Imperial Metals raising $30 million for B.C. mines

Imperial Metals raising $30 million for B.C. mines
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VANCOUVER – Imperial Metals Corp. (III-TSX) said it has agreed to issued up to $30 million worth of non-convertible debentures on a private placement basis. The proceeds from the private placement will be used to fund continuing operations at the Mount Polley and Red Chris mines in British Columbia.

The debentures have a maturity date of March 1, 2024, and bear interest at a rate of 12.0% annually, with interest paid semi-annually in cash, with a first payment due September 1, 2023.

The company said Murray Edwards purchased $22 worth of the debentures. In addition, officers and directors purchased a further $1.12 million worth of debentures. Imperial has previously said that Edwards has control of up to 49.5% of the company’s issued and outstanding shares.

News of the financing came after the close of trading on March 1, 2023, when Imperial shares closed at $1.92. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $4.25 and $1.60.

The company’s assets include a 30% interest in the Red Chris copper-gold mine in northwestern B.C., and 100% ownership of the Mount Polley copper-gold mine in central B.C., and the Huckleberry copper mine in northern B.C.

Imperial Metals formed a joint venture with the Australian company at Red Chris in March 2019, after agreeing to sell a 70% stake in the mine to Newcrest Mining Ltd. [NCM-TSX, ASX, PNGX], which is now the operator.

Red Chris is located approximately 70 kilometres south of Newcrest’s Brucejack gold mine. Newcrest secured the asset via its acquisition of Pretium Resources.

In a press release on January 24, 2023, Imperial said 2022 metals production from all operations totalled 26.5 million pounds of copper and 31,176 ounces of gold, up from 19.63 million pounds of copper and 18,048 ounces of gold in 2021.  Production in 2022, includes production at Mount Polley (with the first production in late June, 2022] and Imperial’s 30% allocation from Red Chris.

Copper and gold production (100%) from Red Chris was 67.6 million pounds, and 63,700 ounces respectively, an increase of 3.3% and 5.8% respectively compared to 65.4 million pounds of copper and 60,200 ounces of gold in 2021.

Block Cave development continues at Red Chris with the exploration decline at 2,685 metres as of January 18, 2023, and the first ventilation raise bores on schedule for completion within the first quarter of 2023.

The feasibility study is now expected to be completed in the second half of 2023 to allow optimization opportunities to be evaluated and further defined, with no impact to the project development timeline expected.

Back in late December, Imperial said it had closed a private placement of unsecured non-convertible debentures with an aggregate principal amount of $53 million.

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