Imperial Metals Produces 19.65 Million Pounds of Copper and 8,426 Ounces of Gold at Red Chris Mine in Q3 2017
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Imperial Metals Corporation (the “Company”) (TSX:III) reports on production, Senior Credit Facility and Bridge Loan.
Third Quarter Production Results
The Company reports third quarter production results from the Red Chris mine of 19.65 million pounds copper and 8,426 ounces gold, up 27% and 37% respectively from the second quarter. Higher copper and gold grade ore was mined in September, later than expected, due to lower than anticipated mining rates. Grades which averaged 0.38% copper and 0.18 g/t gold in July and August, increased to 0.47% copper and 0.29 g/t gold in September, as deep main zone ore became the main source of mill feed. Copper recovery also increased to an average 80.88% in September. This deeper main zone ore will provide the majority of mill feed for the remainder of the year. The plant achieved the design mill throughput for the third quarter averaging 30,135 tonnes per calendar day.
In July, forest fires in the Cariboo region affected Mount Polley mine production. All operations were suspended July 15 to July 31, and operations were impacted to a lesser degree both before and after the period of suspension. Mill throughput for the third quarter was 1.44 million tonnes, down 23% from the second quarter, and milling of material from low grade stockpiles was required to augment lower mining rates. As a result, production from Mount Polley in the third quarter was 3.98 million pounds copper and 9,989 ounces gold.
Metal production for 2017 is not expected to meet targets set in July given the delay in delivery of deeper and higher grade ore to the mill at Red Chris, and the impact of the forest fires on operations at Mount Polley. The updated target ranges for 2017 metal production are 96-102 million pounds copper and 84-92 thousand ounces gold. Red Chris is targeted to produce approximately 76-80 million pounds copper and 33-37 thousand ounces of gold, and Mount Polley is targeted to produce approximately 20-22 million pounds copper and 51-55 thousand ounces gold.
Extension of Covenant Waiver
The Company advises that the waiver of noncompliance with respect to one of the financial covenants under the Senior Credit Facility has been extended from October 13, 2017 to the earlier of the date the Amending Agreement becomes effective or October 31, 2017. Discussions with the Senior Credit Facility Lenders are proceeding well, however the parties require additional time to review, obtain approvals and complete the necessary documentation to complete the financing plan that was submitted by the Company as required under the original waiver dated August 14, 2017.
Details of the financing plan are expected to be released when the Amending Agreement becomes effective.
Extension of Bridge Loan
The Company also advises that the repayment of the $20 million Bridge Loan of July 31, 2017 due on October 15, 2017 has been extended to January 5, 2019 unless the Company fails to complete certain steps contemplated in the financing plan presented to the Senior Credit Facility lenders. Should these steps not be completed, the loan will be due on November 15, 2017.
Imperial is a Vancouver based exploration, mine development and operating company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns the Red Chris, Mount Polley and Huckleberry copper mines in British Columbia. Imperial also holds a 50% interest in the Ruddock Creek lead|zinc property in British Columbia.