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Imperial Metals becomes sole owner of Huckleberry
Imperial Metals Corporation has become the sole owner of the Huckleberry Mine, an open pit copper mine located 130 km south of Smithers.
Imperial Metals previously held 50 per cent interest in the mine. The remaining 50 per cent was held by the Japan Group, comprised of Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Dowa Mining Co. Ltd. and Furukawa Co.
“Our partners expressed an interest in selling and so the options were to own the whole mine ourselves or have a new partner,” explained Steve Robertson, a spokesperson for the Huckleberry Mine. “It made sense to make the purchase which allows Imperial greater flexibility.”
The $2 million transaction is expected to close this month and will result in Imperial Metals holding 100 per cent of the mine’s shares.
“The purchase of the 50 per cent interest in the project is a strong signal to British Columbians that Imperial Metals believes strongly in the future potential of Huckleberry Mine,” added Robertson.
Huckleberry has retained a core group of mine personnel and has kept the mine on “care and maintenance” since September 2016, after declining world demand saw copper prices plummet.
Since the mine was placed on care and maintenance, however, copper prices have been slowly increasing. Copper was above US $2.65 in March and April, a considerable improvement from early 2016, when copper was near the US $2 mark.
“We understand that the copper market is cyclical and have faith that at some point we will re-enter a bull market and see sustained higher prices for Copper,” said Robertson. “When that happens, Huckleberry will be a great asset to own.”
Imperial Metals has also been reviewing a number of alternate mine plans that would further enhance Huckleberry’s operating performance and potentially extend the mine life. Recent exploration on the Whiting Creek prospect, located just north of the mine, continues to expand the potential of porphyry mineralization.
“We believe the project has many exploration targets and that additional mineralization could be found with further exploration,” explained Robertson. “It is a well-known adage in our industry that the best place to look for another deposit is beside an existing mine.”
Drilling has also confirmed the potential to expand the mine’s “main zone,” which hosts the probable reserves that are included in the current mine plan.
Huckleberry plans to conduct a comprehensive review of the exploration potential of the entire property.