North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Mining Explorers 2011: Imperial Metals Corp.


Last updated 11/6/2011 at Noon


Chairman: Pierre Lebel

President and COO: J. Brian Kynoch, P.Eng.

Vice President, Exploration: Patrick M. McAndless, P.Geo.

Imperial Metals Corp., organized in 2001, is a Vancouver-based miner focused on discovering, developing and operating base and precious metal assets in western North America.

Key properties include the Mount Polley open-pit copper/gold mine located 56 kilometers northeast of Williams Lake, in central British Columbia, a 50 percent interest in the Huckleberry open-pit copper/molybdenum mine in northern British Columbia; the development-stage Red Chris copper/gold property in northwest British Columbia; along with other development-stage mineral properties in Nevada and southern British Columbia.

Imperial's plans for 2011 included exploration at its Mount Polley, Red Chris, Ruddock Creek and Sterling properties.

Ongoing exploration at Mount Polley in 2011 focused on defining underground higher grade mineralization at the Boundary zone, and further testing of the mineralized zones in the vicinity of the Springer pit.

By June 30, two surface diamond drills and one underground diamond drill had completed surface drilling of 12,290 meters in 21 drill holes in the WX, C2, Cariboo and Springer areas and 4,020 meters were cored in 29 drill holes from underground at the Boundary zone.

Surface exploration remains focused on targets within the C2 and Cariboo areas, and further underground development is planned for the Boundary zone now that the initial phase of underground drilling is complete.

Imperial Aug. 23 said the underground diamond drilling was successful in delineating a block of breccia-hosted copper/gold mineralization at the Boundary zone.

The results included 35.0 meters of breccia-hosted mineralization in hole NDU11-189 grading 4.80 percent copper, 2.76 g/t gold and 39.17 g/t silver, including 9.1 meters of 7.97 percent copper, 3.45 g/t gold and 71.06 g/t silver.

The company also said it temporarily halted further underground exploration as its operation team prepared to conduct further underground ramping and level excavation to confirm an appropriate underground mining method for the block.

Imperial said the drilling at the Boundary zone indicates that high-grade mineralization occurs in a number of distinct breccia zones that are relatively small compared to the other zones at Mount Polley.

The company's field staff began a more detailed surface exploration program on a tighter grid in hopes of identifying other high-grade breccia bodies in the area that may have been overlooked by wider-spaced exploration.

Additional surface and underground drilling is planned as part of the company's ongoing exploration program.

At Red Chris, a drill program was completed that investigated the mineralization located beneath the planned open pit.

Two diamond drills were in operation until May 7, completing a total of 11,650 meters of diamond drilling.

Results from 40 deep diamond drill holes completed between June 2010 and May 2011 were expected to be finalized by the end of September, after which an updated mineral resource is to be calculated for Red Chris.

In 2010, Imperial updated the mineral resource estimate for Red Chris, adding 1.29 billion pounds copper and 2.73 million ounces gold to measured and indicated resources, and 1.37 billion pounds copper and 2.54 million ounces gold to the inferred resources, at a 0.3 percent copper cut-off grade.

The project's mineral resource as of Sept. 30 was estimated at 3.71 billion pounds copper and 5.56 million ounces gold of measured and indicated resources, and 2.39 billion pounds copper and 3.79 million ounces gold of inferred resources at a 0.3 percent copper cut-off grade.

The current focus at Red Chris is on permitting, engineering, procurement and development.

Engineering for a 30,000-metric-ton-per-day mine has started.

The contract to complete the detailed design has been awarded to AMEC. Two major pieces of used equipment, a 12,000-horsepower, 34-foot-diameter SAG mill and a 40-cubic-yard P&H 2800 electric shovel, have been purchased from Northgate's Kemess mine.

Once assays from all the 2010 and 2011 diamond drilling are received, a new resource estimate will be completed for Red Chris.

This is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter 2011.

The acquisition of the minority interest in American Bullion Minerals Ltd. in June 2011 gives Imperial 100-percent ownership of the Red Chris project.

Funding for the American Bullion acquisition and equipment purchases from Kemess was provided by an expanded, C$75 million line of credit from the Bank of Montreal and by cash flow from Mount Polley.

At the Huckleberry Mine where financial results continue to make a significant impact on Imperial's results, the company's 50 percent share of the mine's income from operations totaled C$4.9 million in the quarter ended June 30, up dramatically from C$100,000 a year earlier.

Huckleberry's profitability climbed on the strength of higher copper prices and lower revenue revaluations offset by lower sales volumes.

An application for an amendment to Huckleberry's Mines Act permit was submitted to allow for development and operation of the Main Zone Optimization pit, an expansion of the Main Zone pit that could add up to 8 years to Huckleberry's mine life.

The amendment was anticipated to be approved by the province in the third quarter 2011.

A Titan 24 Magnetotellurics and IP/ Resistivity survey consisting of four lines covering 9,300 meters was completed to test potential deep copper mineralization below the Main Zone Optimization pit design as well as previously established copper and aeromagnetic anomalies.

Follow-up rock chip sampling and diamond drilling is planned to test the resulting IP anomalies.

Cash and short-term deposits: C$11.1 million (June 30, 2011)

Working capital: C$57.3 million (June 30, 2011)

Market capitalization: C$722.92 million (Sept. 30, 2011)

200 - 580 Hornby St.

Vancouver, BC V6C 3B6

Tel: 604-669-8959 • Fax: 604-687-4030


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