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Copper Fox Announces Plans to Commence Phase I Activities at Van Dyke Copper Project

September 8, 2022

Calgary, Alberta–(Newsfile Corp. - September 8, 2022) - Copper Fox Metals Inc. (TSXV: CUU) (OTCQX: CPFXF) (FSE: HPU) (‘Copper Fox’ or the ‘Company’), through its wholly owned subsidiary Desert Fox Copper Inc., are pleased to announce the results of an early-stage Biological Evaluation (“BE”) of certain parts of the Van Dyke project prepared by WestLand Engineering & Environmental Services, Tucson, Arizona.

Van Dyke is an in-situ copper recovery (‘ISCR’) project, located in the Tier 1 mining jurisdiction of Arizona, USA. In early 2021, a Preliminary Economic Assessment, prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101, (click here for the News Release) indicated an after tax Net Present Value of US$644.7 million and Internal Rate of Return of 43.4%. The PEA recommended that the project should be advanced to the Preliminary Feasibility Stage and concluded that the project has the potential to become a mid-tier copper mine producing in the order of 85 million pounds (approximately 39kt) of copper per year.

The objective of the BE was to determine if special-status species or critical habitat occur within, or will be impacted by, Project construction activities.

Highlights:

  • Of the six ESA-listed special-status species evaluated, four species have no potential to occur, and two species are unlikely to occur.
  • Of the two BGEPA species evaluated, one has no potential to occur, and one has an unlikely potential to occur.
  • None of the special-status species evaluated have the potential to be adversely affected by the Project.
  • There is no designated critical habitat within the Project Area.
  • Increases in noise and vibration levels from construction activities would be temporary and in keeping with existing noise effects.
  • The potential effects of dust on wildlife and vegetation are not expected to be substantially different from current conditions within the Project Area.
  • Disturbance related to construction activities would result in some minor loss of vegetation that may provide limited wildlife habitat.

Elmer B. Stewart, President and CEO of Copper Fox stated, “The preservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat are fundamental aspects of Copper Fox’s operating strategy and ESG policy. Based on the findings of the Biological Evaluation, Copper Fox plans to commence Phase I activities (estimated to cost US$240,000) to investigate the potential of rehabilitating and completing a comprehensive testing program on existing drill holes to establish hydrogeological monitoring sites. Results of the Phase I activities would be used to establish a base on which to advance the project to Phase II which includes additional drilling to expand the hydrogeological monitoring system and collection of data to advance the project to the Preliminary Feasibility stage.”

Biological Evaluation;
The BE provides a screening and effects analysis to determine the potential to occur of special-status species or their critical habitat to occur within the project area and to evaluate Project effects related to planned future activities. The area covered in the BE occurs in and near the town of Miami, Arizona, and is shown in Image #1:

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Image #1

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Special Status Screening Analysis:
For the purposes of the BE, Special-status species are defined as species designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as Endangered or Threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA and species protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA). Based on the special-status species list generated from the IpaC tool, a screening analysis was performed to evaluate the potential for these species to occur and to determine the presence or absence of designated or proposed critical habitat within the Project Area.

Potential for Special Status Species to Occur and Effects Determination:
Of the six ESA-listed special-status species evaluated, four species have no potential to occur, and two species are unlikely to occur. Of the two BGEPA species evaluated, one has no potential to occur, and one has an unlikely potential to occur. All special-status species evaluated had an effects determination of no effect. There is no designated critical habitat within the Project Area.

ESA Listed Species:
The six species listed or proposed for listing under the ESA identified for the Project Area in the IpaC query are ocelot, southwestern willow flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, Mexican gray wolf, northern Mexican garter snake, and monarch butterfly. Of these six species, no species were determined to have the potential to occur of Possible, two were determined to have the potential to occur of Unlikely (yellow-billed cuckoo and monarch butterfly), and four were determined to have the potential to occur of None.

BGEPA Listed Species:
Of the two BGEPA listed species, golden eagle has the potential to occur in the Project Area of Unlikely and bald eagle has the potential to occur of None.

Effects Analysis:
An effects analysis for direct and indirect impacts to special-status species from Project activities was conducted for the Project Area. Effects to species afforded protection under the ESA were analyzed per the Region 2 guidance for ESA (USFWS and NMFS 1998) consultation which includes four potential effects determinations: a) No effect, b) May affect, not likely to adversely affect, c) May affect, likely to adversely affect, or d) May affect, beneficial effect.

Dust Fugitive:
Dust may be generated because of the Project. Dust can affect the growth processes of vegetation and alter the structure of plant communities in an area thus potentially affecting wildlife habitat. However, considering that the Project will minimize fugitive dust through dust suppression efforts, and the Project will occur in an area that already has dust disturbance from roadways and nearby mining activities, the potential effects of dust on wildlife and vegetation are not expected to be substantially different from current conditions within the Project Area.

Noise and Vibration Noise:
Noise and vibration noise levels from surface disturbance and construction are anticipated to increase in areas surrounding these activities. The Project Area is adjacent to existing roadways, mines, with substantial increases in noise levels expected to be limited to areas within approximately 1,000 ft of the Project Area (USDOT 2006). Increases in noise and vibration levels from construction would be temporary and are not expected to result from construction activities over the long term.

Surface Disturbance:
Surface disturbance will impact urban properties within the Project Area. The clearing for site infrastructure will remove any actual or potential wildlife habitat within the Project Area. Disturbance would result in the loss of some vegetation that may provide suitable wildlife habitat.

Methodology of the Biological Evaluation:
The BE was completed using information collected from the following public sources.

  1. The natural history and known geographical and elevational ranges of the species.
  2. Results of an Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) Heritage Data Management System (HDMS) online environmental review tool query that provided records of special-status species within three miles of the Project Area.
  3. Soil Survey Staff accessed online July 8, 2022.
  4. Other occurrence records in published or grey literature, including citizen science data.
  5. Data provided by the AGFD HabiMap online mapping system.
  6. Data provided by the USFWS Critical Habitat Portal online mapping tool.

The criteria used to determine the potential of occurrence of each species included in this screening analysis are defined as follows:
Present: The species has been observed within the Project Area and the Project Area is within the known range and distribution of the species, and habitat characteristics required by the species are present.
Possible: There are no known records of the species within the Project Area, but the known, current distribution of the species includes the Project Area and the required habitat characteristics of the species appear to be present in the Project Area. Observations associated with citizen science databases are evidence that a species is possible within the Project Area.
Unlikely: The known, current distribution of the species does not include the Project Area, but the distribution of the species is close enough such that the Project Area may be within the dispersal or foraging distance of the species, and they may show up as transients. The habitat characteristics required by the species may be present in the Project Area.
None: The Project Area is outside of the known distribution of the species and or the habitat characteristics required by the species are not present.

Elmer B. Stewart, MSc. P. Geol., President, and CEO of Copper Fox, is the Company’s non-independent, nominated Qualified Person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101, Standards for Disclosure for Mineral Projects, and has reviewed and approves the scientific and technical information disclosed in this news release.

About Copper Fox:
Copper Fox is a Tier 1 Canadian resource company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV: CUU) and the OTC Market (OTCQX: CPFXF) in the United States focused on copper exploration and development in Canada and the United States. The principal assets of Copper Fox and its wholly owned Canadian and United States subsidiaries, are the 100% ownership of the Van Dyke oxide copper project located in Miami, Arizona and the 25% interest in the Schaft Creek Joint Venture with Teck Resources Limited on the Schaft Creek copper-gold-molybdenum-silver project located in northwestern British Columbia. For more information on Copper Fox’s other mineral properties and investments visit the Company’s website at http://www.copperfoxmetals.com.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Elmer B. Stewart
President and Chief Executive Officer

For additional information contact:
Lynn Ball: investor@copperfoxmetals.com
(844) 464-2820 or (403) 264-2820

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

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and forward-looking information within the meaning of the Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking information”). Forward-looking information is identifiable by use of the words “believes,” “may,” “plans,” “will,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “budgets,” “could,” “estimates”, “expects”, “forecasts”, “projects” and similar expressions, and the negative of such expressions. Forward-looking information in this news release include statements about: evaluation of six ESA-listed special-status species and two BGEPA species; all special-status species evaluated had an effects determination of no effect; no designated critical habitat within the Project Area; temporary increases in noise and vibration levels from construction activities; the potential effects of dust on wildlife and vegetation; surface disturbance due to construction activities would result in the loss of some vegetation that may provide suitable wildlife habitat; and commencing Phase I of the 2022 work program.

In connection with the forward-looking information contained in this news release, Copper Fox and its subsidiaries have made numerous assumptions regarding, among other things: obtaining the NoW approval and permits; completing the 2022 program on time and within budget; the geological, metallurgical, engineering, financial and economic advice that Copper Fox has received is reliable and is based upon practices and methodologies which are consistent with industry standards; the speed of field studies and the stability of economic and market conditions. While Copper Fox considers these assumptions to be reasonable, these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies.

Additionally, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause Copper Fox’s actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information contained herein. Known risk factors include among others: the findings of the Biological Evaluation may not be accurate; the prediction on noise and vibration levels from construction activities may not be accurate; the potential effects of dust on wildlife and vegetation and the loss of some vegetation related to construction may not be as predicted; the 2022 work program may not be completed as planned, or at all; the drilling targets may not provide the results anticipated; uncertainties relating to interpretation of the previous results; the overall economy may deteriorate; uncertainty as to the availability and terms of future financing; fluctuations in commodity prices and demand; currency exchange rates; and uncertainty as to timely availability of permits and other governmental approvals.

A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Copper Fox is disclosed in Copper Fox’s continuous disclosure filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities at www.sedar.com. All forward-looking information herein is qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement, and Copper Fox disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking information or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking information contained herein to reflect future results, events, or developments, except as required by law.

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