The PEA envisions an open pit and conventional sulphide flotation milling operation with an initial 24 year mine life. Over the life of mine, Ann Mason is estimated to produce an annual average of 214 million pounds of copper. The PEA is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized.
Entree reported the first resource estimate for the Blue Hill copper deposit, located 1.5 kilometres northwest of the Ann Mason copper-molybdenum porphyry deposit, on October 29, 2012. Combined inferred oxide and mixed resource categories total 72.13 million tonnes ("Mt") averaging 0.17% copper (at a 0.10% copper cut-off), or 277.5 million pounds of copper. The underlying inferred sulphide resource is estimated to contain 49.86 Mt averaging 0.23% copper at a 0.15% copper cut-off.
Preliminary metallurgy suggests the oxide and mixed copper mineralization at Blue Hill is amenable to low-cost, heap leach and solvent extraction/electrowinning processing. Average copper recovery in the oxide mineralization in column leach testing is 86%, while the mixed material returned 83% recovery (refer to News Release dated July 26, 2012). The underlying sulphide-copper mineralization has only been tested with ten widely spaced holes and remains open in most directions.
Further exploration is planned on other high-priority targets on the Ann Mason Project. In the Blackjack area, induced polarization and surface copper oxide exploration targets have been identified and provide new targets for drill testing. The area between Ann Mason and Blue Hill also remains highly prospective and underexplored.
On November 15, 2012, the Company filed an updated technical report on the Ann Mason Project titled "Preliminary Economic Assessment on the Ann Mason Project, Nevada, USA." The report was prepared by AGP Mining Consultants Inc., and a copy is filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Other Corporate Highlights
-- In January 2012, the underwriters for the Company's November 2011 marketed offering exercised their over-allotment option pursuant to which the Company issued 1,150,000 common shares at a price of C$1.25 per share. Rio Tinto elected to exercise its pre-emptive rights and purchased an additional 170,455 shares at a price of C$1.25 per share. The total gross proceeds from the over allotment were $1,628,583.-- Gorden Glenn was appointed to Entree's board of directors on June 18, 2012.-- Comprehensive financing package with Sandstorm Gold Ltd. was closed subsequent to December 31, 2012. The financing package consists of three key components: -- Equity participation and funding agreement ("Funding Agreement") that provides for a $40 million upfront deposit and ongoing payments from Sandstorm. In return, Entree will use future payments that it receives from its mineral property interests to purchase and deliver metal credits, in amounts that are primarily indexed to Entree's share of gold and silver by-products and, to a lesser extent, copper production from the Company's joint venture property in Mongolia. -- CAD$10 million private placement pursuant to which Entree issued 17,857,142 shares to Sandstorm at a price of CAD$0.56 per share. -- US$5 million payment for a 0.4% NSR royalty on the Ann Mason and Blue Hill deposits in Nevada.-- For the year ended December 31, 2012, net loss decreased to US$15,196,129 ($0.12 per share) compared to a net loss of US$17,140,208 ($0.15 per share) for the year ended December 31, 2011.