International Minerals Corporation (TSX: IMZ)(SWX: IMZ) has announced that the Company has signed the definitive joint venture agreement with Hochschild Mining plc to fast-track production at the IMZ/Hochschild jointly-owned Inmaculada property in southeastern Peru.
Inmaculada is located 25km south of the Pallancata silver mine, which is jointly owned by IMZ (40%) and Hochschild (60%).
The JV Agreement is based on a Framework Agreement signed by IMZ and Hochschild and announced in a news release dated October 12, 2010. Based on the terms of the JV Agreement, IMZ now owns a 40% interest in Inmaculada and Hochschild owns a 60% interest and becomes the operator.
IMZ's President and CEO, Stephen Kay stated: "We are pleased to have now signed the definitive joint venture agreement with Hochschild to fast-track production at Inmaculada by the end of 2013. Following the tremendous success of our partnership with Hochschild at the Pallancata Mine, we look forward to working with them again and to participating in another successful mine at Inmaculada."
Principal Terms of the JV Agreement (all in U.S. Dollars):
- $15 million in cash to IMZ.
- Hochschild made an equity investment in IMZ of $20 million in the form of a private placement and 3.66 million common shares of IMZ were issued to Hochschild on November 10, 2010.
- Hochschild will provide 100% of the initial $100 million of funding required to complete a feasibility study and the planning, development and construction of a mining operation at Inmaculada. Any subsequent expenditures will be funded 60% by Hochschild and 40% by IMZ.
- Hochschild is committed to building a mining operation at Inmaculada with a process capacity of 3,000 tonnes per day (unless the parties agree that such capacity is not optimal) by December 2013, subject to any unforeseen delays under "force majeure" conditions of the JV Agreement.
- If Hochschild fails to achieve the process capacity at Inmaculada by December 2013 (subject to any force majeure delays), then Hochschild must make quarterly pre-payments to IMZ during the period of any delay based on the parties' joint estimate of IMZ's 40% share of cash flows that would have been generated if production had started on schedule.
Upon commencement of commercial production, quarterly pre-payments will cease and pre-payments previously made to IMZ will be repaid to Hochschild from 50% of any cash distributions or dividends payable to IMZ in respect of the Inmaculada Mine until the pre-payments have been fully reimbursed to Hochschild.
- Hochschild will be operator of the project. Upon commencement of commercial production, Hochschild will charge the joint venture company a 7% management services fee based on the aggregate operating costs incurred by the joint venture during such mining operation.
- The management fee currently charged by Hochschild for the Pallancata Mine will be reduced from 10% to 7% effective January 1, 2011.
- A minimum of 20,000 meters of drilling per year for the first three years (the "Exploration Drilling Program") must be carried out for evaluation of exploration targets outside of the main Angela Vein deposit. The Exploration Drilling Program will be funded 60% by Hochschild and 40% by IMZ.
- IMZ is no longer required to solely fund and complete a feasibility study at Inmaculada or to issue 200,000 common shares of IMZ to Hochschild because the previous agreement with Hochschild has been terminated and replaced by the JV Agreement.
Inmaculada Resource Estimate and Scoping Study
On September 9, 2010, IMZ announced the results of an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment (or Scoping Study) for the Angela Vein deposit at Inmaculada and an updated NI 43-101 Technical Report for the Inmaculada project has been filed on SEDAR.
Highlights of the Scoping Study using $1,000 per ounce ("/oz") gold and $17/oz silver include:
- Conceptual mine production (after 5% mining loss and 20% mining dilution): 8.0 million tonnes ("Mt") at an average grade of 3.8 g/t gold and 137 g/t silver or 6.1 g/t gold equivalent.
- Recovered ounces ("ozs"): 858,000 ozs gold and 29.3 million ozs silver or approximately 1.35 million ounces of gold equivalent (based on metallurgical recoveries of 88% for gold and 83% for silver).
- Pre-tax cash flows: $660 million non-discounted, $434 million at a 5% discount rate and $286 million at a 10% discount rate.
- Pre-tax Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") of 41%.
- Total cash operating cost of $52 per tonne.
- Total cash operating cost/oz:
- Basis gold with silver credited as a by-product: negative $94 per oz of gold.
- Basis gold equivalent: $311/oz of gold equivalent.
- Initial Capital: $168 million (including $32.9 million in contingency).
- Total cash operating cost per oz, including capital:
- Basis gold with silver credited as a by-product: $231/oz.
- Basis gold equivalent: $517/oz
- 3,000 tonnes per day underground mine using a long hole stoping mining method and conventional recovery process by flotation to produce a saleable gold-silver concentrate.
The technical information reported in this news release was reviewed and approved by IMZ's Qualified Person, VP of Corporate Development, Nick Appleyard.
Source: International Minerals Corporation