THE company which wants to build a molybdenum mine at Kitsault on the north coast and its subsidiary which would handle the project, Avanti Kitsault, introduced themselves to the business community and others yesterday by hosting a reception at its new Terrace offices on the second floor of the Dairy Queen building.
Officials from the two companies mingled with guests as refreshments were served by students of Northwest Community College’s culinary arts department.
Those present included representatives from the Nisga’a Lisims Government, which has signed a benefits agreement with the company, members of Terrace city council, Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce president Janice Shaben, Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin and Francoise Godet, Skeena – Bulkley Valley NDP MP’s Terrace constituency assistant.
‘We’re delighted to see the overwhelming support of the community,” said Alloycorp Mining president Gordon Bogden in making brief remarks to the gathering.
The project to mine molybdenum, a strengthening agent in steel, has a forecast life of 14 years and would employ 300 people.
Avanti Kitsault has already built a road to its location, rebuilt a provincial government bridge to enable it to haul in heavy equipment and has completed a 150-bed construction camp.
The company has been borrowing money for the work so far and is now working on completing final financing for the project which could cost as much as $1 billion.
“We’re not quite done yet,” said Bogden of raising financing. “We’re moving through it.”
To date, the company has raised (US) $435 million through equity and debt financing.
An expected (US) $612 million from six international lenders through a commitment negotiated last year, has since been reduced to (US) $225 million from two of the lenders and one of the six has since dropped out but the company says it is now talking to other lenders.
“We’re looking at this as a mine of the future. It’s not just talk. It’s actually happening,” said Bogden.
“We’re looking forward to working with all of you to build this mine,” added Avanti Kitsault president Peter Mah.