With the price of lead and zinc on the rebound, a Canadian mining company with its head office in Washington, U.S.A Tamerlane Ventures has resumed exploration drilling at the Pine Point Project east of Hay River is presently moving forward.
On Jan. 4 Tamerlane president Ross Burns announced that the company had secured approximately $500,000 in flow-through funding from MineralFields Group, a Canadian-based mining fund.
“We are very pleased with this financing with the MineralFields Group,” Burns said in a release. “With the financing that we have completed during the last month, the company now has the necessary cash in its treasury to advance the Pine Point Project to the next step.”
Peter Ball, Tamerlane’s Director of Investor Relations, confirmed Thursday the company is making arrangements to resume drilling.
“We’ve raised financing and we’re looking forward to commencing the drill program immediately to continue to define additional resources,” Ball said.
“Most of the hard work is completed, such as the feasibility study, and with all the permits in place, we’re looking forward to moving the project forward. It’s our main focus and the funding is in place to continue building the resource and start looking for a partner.”
The company received its water license for the project, the final piece of the permitting puzzle, on April 30, 2009, and now is completely permitted for mining. In July, 2009, the company was reissued a land use permit for its continued exploration program. The new permit expires on July 1, 2014. Tamerlane is now looking for a strategic partner or to bring in a financing group to cover capital expenditures in order for construction to begin.
“Until that happens, development of the required infrastructure for the Pine Point Zn-Pb Project will be on hold. You need the funds,” Ball said, noting that construction could commence when funds are in place, which could be as early as this year if a suitable financing arrangement is finalized. “Everything else is in place – you’ve got the permitting, you’ve got a significant resource in place ready for development that has a completed feasibility study and is completely permitted.”
The construction phase of the project is expected to last between 15 and 18 months, and will require up to 60 contractors to be on site.
With favourable market conditions for metals, the project is becoming more attractive for potential investors daily, Ball explained. On Thursday zinc was trading at $1.16 USD/lb., up from $0.50 USD/lb last February.
“It’s gone up about 130 %,” Ball said. “Lead is up about 120-130 % (over the same period).”
Tamerlane’s shares are also on the upswing, trading at $0.355 USD Thursday – up from approximately $0.10 CDN one year ago.
“As the prices of zinc and lead in the commodity markets surge going forward, it’s beneficial to the project noting the economics become more robust and offers the opportunity for the project to move forward based on the higher prices,” Ball said. “The company is working towards finding, obtaining, acquiring and bringing on a strategic partner or a financing group,”
Ball said the company’s geology team will be returning to Hay River as the exploration drill program resumes. The company put the exploration phase on hold in August 2008 as the economy faltered. The company’s goal is to resume mining at the Pine Point site, which was the most profitable zinc-lead mine in Canadian history.
“We are now moving advancing the project both on the exploration and development fronts ,” Ball said. “It’s great for the local community of Hay River, the Northwest Territories and Tamerlane.”