VMS Ventures Inc. ("VMS Ventures" or the "Company") is pleased to update shareholders on underground mine development at the Reed copper project near Snow Lake, Manitoba. Reed is a high grade copper deposit scheduled to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2013.
VMS Ventures owns 30% and is carried to production. HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX:HBM)(NYSE:HBM) ("Hudbay") owns 70% and is the Operator.
VMS Ventures COO Neil Richardson states: "We are particularly pleased that Hudbay's mine development team is succeeding in the development of good ground control systems for the early phase of development. The rate of advancement of underground development in February was slowed due to the installation of extensive ground support. Ground conditions in the upper portions of the mine at Reed have been difficult, but are expected to improve at depth. Despite these challenges, approximately 81 meters of lateral development was completed in February."
The Reed project is forecast to remain within budget and on time to production beginning in the fourth quarter of 2013. As of the end of February 2013, the joint venture has invested $30 million and committed an additional $18 million. The project development team has worked 351 days with no lost time accidents. Capital expenditures at Reed are expected to total approximately $44 million in 2013.
The Environmental Act license application for Reed has been submitted to the provincial government which, upon receipt, will allow for full production. Mining at the Reed copper project is expected to begin by the fourth quarter of 2013, and is anticipated to ramp up to full production of approximately 1,300 tonnes per day by the first quarter of 2014.
2013 February Project Highlights:
The underground ramp was advanced 81 meters in February. Development was slower than expected for the month due to the necessary installation of cable bolts and shotcrete to deal with difficult ground conditions. A faster method of securing areas with poor ground conditions was identified and progress of the decline is returning to the expected rate of development. The Escape raise from surface to the 30 meter level was completed and the vent raise started. The Shop-Warehouse building was completed and construction of the ore pad has started.
We invite you to view the latest pictures of the development at the Reed Copper Deposit on our website