Hudbay’s ‘enhanced’ Copper World prefeasibility gets mixed reviews – by Henry Lazenby ( – September 11, 2023)

Hudbay Minerals’ (TSX: HBM; NYSE: HBM) updated prefeasibility study for the first phase of its Copper World project in Arizona has improved its economics and extended the mine life compared with a June 2022 preliminary economic assessment. However, the study, released Friday, drew mixed reactions from experts, mainly due to increased operating costs and cautious permitting approaches.

The Copper World PFS highlights show a project with lower up-front capex, a streamlined flowsheet, flexible modular construction optionality, and higher early-year grades which are positives for the project.

However, Jackie Przybylowski, a mining analyst at BMO Capital Markets points out that offsetting these positives are higher unit operating expenditure estimates and “a restrained stance on the revised permitting timeline,” now anticipated by mid-2024. Despite these reservations, Przybylowski retains a buoyant one-year target for Hudbay at C$10.00 per share, holding onto the ‘outperform’ rating.

The revised mine plan expects to generate over $850 million in federal and state taxes while creating about 400 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs.

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