Pembridge gets paid for Minto copper

 

Last updated 11/8/2019 at 9:43am

Capstone Mining Corp.

A truckload of copper concentrates from the Minto Mine is being barged across the Yukon River on its way to the Skagway Ore Terminal in Southeast Alaska. During the winter months, an ice bridge is used to get the concentrates across this iconic northern river.

Pembridge Resources plc Nov. 6 reported the first revenue from Minto since the restart of operations at its recently acquired copper mine in the Yukon.

Since finalizing a deal in June to acquire Minto from Capstone Mining Corp., the United Kingdom-based company has been working toward the restart of operations at this copper mine.

During 10 months of production in 2018, the Minto Mine produced 23 million lb of copper, 9,251 ounces of gold and 98,000 oz of silver from 907,000 metric tons of ore averaging 1.31 percent copper, 0.44 grams per metric ton gold and 4.3 g/t silver.

Capstone's cost to produce a pound of copper at Minto last year, however, was US$3.12/lb, net byproduct credits. As a result, the company decided to place Minto on care and maintenance as it worked to finalize a deal to sell the Yukon asset.

Pembridge, which has identified operating efficiencies that will likely bring down operating costs, was able to negotiate a deal to acquire Minto for US$20 million in staged payments.

Shortly after it acquired the mine, the UK-based company cut a deal with Sumitomo Corp. for copper concentrates from the mine.

Under this agreement, Sumitomo will make this advanced payment in monthly installments based on 90 percent of the estimated value of concentrate produced that month, with final payment due on delivery to Japan.

Pembridge, which restarted the mill at Minto on Oct. 10, produced 1,734 metric tons of concentrates last month. As a result, the company received US$3.4 million from Sumitomo, which is 90 percent of the value of the copper, gold and silver contained in the concentrate.


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"The offtake agreement with Sumitomo is an important element in supporting Minto's operations during this time. We thank Sumitomo for their support and the strong partnership between our two companies will be the basis for the future development of Minto," said Pembridge Resources Chairman and CEO Gati Al-Jebouri.

The new Minto owner is operating the mill on a two week on, two week off basis until enough ore is available for steady operation. The company recent blasted out 6,000 metric tons of ore with an estimated average grade of 4.5 percent copper and plans to blast out an additional 32,279 metric tons of ore at around 2.7 percent copper in the coming days.

"We expect Minto's revenue to grow steadily as Minto progresses through its ramps up phase," said Gati Al-Jebouri.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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