Excelsior Mining (MIN.V) has announced an update to keep the market up to speed on its attempts to complete a feasibility study on its Gunnison ISR copper project in Arizona. The metallurgical test work (which is an important piece of the puzzle as a 5 or 10% change in recovery rates could have a huge impact on the economics of Gunnison) is ongoing and an additional 29 samples have been sent off for testing.

The company has also completed a 13 hole, 17,000 feet diamond drill program at Gunnison and this drill program was specifically designed to convert a large part of the inferred resources at Gunnison into the measured and indicated category (so they can be included in the mine plan for the feasibility study). No assay results have been released yet, but we should see something shortly, considering the drill program was concluded in December last year. Another part of the drill program at Gunnison consisted of drilling 29 test wells is 90% completed now and the outcome of this study will be extremely important. As the Gunnison project is an In Situ Leach project, the movement of the fluid and the level of fractured rock is extremely important in order to keep the project viable.

Excelsior Mining is ticking all the boxes and 2015 will be the year of the truth for this company. The copper price has gone south recently, but even at the current price of $2.5/lbs, Gunnison should still be one of the most profitable copper projects in the world as its direct cash cost per produced pound of copper will be less than a dollar. The main things to focus on right now as an investor are the metallurgical test results (to see if the gypsum indeed causes some issues) and the outcome of the hydrological test work.

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Disclosure: The author holds a long position in Excelsior Mining. Please see our disclaimer for current positions.

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