GANDER, Newfoundland VVC EXPLORATION CORP. of Toronto hopes to enter the ranks of Canadian mineral producers by putting the Beaverbrook antimony mine into commercial production. VVC has agreed to purchase the nearby project from ROYCEFIELD RESOURCES for $17 million.
The Beaverbrook deposit is the largest of its kind outside China. It has an estimated resource of 1.94 million tonnes grading 4.32% Sb. Beaverbrook would be the only antimony mine in North America, and it has the potential to supply 5% of the world's demand. Antimony is used as a hardener for lead and as a fire-retardant for fabrics.
Roycefield spent $22 million on Beaverbrook between 1994 and 1998 on a 450-tons/day mill and underground development including a 515-m ramp and 313 m of drifts. The mine has been on care-and-maintenance since 1999. VVC believes production could be accomplished six months after work begins.
A scoping study completed by Watts, Griffis and McOuat recommends a feasibility study and more diamond drilling to upgrade the resources. Cost of the recommended work will be about $2.1 million. The underground workings will have to be dewatered and rehabilitated to provide access for in-fill drilling.
VVC predicts that demand for antimony will grow at an annual rate of 3.5% worldwide. Prices are now about US$2,300/tonne. Detailed information is available via e-mail from [email protected]
or contact president Serge Gauthier at 418-953-7177.