Avanti is focused on the development of the past producing Kitsault molybdenum mine located north of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. Kitsault has Proven and Probable reserves of 215 million tonnes grading 0.085% Mo and containing 368 million pounds of recoverable molybdenum as outlined in the Technical Report dated December 15, 2009.
The Kitsault Molybdenum Mine — owned 100% by Avanti Kitsault Mine Ltd. — is a former producing mine (total production during two prior periods was approximately 30 million pounds of moly) and is considered to be one of the top five undeveloped primary molybdenum assets worldwide. The project is located on Lime Creek at the head of Alice Arm Inlet, approximately 140 km northwest by ocean transport from Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The high grade resource at The Kitsault Mine site has existing infrastructure, consisting of road access and a power transmission line connected to the B.C. Hydro grid. The project is easily accessible by air or water from Prince Rupert, or by road from the town of Terrace.
Most recently, Avanti completed the following key milestones on the project:
- Completed a Prefeasibility Study recommending advancing the project to a Final Bankable Feasibility stage,
- Increased its land holdings by 300%, through the purchase of contiguous mineral tenures surrounding its existing property at Kitsault, providing the Company with exploration and development lands, and
- Raised $17.3 million by way of a financing involving a syndicate of underwriters, led by BMO Nesbitt Burns, GMP Securities and Macquarie Capital Markets Canada.
Based on Avanti's NI 43-101 Prefeasibility Study, the project shows robust economics with a Proven and Probable reserve of 215 million tonnes grading 0.085% Mo. Over a fifteen year period, Avanti expects to produce an average of 24.5 million pounds per year for a life of mine recovery of 368 million pounds of moly. The first five years are expected to have the highest rate of production, with an estimate of 29 million pounds per year at average grades of 0.10% Mo. With the Projects projected operating cost of $4.43 per pound and a life of mine after tax net cash flow of $1.56 billion, the Prefeasibility shows a discounted after tax NPV (8%) of $551 million.
The Denver-based, private equity group Resource Capital Funds (RCF) recently converted 75% of it $20 million bridge loan into shares, making them the largest shareholder in Avanti with 41%. The recent financing has added some of the world's premiere institutional investors to the Company's share register who along with retail investors own an estimated 50%. Management and Board own approximately 9% of the Company making its objectives aligned with all shareholders.
In late 2008, Avanti signed a Communication Protocol with the Nisga'a Lisims Government, where the Nisga'a Nation has specific constitutionally protected rights under the Nisga'a Final Agreement. The proposed mine construction is anticipated to start in 2011, with The Kitsault Molybdenum Mine reaching production in late 2013. The new mine will create over 330 full-time jobs, plus another 250 jobs over the three year construction period. Avanti is committed to developing the mine in an environmentally acceptable manner acceptable to the Nisga'a Nation and all other neighbours to the Project.
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