March 9, 2010 / 12:54 AM / 8 years ago

PDAC-Western Copper mulls sale of Carmacks project

* Says company’s preference is to sell Carmacks project

* Expects to get about C$100 mln for Carmacks project

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, March 8 (Reuters) - Canadian exploration company Western Copper Corp WRN.TO is looking to sell its Carmacks copper project in Canada’s northern Yukon territory, and focus on further exploration at its Casino project, a top company executive said on Monday.

“We are really at an end game here. Are we going to build this (Carmacks), or are we going to sell it? It is a board decision and we will be addressing this quite soon,” said Paul West-Sells, the company’s head of corporate development.

“Certainly the preference for us is to sell this project and monetize it and use that money for other projects,” while speaking at the PDAC mining convention in Toronto.

The PDAC convention, organized by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, is the largest industry gathering of its kind, drawing more than 20,000 participants this year as global metals demand promises to hold steady and the world emerges from economic crisis.

The Carmacks project is expected to produce about 32 million pounds of copper per year for its mine life of over 6 years.

West-Sells said the company has completed all necessary studies and licensing and that it can be put into production within 20 months.

“Right now we have a market cap of about C$120 million. We’ve got C$13 million in cash and we think we can get C$100 million for this project,” said West-Sells.

Copper was trading at about $3.40 per pound in New York on Monday.

CASINO PROJECT

The Casino Project, which is also located in the Yukon territory, is Western Copper’s flagship asset. The project contains 8 million ounces of gold, 4.4 billion pounds of copper and 475 million pounds of molybdenum in proven and probable reserves.

The company plans to complete its exploration program at Casino this year and update its reserves.

Western Copper generated about C$5.4 million from a financing that closed in December.

The proceeds will be used to complete the exploration program, which is expected to raise the reserves estimate at Casino by about 20 percent, said West-Sells.

The report will extend the projected 30-year mine life, he said, adding that the updated study will form the basis of its permitting application for the project.

Western Copper shares closed at C$1.65 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Richard Chang)

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