CAMPBELL RIVER, British Columbia The board of directors has given Vancouver-based HILLSBOROUGH RESOURCES preliminary approval to acquire the coal and bulk material loading facilities at the Port of Middle Point. The facilities are now owned by the British Columbia Transportation Financing Authority (BCTFA). Transport Canada owns the real estate on which the facilities are located. Hillsborough owns and operates the Quinsam coal mine, which has been shipping through Middle Point since it was built in 1996.
The Middle Point facilities can load barges at a rate of up to 2,500 t/hour. With minor modifications, Hillsborough believes it could accommodate small ocean-going vessels. The Middle Point assets consist of a prepaid 15-year lease with Transport Canada for the use of the land and foreshore, and a lease with the BCTFA for the use of the coal storage dome and the lease for the use of the loading and unloading conveying system.
Hillsborough will pay $3.35 million to the BCTFA, which will be granted warrants to acquire 400,000 common shares of Hillsborough at a price of $0.54 per share. Upon closing the BCTFA will release $500,000 of security to Quinsam, which Quinsam had provided to ensure payment of certain obligations. The sale is contingent on financing and the acquisition of leases from Transport Canada. Hillsborough expects the deal will close by April 1, 2004. See also www.hillsboroughresources.com.