Arizona Sonoran and NutonTM, a Rio Tinto Venture, Move to Exclusive Metallurgical Testing Program

July 11, 2022

Casa Grande, AZ and Toronto, ON, July 11, 2022 – Arizona Sonoran Copper Company Inc. (TSX:ASCU | ASCUF:OTCQX) (“ASCU” or the “Company”), an emerging US-based copper developer and near-term producer, is pleased to enter into a one year exclusivity period with NutonTM, a Rio Tinto Venture, (“Rio Tinto”/ “NutonTM”). The exclusivity was triggered by successfully modelling the Cactus and Parks/Salyer ore samples and achieving the previously contemplated indicative metallurgical recoveries of at least 72% (copper recovery to cathode), under the Investor Rights Agreement. Nuton will continue to test the application of its copper heap-leach related technology to the primary sulphide component of the Cactus Mine and Parks/Salyer Projects through column leaching and scoping out capital and operating costs and design parameters.


  • Preliminary characterization successfully completed with ongoing detailed test work
  • Encouraging modelled metallurgical recoveries in excess of 72% in relation to primary mineralization, including chalcopyrite
    • Initial computational fluid dynamic (“CFD”) modelling demonstrates the preliminary established recovery threshold as contemplated by the parties
  • Sulphide potential is not included in the 2021 Cactus Preliminary Economic Assessment (FIGURE 1)
    • Current Cactus Project primary sulphide mineral resource:
      Indicated 77.9M st @ 0.35% CuT; Inferred 111.2M st @ 0.35% CuT
    • Opportunity to extend the current Cactus West primary sulphide resource towards the basement fault
    • Parks/Salyer primary sulphide potential within the Exploration Target (FEB 10, 2022) has the potential to add between 8-35Mst @ 0.85-1.05% TCu

George Ogilvie, Arizona Sonoran President and CEO commented, “The NutonTM preliminary work results indicate optionality for unlocking the substantial primary resource at Cactus, which is currently stranded at the bottom of the pit. Although we are in the early stages of testing chalcopyrite recoverability on an economic basis, we are encouraged by the initial results and the significant potential to continue building scale at Cactus and potentially at Parks/Salyer in the longer term.” 

Metallurgical Program and Next Steps

The preliminary metallurgical testing program covered ore sample selection, preparation and mineralogical characterization to produce CFD modelling results providing early-stage indicative recoveries in respect of various ore types and specifically the chalcopyrite ore at Cactus. Further test work underway covers test column leaching and scoping out capital and operating costs and design parameters.

About NutonTM

NutonTM is an innovative new venture that aims to help grow Rio Tinto’s copper business. At the core of NutonTM is a portfolio of proprietary copper leach related technologies and capability – a product of almost 30 years of research and development. The NutonTM technologies offer the potential to economically unlock known low-grade copper sulphide resources, copper bearing waste and tailings, and achieve higher copper recoveries on oxide and transitional material, allowing for a significantly increased copper production outcome. One of the key differentiators of NutonTM is the potential to deliver leading environmental performance, including more efficient water usage, lower carbon emissions, and the ability to reclaim mine sites by reprocessing mine waste.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a mining and metals company operating in 35 countries around the world that produces the materials essential to human progress. It aims to help pioneer a more sustainable future, from partnering in the development of technology that can make the aluminum smelting process entirely free of direct GHG emissions, to providing the world with the materials it needs – such as copper and titanium – to build a new low-carbon economy and products like electric vehicles and smartphones.

Links from the Press Release

FEB 10, 2022:

Technical aspects of this news release have been reviewed and verified by Allan Schappert – CPG #11758, who is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101– Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

Neither the TSX nor the regulating authority has approved or disproved the information contained in this press release.

About Arizona Sonoran Copper Company ( |
ASCU’s objective is to become a mid-tier copper producer with low operating costs, develop the Cactus Project that could generate robust returns for investors, and provide a long term sustainable and responsible operation for the community and all stakeholders. The Company’s principal asset is a 100% interest in the Cactus Project (former ASARCO, Sacaton mine) which is situated on private land in an infrastructure-rich area of Arizona. Contiguous to the Cactus Project the Company is also exploring on its 100% owned Park Salyer property that could allow for a phased expansion of the Cactus Mine once it becomes a producing asset. The Company is led by an executive management team and Board which have a long-standing track record of successful project delivery in North America complemented by global capital markets expertise.

For more information
Alison Dwoskin, Director, Investor Relations

George Ogilvie, President, CEO and Director

Forward-Looking Statements

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