility of deep Central Zone mineralization.

The South Zone occurs within a fault bounded sequence of strongly altered intrusive rocks of alkalic to intermediate composition. The host lithologies occur within a north-south trending structural corridor. This structural corridor is bounded by the West Fault to the west and by a similar fault zone termed the East Fault along the eastern boundary of the corridor. Coincident chargeability and resistivity anomalies form a geophysical domain that represents the fault- bounded South Zone corridor. This variably mineralized domain is 2,900m long and up to 500m wide.

Copper and gold mineralization in the Central Zone at Kwanika occurs primarily in potassically and albitically altered lithologies. Alteration and mineralization grade outwards from a strong to intensely potassically and albitically altered, strongly mineralized core zone to a variably propylitically altered, weakly mineralized periphery. Hypogene mineralization is controlled by several generations of quartz + sulphide veining, with the highest copper and gold grades occurring in areas of quartz stockwork. A supergene enrichment blanket has been superimposed on the upper surface of the hypogene mineralization in the Central Zone.

The South Zone is characterized by porphyry style copper + gold + molybdenum + silver mineralization within monzonite, quartz monzonite, and monzodiorite with primary mineralization comprised of fine to coarse grained chalcopyrite disseminations and molybdenite mineralization along fractures and quartz selvages and, less commonly, disseminated blebs associated with pyrite and chalcopyrite. Enrichment is associated with brecciated zones that have undergone secondary K-feldspar flooding and/or intense pyrite + chlorite + silica alteration.

The Central Zone deposit is similar in characteristics to both the classic alkali porphyries in that the mineralization is associated with an intrusive complex of alkali- feldspar-saturated monzonite and the calc-alkalic porphyry type deposits in that the mineralization is associated with strong quartz stockwork.

The South Zone deposit is a structurally controlled porphyry deposit with quartz monzonitic to quartz monzodioritic host lithologies.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



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CommodityUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
Gold koz 45676
Silver koz 1772,659
All production numbers are expressed as metal in concentrate.

Operational metrics

Daily ore mining rate 15,000 t *
Daily milling rate 15,000 t *
Annual milling rate 5,401 kt *
Stripping / waste ratio 1.7 *
Ore tonnes mined, LOM 78,855 kt *
Tonnes milled, LOM 78,855 kt *
* According to 2017 study.

Production Costs

C1 cash costs Copper 1.2 / lb * **  CAD
Assumed price Copper 2.9 / lb *  USD
Assumed price Silver 19 / lb *  USD
Assumed price Gold 1,270 / lb *  USD
* According to 2017 study / presentation.
** Net of By-Product.

Operating Costs

OP mining costs ($/t mined) CAD 2.97 *  
UG mining costs ($/t mined) CAD  ....  Subscribe
OP mining costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
UG mining costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
Combined mining costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
Processing costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
G&A ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
Total operating costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2017 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Initial CapEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Sustaining CapEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
OP OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
UG OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Processing OpEx $M CAD 0.7
G&A costs $M CAD 0.2
Total OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Gross revenue (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 5% $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 10% $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 5% $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 10% $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
After-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe
After-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Apr 19, 2017
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Apr 19, 2017
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Apr 26, 2023


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