Freeport Commences Discussions with Strategic Partners for Yandera Copper Project, One of the World's Largest Undeveloped Copper Projects

March 19, 2024 8:00 AM EDT | Source: Freeport Resources Inc.

  • Freeport has Commenced Discussions with Strategic Partners to Advance its 100%-Owned Yandera Project.
  • Copper Prices broke $9,000/t and $4.00/lb in recent days as demand for copper undergoes an unprecedented structural change driven by the global energy transition.
  • The removal of Cobre Panama's supply and related decision by Chinese smelters to trim output due to a lack of copper concentrate adds to looming copper deficits.
  • Proximity to Asia, the world's largest copper refiner and consumer, positions the Yandera Copper Project as an attractive potential long-term source of copper supply.

Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - March 19, 2024) - Freeport Resources Inc. (TSXV: FRI) (OTCQB: FEERF) (FSE: 4XH) ("Freeport Resources" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that with the recent Yandera license renewal through 2025, the Company has commenced discussions with several potential strategic partners to advance the Yandera project to Definitive Feasibility Study. Gord Friesen, CEO, noted:

"There is strong interest by strategic partners in Yandera driven by last week's copper price move above $9,000/t and announcements by Chinese smelters of curtailed output due to shortages of copper concentrates. Yandera is one of the world's largest undeveloped copper projects and ranks as the largest undeveloped copper project in Asia, the world's leading copper refiner and consumer. Over USD $200 million has been expended on the project since 2005, culminating in a comprehensive 2017 Pre-Feasibility Study delineating one of the world's largest undeveloped copper resources.* With the extension of the exploration license through November 2025, timing for discussions is ideal and we are excited to have re-commenced discussions with potential strategic partners to advance the project through Definitive Feasibility Study and development of the mine. We look forward to updating shareholders as discussions progress."

Yandera — One of the World's Largest Undeveloped Copper Projects
Freeport Resources' wholly-owned Yandera Copper Project is located in the highly prolific PNG Orogenic Belt, the same geological arc as some of the world's largest gold and copper deposits including Grasberg, Frieda River, Porgera, Lihir, Wafi-Golpu and Kainantu. Yandera is a project of strategic national interest in PNG and has the potential to become one of the country's most significant copper mines. The project's proximity to Asia, the world's largest copper refiner and consumer, positions Yandera as an attractive potential long-term source of copper supply.

The renewed license EL 1335 covers a 245.5 square kilometer ("km") tenement comprising the Yandera Project. Approximately USD $200 million in exploration and development expenditures have been spent on EL 1335 since 2005. Work completed and studies funded to date include approximately 154,600 meters of exploration drilling, the vast majority of which has focused on the Yandera Central deposit, as well as scoping studies, engineering studies, environmental studies, the 2017 Pre-Feasibility Study*, and infrastructure-related studies.

The Preliminary Feasibility Study titled, Independent Technical Report on the Yandera Project - Pre-Feasibility Study*, prepared by Worley Parsons, with an effective date of November 27, 2017, estimated a historical open-pit, Measured and Indicated Resources of 728 million tonnes grading 0.39% copper equivalent.

Freeport Resources has initiated a strategic review process aimed at maximizing the value of the Yandera Copper Project which the Company believes is significantly undervalued based on historical expenditures, current copper prices and the potential for resource expansion.

* Independent Technical Report on the Yandera Project — Pre-Feasibility Study, prepared for Era Resources Inc. and dated effective November 27, 2017. The study was prepared prior to the Company acquiring an interest in the Yandera Project, and is derived from historical estimates which the Company is not treating as current. This information is intended to provide readers with context on historical analysis conducted on the Yandera Project, however the Company cautions that a qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify any historical estimates in respect of the Yandera Project as current and any analysis conducted by previous owners of the Project may rely upon assumptions which are no longer reasonable or accurate in the context of the current market.

Yandera — Feasibility Study
The renewal of EL 1335, through November 19, 2025, allows Freeport Resources to commence work on a Definitive Feasibility Study to advance the Yandera Copper Project toward a Final Investment Decision. Concurrent with the Definitive Feasibility Study program planning, Freeport Resources has begun discussions with key international strategic investors and prospective partners for development of the Yandera Copper Project. Demand for copper is undergoing unprecedented structural change driven by the global energy transition with mined copper supply forecast to enter a deficit position starting as early as 2025 (see Copper Supply and Demand Imbalance Chart below).

Copper Supply and Demand Imbalance Forecast

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Global Copper Supply and Demand Imbalance Forecast to Grow

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The Definitive Feasibility Study will build on earlier work undertaken with local and regional communities to determine opportunities to achieve mutually beneficial partnerships and sustainable long-term social benefits related to job creation, indigenous advancement, health and wellness, environment, education and community development.

Freeport and the Community
The Yandera Copper Project is 95-km southwest of the capital city of Madang Province and 235-km to the northwest of Lae which is the largest port city in PNG and an important industrial center. As one of the largest undeveloped copper resources* in the world, the Yandera Project has the potential to support communities and create jobs along the Yandera Corridor. The Company anticipates the potential economic influence of the Yandera Copper Project could span 5 provinces and create wealth for generations including, but not limited to, strategic road and highway building, power generation and related infrastructure.

The landowners and communities of Yandera are stakeholders in the Yandera Project. The overwhelming community support that the Company received at the Warden's Hearing held during the summer of 2023, demonstrated the level of commitment the people of Yandera have for the project. Freeport is also firmly committed to advancing the project and continuing support of the community. The Company expects to continue to develop initiatives to be an active and visible presence in the Community.

Qualified Person
Dr. Nathan Chutas, PhD, CPG, Senior Vice-President of Operations for Freeport Resources, is a qualified person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101. Dr. Chutas has reviewed and approved the technical content in this announcement.

About Freeport Resources Inc.
Freeport Resources is a Canadian mineral exploration company with a primary focus on advancing the development of the Yandera copper-gold-molybdenum project, located in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. The Yandera project is one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the world covering approximately 245.5 square kilometers.

Please visit or contact the email address below for more information.

On behalf of the Board,
Freeport Resources Inc.
Gord Friesen, Chief Executive Officer
T. (236) 334-1660

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This news release may contain certain "Forward-Looking Statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When or if used in this news release, the words "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target, "plan", "forecast", "may", "schedule", "intends" and similar words or expressions identify forward-looking statements or information. Such statements represent the Company's current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social risks, contingencies and uncertainties. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements or information to reflect changes in assumptions or changes in circumstances or any other events affecting such statements and information other than as required by applicable laws, rules and regulations.

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