General Moly Announces Updated Pre-Feasibility Study for Liberty Project

LAKEWOOD, Colo.--()--General Moly, Inc. (the "Company") (NYSE MKT and TSX: GMO), a U.S.-based molybdenum mineral development, exploration and mining company, announced today the completion of an updated Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) for its 100%-owned Liberty Project. This PFS, prepared by Independent Mining Consultants, Inc. (“IMC”) with capital estimates from M3 Engineering & Technology Corporation, estimates production, capital, operating cost, and economic analysis for this more capital efficient project when compared to earlier studies. A technical report prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) of the Canadian Securities Administration containing further information on the Liberty Project will be filed shortly with the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (“SEDAR”), the document filing and retrieval system operated by the Canadian Securities Administrators for public companies with securities listed in Canada, under the Company’s issuer profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Liberty Project is located 20 miles north of Tonopah, Nevada.

KEY PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Total capital costs to construct the project are estimated at $366 million, reflecting the use of extensive existing infrastructure.
  • Sustaining capital costs are estimated at $224 million over the Liberty Project’s 32 year life of mine (“LOM”).
  • For the first five full years of production:
    • annual salable production of approximately 14.0 million pounds of molybdenum and 7.5 million pounds of copper per year is expected based on a mill capacity to process 26,500 tons per day;
    • average on-site cash costs of $6.32 per pound are expected, using copper as a by-product credit; and
    • total cash costs of $7.79 per pound are expected, which includes off-site roasting, smelting, and shipping costs.
  • The updated mine plan results in a total of 402 million pounds of molybdenum and 308 million pounds of copper to be produced during the LOM, with total contained molybdenum grade of 0.078% and total contained copper grade of 0.098%.
  • The Liberty Project generates an after tax net present value (“NPV”) at an 8% discount rate of $325 million, and an internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 17.4%, assuming toll roasting, based on a long-term molybdenum price of $15.00 per pound and a long-term copper price of $3.25 per pound.
  • There is the potential to increase the Liberty Project’s NPV and IRR on the basis that molybdenum concentrates from the Liberty Project could be toll roasted at the Mt. Hope Project, once constructed, which could increase the after tax NPV of the Liberty Project to 18.4%, and decrease total cash costs to $7.41 per pound for the first five full years of production.
  • The Liberty Project has an after tax NPV breakeven molybdenum price of $11.64 per pound, at an 8% discount rate, and a non-discounted cash flow breakeven molybdenum price of $9.58 per pound.

Bruce D. Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of General Moly, said, “This Pre-Feasibility Study confirms the economically robust nature of the Liberty Project. In addition, there are many significant attributes including its secure Nevada jurisdiction, substantial existing infrastructure, and long life. This analysis also details our plan to build the Liberty Project at a low initial capital cost of $366 million, with 26,500 ton per day mill throughput. This represents a 39% reduction from the approximate $600 million (in 2011 dollars) capital cost estimate in our November, 2011 Liberty Pre-Feasibility Study, which had planned for a 36,000 ton per day mill throughout, while maintaining a similar ratio for after tax NPV to initial capital and slightly improved ratio of annual molybdenum production to initial capital. The updated mine plan allows us to leverage significant existing infrastructure to reduce initial capital costs while retaining the capability to expand post startup and reduce operating costs. Liberty provides significant optionality and flexibility to develop at a low entry capital investment relative to its NPV. We look forward to advancing the project through full feasibility and permitting and anticipate that these results will demonstrate, through an updated low capital scenario, the inherent value of Liberty to shareholders and potential strategic investors.”

Mr. Hansen added, “Depending on market conditions and financing options, Liberty could be advanced through a Feasibility Study (“FS”) as early as end of year 2015, with the potential to initiate construction as early as late 2017 under Nevada state permits, with production to follow in late 2019. Full realization of the economics of this Pre-Feasibility Study are partly dependent on the ultimate receipt of a federal Environmental Impact Statement record of decision (“ROD”) at the start of production as a portion of the project is located on federal land, but a less favorable economic plan could be executed solely on private land for a few years, should there be a delay in receiving the ROD. This permitting option provides further flexibility and schedule upside. We expect the FS would focus on improving the project economics based on further drilling, sampling, and metallurgical testing to drive the potential for higher mill throughput, process recovery, and more optimal mine plan options.”

Mr. Hansen concluded, “Even as we advance the Liberty Project, we are aggressively pursuing full financing alternatives for our 80% owned Mt. Hope Project, and continue to have substantive dialogue with potential partners who could support a debt package to provide the bulk of the capital requirements of the Mt. Hope Project.”

DEVELOPMENT ANALYSIS MOLYBDENUM AND COPPER PRODUCTION RATES

The Liberty Project is expected to produce an annual average of 14.0 million pounds of molybdenum and 7.5 million pounds of copper over the first five years of operations and is estimated to average 12.6 million pounds of molybdenum and 9.6 million pounds of copper annually over the LOM. Additional operating parameters are set forth in the table below.

               
            First 5 Years     First 10 Years     LOM
Average Mill Mo Grade    

%tMo1

    0.090%     0.087%     0.078%
Average Mill Cu Grade    

%tCu2

    0.074%     0.068%     0.098%
Mill Molybdenum Recovery (total Mo content)     %     83.5%     84.6%     84.0%
Downstream Molybdenum Recovery     %     99.0%     99.0%     99.0%
Total Molybdenum Recovery     %     82.6%     83.7%     83.2%
Mill Copper Recovery (total Cu content)     %     56.0%     55.5%     53.6%
Downstream Copper Recovery     %     95.1%     95.1%     95.1%
Total Copper Recovery     %     53.3%     52.7%     50.9%
Salable Molybdenum     M lb/y     14.0     13.9     12.6
Salable Copper     M lb/y     7.5     6.9     9.6
Salable Molybdenum     M lb     70     139     402
Salable Copper     M lb     37     69     308
 

1 Total molybdenum concentration.
2 Total copper concentration.

PROJECT ECONOMICS

The Liberty Project remains more sensitive to changes in molybdenum price than to changes in copper price. The table below tables illustrates the after tax NPV in millions of U.S. dollars and IRR return calculated at a variety of molybdenum and copper prices. All figures are calculated at an 8% discount rate. Baseline project economics for both scenarios were calculated using $15.00 per pound molybdenum and $3.25 per pound copper.

NPV (after tax) at 8%
($Millions)

    Molybdenum Price, $/lb            
          $10.00     $12.50     $15.00     $17.50     $20.00
Copper   $2.50 ($235)     $34 $276 $511 $744
Price $2.75 ($214) $51 $292 $527 $759
$/lb $3.00 ($193) $68 $309 $543 $775
$3.25 ($172) $85 $325 $559 $791
$3.50 ($152) $102 $341 $575 $806
    $3.75     ($134)     $119     $358     $591     $822
 
IRR Molybdenum Price, $/lb
          $10.00     $12.50     $15.00     $17.50     $ 20.00
Copper $2.50 -1.0% 9.1% 16.2% 22.4% 28.1%
Price $2.75 0.2% 9.6% 16.6% 22.8% 28.4%
$/lb $3.00 1.3% 10.1% 17.0% 23.1% 28.7%
$3.25 2.3% 10.6% 17.4% 23.4% 29.0%
$3.50 3.0% 11.1% 17.8% 23.8% 29.3%
    $3.75     3.7%     11.6%     18.1%     24.1%     29.6%
 

CAPITAL AND OPERATING COSTS

Constructing the Liberty Project is anticipated to cost approximately $366 million (2014 dollars), as set forth in the table below.

Area     Capital

$000s

Mine Civil and Equipment     $36,055
Plant Equipment, Construction, EPCM, and Contingency     $279,521
Pre-production Stripping     $16,956
Owner's Cost     $26,666
Subtotal     $359,198
Reclamation Bond Collateral     $5,800
Pre-paid Power     $1,400
Subtotal     $7,200
Total Initial Capital     $366,398
   

The capital estimate contains $51 million in contingency. Sustaining capital costs for the Liberty Project are expected to be $224 million over the LOM, primarily for mining equipment replacement and tailings dam expansions.

On the basis of salable molybdenum, the cash cost for the first five years of production (net of copper credit) is expected to be $7.79 per pound of salable molybdenum.

$/lb Molybdenum    

First 5
Years

   

First 10
Years

    LOM
Mining     $3.52     $3.84     $3.75
Milling     $3.88     $3.90     $4.34
Laboratory     $0.10     $0.10     $0.11
Site G&A (includes reclamation bond policy)     $0.55     $0.55     $0.58
Copper Credit     ($1.73)     ($1.60)     ($2.49)
At Site Operating Cost     $6.32     $6.80     $6.29
Roasting, Shipping, Marketing, Copper TC/RCs     $1.47     $1.44     $1.65
Total Operating Cost Net of Copper Credit     $7.79     $8.25     $7.94
           

MINERAL RESERVES AND MINERAL RESOURCES

The Liberty's Project’s Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources, determined in accordance with NI 43-101, are set forth in the tables below. These tables reflect material changes to the previous Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resource that were announced by the Company in November, 2011. The changes to Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources are due to:

1) updated geologic interpretation;
2) more detailed incorporation of a copper zone that is included within the Liberty Project’s molybdenum pit;
3) conversion to 40 foot benches rather than the previous 50 foot benches;
4) updated estimates of mine and process costs; and
5) updated estimates of process recoveries, particularly for contained copper.

MINERAL RESERVES, AS PER NI 43-101 DEFINITIONS

Category     Ktons     Total Mo

Grade (%)

    Total Cu

Grade (%)

    Lb Moly
Contained
(millions)
    Lb Cu

Contained
(millions)

    Saleable

Moly Lb

(millions)

    Saleable

Copper Lb

(millions)

Proven     92,489     0.101     0.056     187     104     NA     NA
Probable     216,727     0.068     0.116     295     503     NA     NA
Proven & Probable     309,216     0.078     0.098     482     606     402     308

Notes:

1)   Cutoff Grade is $8.83 NSR / ton, based on metal prices of $12.00 per pound molybdenum and $3.00 per pound copper.
2) Mineral Reserves are based on the total of all Proven and Probable Material Reserves planned for processing within the mine plan.
3) Table figures may not add due to rounding.
4) Tons are U.S. short tons.
 

MINERAL RESOURCES, AS PER NI 43-101 DEFINITIONS: MINERAL RESOURCES DO CONTAIN THE ABOVE MINERAL RESERVES

Category     Ktons     Total Mo

Grade
(%)

    Total Cu

Grade
(%)

    Lb Moly
Contained
(millions)
    Lb Cu

Contained
(millions)

Measured     125,538     0.093     0.051     233.5     128.0
Indicated     440,621     0.060     0.094     528.7     828.4
Measured & Indicated     566,159     0.067     0.084     762.2     956.4
Inferred     148,598     0.052     0.115     154.5     341.8

Notes:

1)   Cutoff Grade is $7.05 NSR / ton, based on metal prices of $15.00 per pound molybdenum and $3.00 per pound copper.
2) Mineral Resources on the table above include the mineral reserve.
3) Mineral Resources are contained within a computer generated pit and meet the requirements for reasonable expectation of economic extraction.
4) Table figures may not add due to rounding.
5) Tons are U.S. short tons.
6)

Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

 

The scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been approved and verified by John M. Marek, P.E., President of Independent Mining Consultants Inc., for matters relating to Mineral Reserves, Mineral Resources, and mine production as well as Gabriel A. Secrest, P.E., Project Manager at M3 Engineering and Technology Corp., for matters relating to project capital cost, infrastructure and plant production. Mr. Marek and Mr. Secrest are independent Qualified Persons for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101.

ABOUT THE LIBERTY PROJECT

The Liberty Project has significant infrastructure already in place, including a truck shop, offices, tailing dam, laboratory, and previously mined open pit. The site is accessed through paved roads, has fully permitted water rights, and sits adjacent to utility power. The previous mining operations, by Anaconda and Cyprus Minerals, provided significant operating history to validate mining and metallurgical performance. The site is largely on privately held ground, has no royalties, and provides an opportunity for initial permitting under Nevada State agencies, potentially avoiding lengthier federal upfront permitting. However, federal permits will be required to fully exploit the mineral potential due to Bureau of Land Management holdings near the mine and stockpiles.

****

General Moly is a U.S.-based molybdenum mineral development, exploration and mining company listed on the NYSE MKT (formerly the NYSE AMEX) and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol GMO. The Company’s primary asset is our interest in the Mt. Hope Project located in central Nevada, is considered one of the world's largest and highest grade molybdenum deposits. Combined with the Company’s second project, the Liberty Project, a molybdenum and copper property also located in central Nevada, our goal is to become the largest pure play primary molybdenum producer in the world. For more information on the Company, please visit our website at http://www.generalmoly.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements herein that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor created by such sections. Such forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated, expected, or implied by the Company. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, metals price and production volatility, global economic conditions, currency fluctuations, increased production costs and variances in ore grade or recovery rates from those assumed in mining plans, exploration risks and results, political, operational and project development risks, including the Company’s ability to maintain required permits to continue construction, commence production and its ability to raise required project financing, adverse governmental regulation and judicial outcomes, including appeal of the Record of Decision and appeal of water permits and estimates related to cost of production, capital, operating and exploration expenditures. For a detailed discussion of risks and other factors that may impact these forward looking statements, please refer to the Risk Factors and other discussion contained in the Company’s quarterly and annual periodic reports on Forms 10-Q and 10-K, on file with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.

Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors Concerning Estimates of Reserves and Resources

Calculations with respect to "proven reserves" and "probable reserves" referred to above have been made in accordance with, and using the definitions of NI 43-101, as required by Canadian securities regulatory authorities. For United States reporting purposes, the U.S. SEC applies a different standard in order to classify mineralization as a "reserve". Under SEC standards, mineralization may not be classified as a "reserve" unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time the reserve determination is made. No such determinations have been made with respect to any mineralization at the Liberty project, and it cannot be assured that such a determination will be made. This release also uses the terms “measured”, “indicated” and “inferred” resources. We caution U.S. investors that while such terms are recognized and required by Canadian Securities Administrators pursuant to the NI 43-101, the SEC does not recognize them. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part of or all mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. “Inferred Resources”, in particular, have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian Securities Administration rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an inferred resource exists, or is economically or legally minable.

Contacts

General Moly
Investors:
Scott Kozak, 303-928-8591
skozak@generalmoly.com
or
Media:
Zach Spencer, 775-748-6059
zspencer@generalmoly.com
or
Website: http://www.generalmoly.com
info@generalmoly.com

Release Summary

General Moly announced today the completion of an updated Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) for its 100%-owned Liberty Project.

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Contacts

General Moly
Investors:
Scott Kozak, 303-928-8591
skozak@generalmoly.com
or
Media:
Zach Spencer, 775-748-6059
zspencer@generalmoly.com
or
Website: http://www.generalmoly.com
info@generalmoly.com