Reed Copper site accelerates production dates

by Breanne Massey
Reed Copper mining site.

The Reed Copper mining site. — Photo courtesy VMS Ventures

The Manitoba government approved the Reed Copper Exploration Permit (AEP) and they issued the lease of park land property for operating mine developments.

The AEP, announced on January 26, 2012, allows VMS Ventures Inc. and joint venture partner HudBay Minerals Inc. to extract a 10,000-tonne bulk sample, test the metallurgical complex of the extraction and report mineralized widths, metal grades and ground conditions.

“We announced the permits for the event's exploration licence and that’s to get a 10,000-tonne bulk sample,” said Neil Richardson, chief operating officer for VMS Ventures. “But I was watching the Bloomberg interview with David Garofalo of HudBay, and in it he said he’s hoping to get things advanced into (quarter) 2 2013 for production.”

Preparation of the Reed Copper site will begin in the first quarter, and the decline slated for early (quarter) 3 2012.

“We’re still in (quarter) 1, and we’re anticipating an early start to the project as HBM is planning on putting a shovel in the ground in the coming weeks,” said Richardson. “Production is scheduled for Q4 2013, but now we may see production as early as Q2 2013 according to David Garofalo.”

VMS Ventures works closely with HudBay Minerals Inc., and this project is a joint venture. VMS is a small junior mining exploration group with maybe a dozen people on staff. HudBay is preparing the pre-feasibility, with their own people as well as consultants.

“It’s a 70-30 joint venture,” said Richardson. “They have 70 and VMS has 30 per cent, and on the Reed project itself they’re funding us right through to production. We have all the exploration expenses, but all exploration and mining expenses are funded through HBM and we’ll pay back our 30 per cent from the production earnings.”

VMS Ventures Inc. is a company focused on exploring and developing massive sulphide deposits from copper, zinc, gold and silver in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake VMS belt of Manitoba. However, the company owns 45 per cent of North American Nickel Inc. and huge sulphide properties near Fox Lake, Ruttan, Lynn Lake and Leaf Rapids.

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