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Edited Transcript of CMMC.TO earnings conference call or presentation 29-Apr-19 2:30pm GMT

Q1 2019 Copper Mountain Mining Corp Earnings Call

Vancouver May 17, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Copper Mountain Mining Corp earnings conference call or presentation Monday, April 29, 2019 at 2:30:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Donald Strickland

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - COO & VP

* Gilmour Clausen

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director

* Rodney A. Shier

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - CFO & Corporate Secretary

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Conference Call Participants

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* Craig Hutchison

TD Securities Equity Research - Research Analyst

* Don DeMarco

National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division - Associate

* Orest Wowkodaw

Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Senior Equity Research Analyst of Base Metals

* Pierre D. Vaillancourt

Haywood Securities Inc., Research Division - VP & Senior Mining Analyst

* Stefan Ioannou

Cormark Securities Inc., Research Division - Analyst

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good morning. My name is Christine, and I'll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Copper Mountain Mining Corporation First Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions)

Please note that comments made today that are not of historical factual nature may contain forward-looking statements. This information, by nature, is subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause the stated outcome to differ materially from actual outcomes. Please refer to Slide 2 of today's presentation and Copper Mountain's first quarter 2019 management discussion and analysis for more information.

I will now turn the call over to Gil Clausen, President and CEO of Copper Mountain Mining.

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [2]

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Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us. As you can see on Slide 3, I have with me Rod Shier, Copper Mountain's Chief Financial Officer; and Don Strickland, our Chief Operating Officer. And I'll begin by providing brief highlights on the quarter. Rod will provide a more detailed discussion on our financial results, followed by Don who will speak to our operation. Then we'll wrap up and open up the call to questions.

Starting on Slide 4. We finished the year strong, and we started the year in a solid position. Revenue, earnings and cash flow increased year-over-year, and production was in line with our expectations. We produced a little over 22 million pounds of copper equivalent, which is comprised of 18.6 million pounds of copper, 7,100 ounces of gold and about 65,000 ounces (sic) [62,280 ounces] of silver. We had solid production for the quarter, and we're maintaining our 2019 production guidance. We also saw significant improvements in both our C1 cash cost per pound and all-in sustaining cost per pound in the first quarter when compared to Q1 last year. C1 cash costs declined 10% to USD 1.77 per pound of copper produced and AISC declined 13% to USD 1.87.

Of particular note in the quarter, we announced our new Integrated Production Plan for the Copper Mountain Mine. The new mine plan includes a planned modest mill expansion to 45,000 tonnes per day from 40,000 tonnes per day and integrates the ore from the New Ingerbelle pit, which is only about a kilometer away from the Copper Mountain Mine. Based on this new plan, we more than doubled the reserve, increased annual production 27% to 116 million pounds -- equivalent pounds, extended the mine life 12 years to 26 years and reduced our C1 cash cost to USD 1.74 per pound, all of this for a modest capital investment, which will be done in 2 phases. First, the planned mill expansion for $25 million and then development of access to the New Ingerbelle pit a couple of years later for $23 million.

I'll go over the integrated plan in a little bit more detail later on the call. But overall, you can see a huge value-driving catalyst for the mine as the project increases and advances cash flow to the near term of Copper Mountain's mine life.

Now I'll turn the call over to Rod to go over our quarterly financial results.

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Rodney A. Shier, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - CFO & Corporate Secretary [3]

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Thank you, Gil. As noted on Slide 6, revenue for the first quarter was $87 million on the sale of 19.3 million pounds of copper, approximately 7,000 ounces of gold and approximately 65,000 ounces of silver.

Revenue in Q1 2019 was up 11% despite having lower sales and metal prices as compared to Q1 2018. This is mainly a result of a positive mark-to-market adjustment of $6 million in Q1 2019 as compared to a negative mark-to-market adjustment in Q1 2018 of nearly $10 million, a net difference of $16 million quarter-over-quarter. Mark-to-market adjustments are a requirement under IFRS for shipments outstanding at the end of the quarter or year.

As noted on the slide, cost of sales for the first quarter of 2019 decreased 11% to $64 million from $72 million in the first quarter of 2018. Cost of sales in Q1 2019 excluded some mining costs associated with additional stripping during the quarter and included a lower depreciation charge of $6.3 million as compared to $15.4 million in Q1 2018.

Depreciation is lower as a result of the increased reserve base announced late in 2018, which we are now depreciating costs over. The impact of the new integrated mine plan announced this quarter will be incorporated into subsequent statements. This all results in an increase in gross profit to $23.3 million for Q1 2019 as compared to $6.3 million for Q1 2018.

Turning to Slide 7. Net income was $17.8 million in Q1 2019 or $0.07 per share as compared to a loss of $6.5 million or $0.04 per share in Q1 2018. Net income included a noncash unrealized foreign exchange gain of about $6 million as compared to a noncash unrealized foreign exchange loss of about $8 million in Q1 2018, a differential of approximately $14 million, which was primarily related to the company's debt that is denominated in U.S. dollars.

On an adjusted basis, adjusted net income in Q1 2019 was $6 million or $0.03 per share as compared to $11.6 million or $0.09 per share in Q1 2018. EBITDA was nearly $32 million and adjusted EBITDA was about $20 million in Q1 2019 as compared to EBITDA of $11.5 million and adjusted EBITDA of $29.5 million in Q1 2018. Cash flow from operations was up tenfold to $23.7 million after working capital changes, which allowed us to end the quarter with approximately $52 million in cash on hand.

And now I'll ask Don to provide an operational update.

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Donald Strickland, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - COO & VP [4]

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Thank you, Rod. Starting on Slide 9. Mine team continued to deliver on plan during the quarter. A total of 17.5 million tonnes were mined in the first quarter, which included 2.8 million tonnes of ore and 14.6 million tonnes of waste. The strip ratio in Q1 was abnormally high as the mine continued the pit west pushback and started a new pushback of Pit 3 to expose higher-grade ore for 2020 production. The strip ratio for 2019 will decrease as the year advances and is expected to be about 2.5 for the year.

Turning to Slide 10. During the quarter, the mill processed a total of 3.55 million tonnes of ore or about 39,400 tonne per day. The mill feed grade averaged 0.29% and was lower when compared to Q1 of last year due to 1.3 million tonnes of lower-grade feed to the mill from the ore stockpile. The decrease in grade, however, was partially offset by higher throughput and recovery. Copper recovery averaged 81.6% for the quarter. A flash flotation circuit that was installed in the third quarter of 2018 continues to support higher copper and gold recovery.

And with that, I will turn the call back to Gil to conclude.

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [5]

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Thanks, Don and Rod. Turning to Slide 12, as mentioned earlier, we announced that new Integrated Production Plan for the Copper Mountain Mine. The new plan takes a 2-phased approach, as I mentioned, which includes the mill expansion, which requires the installation of a third ball mill and new 2-stage cleaner flotation modifications and some additional flotation -- I'm sorry, filtration capacity. It's planned to increase the mill throughput to 45,000 tonnes per day.

Capital to install the third ball mill is on our original estimates, and we're planning for an investment of approximately USD 25 million. The second phase, of course, is the integration of New Ingerbelle, which is, you all know, a past-producing open pit. It's about 1 kilometer from the Copper Mountain Mine mill. The capital required for the development of New Ingerbelle is about $23 million, and this is for that 3 kilometers of access down the hillside to the river level and a bridge across to truck ore from New Ingerbelle to the Copper Mountain Mine crusher.

Turning to Slide 13. So for a total investment of about $48 million over 3 years, we significantly increase production, we increase recoveries, we extend the mine life, we lower cash costs and increase mine cash flow. The total after-tax NPV of the Integrated Production Plan at an 8% discount rate is about USD 620 million, and this is low risk, low capital for near-term growth.

Our organic growth plan at the Copper Mountain Mine is expected from our internal cash flow after our planned debt restructuring is completed. Our Eva development project is advancing with exploration of close satellite deposits and additional value engineering of the mill flow sheet. We're excited about the potential of the Eva project, and we'll continue to update our progress regularly. And that wraps up our comments.

Operator, if we could open up the call for questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) And your first question comes from the line of Orest Wowkodaw from Scotiabank.

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Orest Wowkodaw, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Senior Equity Research Analyst of Base Metals [2]

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A couple of questions for me. First of all, just with regards to the strip ratio this year, it was obviously very high in Q1, and I think you're guiding to now 2.5:1 this year. Why has that changed so much from the tech report, which I think was 1.66 just given how recent your tech report is? And I'm just curious what that means with respect to total capitalized stripping dollars in 2019 now.

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [3]

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I think the life -- Orest, it's Gil. I think the life of mine stripping ratio that we had in the October study was about 2.88:1, and on the new integrated plan, it's dropped down to about 1.7, 1.75, or roughly now 1.78, I believe. So when we're looking at this quarter, we're starting a pushback of Pit 3, as Don mentioned. And that is the pit or the part of our production schedule for 2020 that drives and brings in a lot of the high-grade ore that we're mining in 2020, which is why we have such high production rates in that year.

So as we're opening up Pit 2, as we have been in a couple of quarters now, and now in the first quarter we're starting -- we're actually starting the drive-in to open up and start the stripping on Pit 3, you have some lumpiness. And overall, the year should be anywhere from 2.2 to 2.6 and Don mentioned 2.5:1. It'll be roughly 2.5:1 we anticipate for this year, which is still below the life of mine average on our plan from last year, but above the life of mine planned stripping in the new Integrated Production Plan. So we anticipate a slight deviation with respect to some more stripping, but it's really not material to the overall production plan.

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Orest Wowkodaw, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Senior Equity Research Analyst of Base Metals [4]

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And what do you expect that to cost you this year dollars-wise, for cap stripping?

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Rodney A. Shier, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - CFO & Corporate Secretary [5]

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Orest, it's Rod. The balance of the year, as they said, is going to be in sort of that 2.5-ish range. So to normalize that down to 1.8, I don't have a number off the top of my head, but it's certainly not going to be anywhere near what you saw in this first quarter. But I'm going to say in that sort of, say, $4 million to $5 million range max.

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Orest Wowkodaw, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Senior Equity Research Analyst of Base Metals [6]

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Okay. Great. And then just with the change this year, do you still think the strip ratio is going to be the really low 1x in 2020 per the mine plan or could there be -- has there been anything to change that?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [7]

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Well, we don't anticipate any changes from our -- or deviation from our life of mine plan that we just put out, Orest. So like I said, we're going to get a little bit of up and down on a quarter-to-quarter basis depending on where we are in the plan. And as you know, sometimes as you're starting off a pit and you've got the upper phases of a pushback, you'll come into some ore or you might have some ore come in that's unexpected potentially, and that may have an impact. But generally speaking, I think we're right on our life of mine plan, and we don't expect any deviation from that in terms of stripping.

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Orest Wowkodaw, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Senior Equity Research Analyst of Base Metals [8]

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Okay. Just finally on Eva. Just wondering if there's been any change with respect to your planned sequencing, whether you still see the development of Eva coming ahead of the New Ingerbelle or whether Eva might get sequenced after New Ingerbelle.

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [9]

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Well, I think what we're finding with Eva is that we have a lot of resource around the mine that wasn't in the feasibility study. And our real focus in the near term is to accelerate that understanding, do a little bit of work, do a little drilling. We're also doing some optimization of the flow sheet there to try and reduce the overall energy consumption per tonne. And I think we're making some pretty good headway with some test work that we're doing and that test work should continue for the next 6 months or 6 to 8 months or so. Our goal with Eva is to integrate those resource additions, hopefully moving them into the reserve category and updating our modified flow sheet and updating our feasibility study so that we can move into our final project financing phase for Eva. So generally speaking, I would expect a feasibility update around the end of the year or early in the first quarter. And then we'll be ready to move into a project finance phase for Eva.

So in terms of timing, as you know, our construction -- once a project decision is made to move forward with Eva, I would say the earliest that decision could be made would be probably roughly a year from now. That would be with financing announced concurrent. And then it's a 2-year construction phase. The construction at Copper Mountain is about a year in length, and when that's wrapped up and commissioned, we'll be moving our project team fully onto the Eva project. So it's sequential.

Ingerbelle is just part of our long-range plan. I mean that bridge construction is a relatively straightforward thing and is not a major project. It's about $23 million of capital, but it's a standard highway bridge, basically, across the Similkameen River. And the rest is just phased stripping and development of Ingerbelle.

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Operator [10]

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Your next question comes from the line of Stefan Ioannou from Cormark Securities.

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Stefan Ioannou, Cormark Securities Inc., Research Division - Analyst [11]

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Can you just maybe give us a little bit more color on sort of where things are at with regards to some of the debt restructuring initiatives you talked about in the past and how they layer in with, obviously, New Ingerbelle and then I guess in the future possibly even Eva and stuff?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [12]

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Well, Stefan, I think we're just -- we're on track with what we want to do. We've been -- we're ready to -- we've been looking at some potential restructuring with respect to corporate financing, perhaps a bond. We've talked about this a little bit in the past. We've been watching the markets carefully and waiting for an opportunity. We're actually in no rush. As you can see, the operation is performing well, and we're generating good cash at Copper Mountain. We want to make sure that whatever we do, we're significantly decreasing risk, and we're improving our balance sheet and our cash flow. But there's no rush from our perspective on this. So we're watching carefully and making sure that we can advance that debt restructuring at an opportune time. And an opportune time for us is when we can drive the lowest cost of debt that we can in the market.

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Operator [13]

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Your next question comes from the line of Don DeMarco from National Bank Financial.

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Don DeMarco, National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division - Associate [14]

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I think most of my questions have been answered, but maybe to Eva, can you give me an idea of how much you're going to spend this year on exploration or whatever other initiatives working toward the FS that might be involved?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [15]

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Well, we're going to -- we're starting off, I think, relatively modestly. We've got a lot of network that we're doing on -- especially on the Blackard pit, which is in our resource model. If you refer to the feasibility study, Don, you'll see that there's a deposit that's just south of the planned concentrator. And it's a relatively large deposit. It has a large measured and indicated resource on it. It's called the Blackard deposit. And it's overlain by a really nice, high-grade copper. It's kind of a copper-only zone that's high in native copper and relatively low in sulphide. But it caps -- it caps the sulphide resource that is below that layer, that native copper layer, and that's what we want to focus on doing some drilling on is to expand the sulphide resource in that deposit.

And if we're successful at it -- and it won't take a lot of drilling to do. If we're successful -- because there is drilling in and out. We need to basically infill. But if we're successful at it, it could have the potential to double the size of the reserves if we're successful at Eva. And that's getting to be pretty material for that operation, and we want to -- because it's about a 12-year mine life, 10- to 12-year mine life at our planned capacity. And we'll want to be able to look at that flow sheet for optimization again and see if we can't do a couple of things, one is improve the energy consumption, improve the productive capacity of the plant and keep the capital costs in line with where they are now.

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Don DeMarco, National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division - Associate [16]

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Okay. That's great. So it sounds as though there's potentially significant upside there on drilling. Would you be able to quantify how much you might spend this year then? Because it sounds like it would be a pretty small program though, but the upside is still big.

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [17]

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Yes. And we're going to test a couple of exciting little opportunities that we have around us. There's the Cabbage Tree Creek deposit, which has -- it's a significantly large target, high-grade target to the north of us. But on the Blackard deposit, we're going to do it in a phased approach. Our first phase would be to spend in exploration in the general area just in drilling, et cetera, and some other work about, roughly, about $1 million. And then we'll step it up from there, given success.

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Operator [18]

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Your next question comes from the line of Craig Hutchison from TD Bank.

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Craig Hutchison, TD Securities Equity Research - Research Analyst [19]

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Just a question in terms of the Phase 1 capital program. I think it's USD 25 million based on the technical report. Do you guys still plan to spend that money this year? Or is that going to be deferred until next year just based on your refinancing plans?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [20]

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It will be about a year's worth of expenditure, so it's going to cradle both years. So we'll -- we're actually -- we've actually done -- we're in the detailed engineering phase right now on the project. We just finished, completed drilling in the foundations of that bay area, the last bay that the mill is going to go into. We own the mill. The mill is paid for. We're going to be -- we've just completed drilling below to the foundations to measure the rock below the basement in that -- in the mill so we can get a detailed estimate of the excavation and the foundation design.

And so we're moving forward on that project. So there's still a final decision that has to be made by our Board, the operating company's Board and our Board to give the final green light once we clean up and get a definitive construction estimate. But we're looking right on plan, and we're ready to kick off a construction plan that will be through this summer into the fall and then completed in the first part of next year.

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Craig Hutchison, TD Securities Equity Research - Research Analyst [21]

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Okay. So to get to sort of the 45,000 tonnes per day run rate, probably that's back half of 2020?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [22]

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Yes. We're probably looking at second half to actually get fully up to that run rate. The -- there are 2 objectives here that don't necessarily show itself in the technical report. One is, of course, the increase in throughput and the increase in recovery. We want to work on -- continue to work on the recovery side as we go, and we hope to make good progress on recovery even before we have this mill circuit adjustment fully in place. So we're cautiously optimistic that the grind addition will provide a nice opportunity for us to bring this mine to what its original feasibility study estimates were for recovery, get as close as we can to that. And I think we'll probably be in very good shape to be able to do so.

So we're continuing to make incremental improvements in the mill before we even tackle the full expansion project, and we're excited about the back end of the circuit as well on the cleaners side. We think with 2-stage cleaning, we hope to make inroads into improving our [con] grades as well, which would have an economic benefit.

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Craig Hutchison, TD Securities Equity Research - Research Analyst [23]

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Okay. Maybe just one last question for me. In terms of next year's production guidance, I think when you originally gave a guidance in January, your -- sort of the midpoint was around 90 million pounds. Then your technical report came out, I guess, in February and that's sort of targeting somewhere about 150 million pounds, which -- with much higher grades. Which one should we be more relying on? Should it be the technical report? Should we assume that you're going to kind of get to those 0.38% copper grades next year?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [24]

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Well, I would suggest that we're not changing any of our guidance at this point in time. But I would say that the technical report had an assumption in it that we would have a commissioning done at the end of Q1 into Q2. So to be prudent, I would say we would probably fall somewhere between those 2 numbers.

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Operator [25]

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Your next question comes from the line of Pierre Vaillancourt from Haywood.

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Pierre D. Vaillancourt, Haywood Securities Inc., Research Division - VP & Senior Mining Analyst [26]

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Gil, just wanted to clarify, if I could, with regards to the mill expansion. It's -- that is independent from your debt restructuring program. In other words, you're going ahead based on cash that you've got and cash flow that you'll be generating to finance this and, I guess, maybe increase current debt. I noticed the debt increased quarter-over-quarter and maybe that will continue to go up a little bit. Is that reasonable? Or...

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [27]

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Actually, Don -- sorry, Pierre. Don -- why don't you take it Rod, sorry.

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Rodney A. Shier, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - CFO & Corporate Secretary [28]

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Okay. Thanks. Pierre, the one thing you have to watch with our debt is obviously the changes in exchange rates where they go up and down quarter-over-quarter. That's going to affect your net dollars. Our U.S. dollar debt went down and continues to go down as we make payments 4 times a year. The -- with respect to the project, yes, we certainly are tying in the expansion money that needs to be approved by the Board, as Gil pointed out, still, to the refinancing. So it is a little -- it is connected in that sense, Pierre. So that does impact a little bit on our timing.

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [29]

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Yes. Pierre, just to be...

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Pierre D. Vaillancourt, Haywood Securities Inc., Research Division - VP & Senior Mining Analyst [30]

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I was just going to say, based on what you're saying then, the completion of the ball mill for Q2 2020, that's kind of a moving target then, more dependent on the debt restructuring then?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [31]

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No, Pierre. It's always been -- it's always -- if you look at a project -- and a small project is no different than a large project. When you move into the project execution phase, which we're in now, we're into the detailed construction engineering phase. So the first phase of the project is actually -- there's getting the execution plan and a detailed project execution plan done.

So I mentioned that we've been in -- doing the foundation drilling in the mill, that we've been doing a lot of other foundational work. There's a shop that we're going to be constructing. And we're doing some test work on the cleaners circuit to determine whether or not we're going to go with one additional column cell as we had in the plan or that we might make some other modifications, too. But that kind of stuff is getting ready, and we've done the demolition plan for the existing mill like taking out the infrastructure. We're planning, of course, to have all this construction work done without affecting production in the mill. So that demolition plan and execution plan has to be detailed out and that, of course, takes time.

So we're doing that work. And we're timing this such that when we're ready for major expenditures to let the contracts out and go that we do it concurrent with our financing. Because what we'd like to be able to do is to have those debt repayments that we have over the next quarter, have that cash be available for the construction and still maintain a really good cash buffer at the operation so that we're not introducing any more cash flow risk, we're actually eliminating cash flow risk. So we think everything is going to time out really well, Pierre, in that regard.

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Pierre D. Vaillancourt, Haywood Securities Inc., Research Division - VP & Senior Mining Analyst [32]

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Okay. So keep the schedule as is with the expectation that the debt restructuring comes into place in a timely fashion. That's what you're saying?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [33]

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That's correct. And also that will be -- and as I mentioned before, all these things coming together will allow our Board to be able to make a solid go-forward decision in the near term.

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Pierre D. Vaillancourt, Haywood Securities Inc., Research Division - VP & Senior Mining Analyst [34]

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Okay. With respect to the amount for the debt restructuring, I guess, is that flexible as well? I mean I know in past discussions that, Rod, you mentioned how you're looking at the entire package and then subsequently, I think, Gil, you reflected that it might be done in pieces with a focus on New Ingerbelle first and then bring Eva a little more into definition and then tackle that. How do you plan to do that?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [35]

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I would suggest that it's more the latter. So we'll have a -- we'll probably have a smaller financing at first related to Copper Mountain and Copper Mountain debt -- and the restructuring of the debt on Copper Mountain with a corporate facility. So we'll get that accomplished. And then we'll be looking at Eva more in line with the traditional project financing for Eva, which would be anywhere from 60-40 to 70-30, roughly in that range, debt-to-equity on a project finance. A nonrecourse project finance basis is the way we'd like to structure that one. So there's plenty of opportunity especially in the types of jurisdictions within which we operate to be able to do solid financings for these that don't -- that will not stress our balance sheet and will allow us to continue to capture this organic growth potential.

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Pierre D. Vaillancourt, Haywood Securities Inc., Research Division - VP & Senior Mining Analyst [36]

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Lastly, so when do you need to have the restructuring done in order to stay on track for New Ingerbelle? Is there any date -- target date that you've got there, Rod, that you want to get this done for?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [37]

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I think we're -- we sort of guided that we would do -- we would be doing something in the second quarter. I think we haven't really changed from that perspective. It looks like the markets are quite strong, and it was pretty tough in the second half of last year. There wasn't a lot of new bond issuance in the North American market. I mean I think the Asian market and the European market stayed strong and stayed flat. But we've seen a lot of improvement in terms of deal flow, and we've seen coupon rates come down and things start to normalize again as to what they were, let's say, about this time last year. So I think things are looking pretty good. We have a number of different alternatives that we're considering. But I think, generally speaking, pretty conventional debt restructuring is top of our list.

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Pierre D. Vaillancourt, Haywood Securities Inc., Research Division - VP & Senior Mining Analyst [38]

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Okay. Last thing also, when it comes to Eva, I mean, I know you've been talking about a partner. Is that a necessary piece of the whole equation there to be able to go ahead with financing and constructing Eva?

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [39]

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No. I think we feel pretty comfortable with the approach on -- that we have on Eva right now. But we'll see. I mean, look, if we're very successful with the new project and depending on the scope and size of how Eva might grow or turn out, if it indeed does at all, we'll make that decision as we come to it. But I would suggest this is a rightsized project for Copper Mountain. And if it looks like we can get an advantage at the end of the day by potentially partnering with another counter-party on Eva, we'll consider that opportunity at the time.

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Operator [40]

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There are no further questions at this time. Mr. Gil Clausen, I turn the call back over to you.

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Gilmour Clausen, Copper Mountain Mining Corporation - President, CEO & Director [41]

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Thanks, operator. I just want to thank everybody for listening to our conference call today. This is a very exciting time for Copper Mountain Mine. We have a lot of value-driving catalysts that will come into place in the near term and an incredible amount of growth in the company. So again, thanks everybody. And with that, I'll conclude the conference call.

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Operator [42]

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This concludes today's conference call. You may now disconnect.