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Curis Resources Gains After Final State Permit For Florence Phase 1 Operations Secured

Jul. 08, 2013 3:04 PM ET
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Shares of Curis Resources (TSE:CUV) were jumping Monday morning after the company announced it received the final amended Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) from the state of Arizona for the phase 1 operations at its Florence copper project, following an exhaustive public consultation process.

The company received the initial permit last September, which was required to undergo a review by the public and other interested parties through a formal consultation process.

The amended permit, granted by the state's Department of Environmental Quality with some minor modifications from the original document, authorizes the construction, operation and closure of a 24-well in-situ copper recovery process at the company's project site in Florence, Arizona.

"After an exhaustive public consultation process, the receipt of our final Phase 1 operating permit from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is a significant validation of the engineering and safety of the Florence Copper project and another important milestone for the company," said president and CEO, Michael McPhie, in the release Monday.

"With our financing in place, detailed engineering complete and long lead time equipment ordered, this positive decision by ADEQ brings us one step closer to the start of construction and copper production at Florence Copper."

In May, the company closed a C$6 million non-brokered financing, and also recently removed certain legal obstacles from its pathway to development, including a lawsuit in April that had challenged the operational permit for the project.

The Florence project has a long history, having been advanced to a prefeasibility study level and attaining full project permits when it was owned by BHP Copper in the late 1990s, but Curis has been working to amend and update these operational permits, with the aim of starting copper production at a phase 1 production test facility late this year.

After the acquifer permit, it still needs to secure an underground injection control permit for the test facility from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is in final stages of review, according to Curis's statement.

"Receiving the final APP after an exhaustive and thorough public consultation process is good news for Florence Copper, for the Town of Florence and the State of Arizona," said VP and general manager of the project, Dan Johnson.

"The production test facility will assist in the demonstration of the science and safety of in-situ technology and provide an opportunity for the public to fully engage and understand this modern copper extraction technology," said the company in its release Monday.

The internal rate of return for the Florence copper project was projected at 29 per cent, using a base case 70 percent copper recovery rate, and a copper price of $2.75 per pound.

Shares of Curis were up 9.4 per cent in early deals Monday, at 70 cents as of 10:30 am ET.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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