Imperial Metals Corporation (the “Company”) (TSX:III) reports the 2019 metals production at the Red Chris mine was 71.9 million pounds copper, 36,471 ounces gold, and 133,879 ounces silver.

Red Chris production for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 21.7 million pounds copper, 12,155 ounces gold, and 45,508 ounces silver. These results represent 100% of production at Red Chris. All metals production increased in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of 2019.  Mill throughput for the quarter averaged 27,784 tonnes per calendar day.

Imperial’s 30% portion of Red Chris production for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 6.5 million pounds copper, 3,646 ounces gold, and 13,652 ounces silver. For the year ended December 31, 2019, Imperial’s portion of Red Chris production, representing 100% for the period January 1 through August 14, 2019 and 30% of production for the period August 15 through December 31, 2019, was 50.3 million pounds copper, 25,177 ounces gold, and 90,577 ounces silver.

Metal production guidance (100%), provided by Newcrest for the period August 15, 2019 to June 30, 2020 (to conform to their annual year end of June 30, 2020) is in the range of 63-79 million pounds  copper and 36,000-50,000 ounces gold.

Exploration Update

There are two drilling campaigns presently underway at Red Chris. The first is the East Zone Resource Definition Programme, designed to obtain geological, geotechnical and metallurgical data to support future studies for underground block cave mining. The second is the Brownfields Exploration Programme, which is searching for additional zones of higher grade mineralization within the Red Chris porphyry corridor. Drill activity increased during the 2019 fourth quarter with six diamond drill rigs in operation. Seven drill holes have been completed, with a further five holes in progress for a total of 14,742m drilled to December 31, 2019.

The East Zone Resource Definition Programme comprises 16 holes; two holes have been completed and a further five holes are in progress. To date, assay results for portions of two of the holes have been received.

  • RC591R returned 474m @ 0.63 g/t Au and 0.43 % Cu from 325m, including
    • 178m @ 0.74 g/t Au and 0.41 % Cu from 391m, including
    • 46m @ 1 g/t Au and 0.64 % Cu from 519m, and
    • 112m @ 1.1 g/t Au and 0.71 % Cu from 685m, including
    • 62m @ 1.4 g/t Au and 0.86 % Cu from 733m
  • RC591R also returned 64m @ 1.6 g/t Au and 1.1 % Cu from 847m, including
    • 62m @ 1.7 g/t Au and 1.1 % Cu from 847m, including
    • 56m @ 1.8 g/t Au and 1.2 % Cu from 851m
  • RC595 returned 720m @ 0.59 g/t Au and 0.56 % Cu from 394m (partial result; assays pending), including
    • 386m 0.82 g/t Au and 0.73 % Cu from 668m, including
    • 126m @ 1.1 g/t Au and 0.85 % Cu from 800m

Newcrest intends to construct, at the completion of the East Zone Resource Definition Programme, a new Resource Model incorporating both historical Imperial Metals’ and 2019 Newcrest drilling data.

The Brownfields Exploration Programme has identified an additional higher grade zone and expanded the footprint of the Gully mineralization:

  • RC603 returned 124m @ 0.58 g/t Au and 0.42 % Cu from 466m, including
    • 94m @ 0.71 g/t Au and 0.51 % Cu from 470m, including
    • 10m @ 1.4 g/t Au and 0.71 % Cu from 518m
  • RC603 also returned 304m @ 0.44 g/t Au and 0.2 % Cu from 802m, including
    • 52m @ 1.1 g/t Au and 0.47 % Cu from 948m, and
    • 16m @ 0.92 g/t Au and 0.16 % Cu from 1016m

Additional drilling at Gully is planned to map out the extent of high grade mineralization.

Significant Red Chris Intercepts:

Drill Holes From (m) To (m) Width (m) Gold (g/t) Copper (%)
RC589 664 868 204 0.35 0.29
including 814 866 52 0.65 0.62
RC590 592 1064 472 0.29 0.19
including 846 880 34 0.58 0.46
RC591R* 325 799 474 0.63 0.43
including 391 569 178 0.74 0.41
including 519 565 46 1.0 0.64
including 685 797 112 1.1 0.71
including 733 795 62 1.4 0.86
RC591R* 847 911 64 1.6 1.1
including 847 909 62 1.7 1.1
including 851 907 56 1.8 1.2
RC595 394 1114 720** 0.59 0.56
including 668 1054 386 0.82 0.73
including 800 926 126 1.1 0.85
RC603 466 590 124 0.58 0.42
including 470 564 94 0.71 0.51
including 518 528 10 1.4 0.71
RC603 802 1106 304 0.44 0.2
including 948 1000 52 1.1 0.47
including 1016 1032 16 0.92 0.16
RC604 264 522 258 0.2 0.2

*drilling in progress, **partial intercept, assays pending

Jim Miller-Tait, P.Geo., Imperial VP Exploration, is the designated Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 for the Red Chris exploration programs, and has reviewed this news release.  Red Chris samples for the 2019 drilling reported were analysed at Bureau Veritas Mineral Laboratories in Vancouver. A full QA/QC program using blanks, standards and duplicates was completed for all diamond drilling samples submitted to the labs. Significant assay intervals reported represent apparent widths. Insufficient geological information is available to confirm the geological model and true width of significant assay intervals.

Plan view map and cross sections are available on imperialmetals.com.     

About Imperial

Imperial is a Vancouver exploration, mine development and operating company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns a 30% interest in the Red Chris mine, and a 100% interest in both the Mount Polley and Huckleberry copper mines in British Columbia. Imperial also holds a 48% interest in the Ruddock Creek lead/zinc property.

Company Contacts

Brian Kynoch | President | 604.669.8959Andre Deepwell | Chief Financial Officer | 604.488.2666Sabine Goetz | Shareholder Communications | 604.488.2657 | investor@imperialmetals.com

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information contained in this news release are not statements of historical fact and are “forward-looking” statements. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect Company management’s expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company’s expectations with respect to metal production guidance and estimates, current drilling programs at Red Creek to support future studies for underground block cave mining and to identify additional zones of mineralization and expectations regarding the construction and timing of a new resource model for drilling data. 

In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "outlook", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative of these terms or comparable terminology. By their very nature forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

In making the forward-looking statements in this release, the Company has applied certain factors and assumptions that are based on information currently available to the Company as well as the Company’s current beliefs and assumptions. These factors and assumptions and beliefs and assumptions include, the risk factors detailed from time to time in the Company’s interim and annual financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis of those statements, all of which are filed and available for review on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended, many of which are beyond the Company’s ability to control or predict. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and all forward-looking statements in this news release are qualified by these cautionary statements.