Imperial raises $41M ahead of Mount Polley reopening

With plans to reopen the Mount Polley copper-gold mine northeast of Williams Lake, B.C., Imperial Metals (TSX: III) has completed a rights […]
The core shack at the Mount Polley copper-gold mine in B.C. Credit: Imperial Metals

With plans to reopen the Mount Polley copper-gold mine northeast of Williams Lake, B.C., Imperial Metals (TSX: III) has completed a rights offering that will raise approximately $41.0 million. The property was placed on care-and-maintenance in May 2019.

This company issued about 13.5 million common shares for the offering for gross proceeds of $41.0 million. About 9.9 million shares were offered under basic subscription privileges and a further 3.5 million under additional subscription privileges. The bulk of the funds will be used to pay down debt and to fund capital expenditures at its 30%-owned Red Chris copper-gold mine near Dease Lake in northern B.C. (Newcrest holds 70% of Red Chris.)

Imperial began making plans to reopen it’s 100%-owned Mount Polley mine late last year, and the reopening is imminent. The pit has been dewatered, waste pre-stripped, and the mill restarted. About 4.5 million tonnes of ore were stockpiled in preparation for milling.

The mine suffered a large tailings dam break in 2014 and was closed for two years while the company spent $70 million on environmental rehabilitation. Hazeltine Creek, which flows into Quesnel Lake, needed extensive restoration. Mount Polley reopened about the time the Huckleberry copper mine was placed on care-and-maintenance. When copper prices fell below US$3 per pound, Mount Polley was again idled.

According to the first quarter 2022 financial report, Imperial spent $2 million on the Mount Polley reopening during that time, which increased the company’s net loss by $22.4 million. Once Mount Polley is again in production, Imperial plans to work on bringing the 100%-owned Huckleberry mine back online.

Mount Polley has proven and probable reserves of 53.8 million tonnes grading 0.34% copper, 0.30 g/t gold and0.90 g/t silver, which contains 3.0 billion lb. copper, 3.2 million oz. gold and 1.6 million oz. silver. The total measured and indicated resource (open pit and underground) is 194.3 million tonnes at 0.29% copper, 0.29 g/t gold and 0.73 g/t silver. The total inferred resource is 5.6 million tonnes at 0.37% copper, 0.28 g/t gold and 2.18 g/t silver.

Additional information about Mount Polley, Red Chris and Huckleberry are posted on www.ImperialMetals.com.

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