Imperial Metals closes $16.8 million financing, shares rise

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Imperial Metals Corp. (III-TSX) has raised $16.8 million from a private placement of 7.0 million common shares priced at $2.40 a share. Proceeds are earmarked for the operation and development at the company’s Red Chris copper-gold mine in British Columbia.

The company said the participation of the company ‘s biggest shareholder Murray Edwards, and directors and officers of Imperial accounted for 60.8% of the proceeds from the placement.

Edwards purchased 3.5 million shares for $8.4 million, while the directors and officers bought 753,000 shares for $1.8 million.

News that the financing has been completed came after the close of trading on August 31, 2023. On Friday, the shares rose 3.7% or $0.09 to $2.54 and are currently trading in a 52-week range of $2.85 and $1.60.

Imperial’s principal properties in British Columbia include the wholly-owned Mount Polley and Huckleberry copper mines, plus the 30%-owned Red Chris mine

Mount Polley is an open pit copper/gold mine located in south-central British Columbia, 56 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake. The mine is 100%-owned by an Imperial subsidiary.

The 2023 production target for the mine is 30-33 million pounds of copper and 35,000 to 40,000 ounces of gold.

During the quarter ended June 30, 2023, Imperial’s consolidated metal production was 11.2 million pounds of copper and 14,289 ounces of gold, with 7.06 million pounds of copper and 10,185 ounces of gold produced from Mount Polley and 4.1 million pounds of copper and 4,104 ounces of gold from the company’s 30% share of Red Chris mine production.

Total production in the second quarter was up from 10.15 million pounds of copper and 13,129 ounces of gold produced in the previous quarter. Of that amount 6.7 million pounds of copper and 9,980 ounces of gold came from Mount Polley and 3.47 million pounds of copper and 3,149 ounces of gold came from the 30% share of Red Chris mine production.

Imperial formed a joint venture with Australian partner Newcrest Mining Ltd. [NCM-TSX] at the Red Chris mine in March 2019, after agreeing to sell a 70% stake in the mine to Newcrest, a company that is set to be acquired by Newmont Corp. [NGT-TSX, NEM-NYSE]. The partnership aimed to leverage Newcrest’s technical expertise in block caving operations.

Imperial has said the Red Chris Block Cave feasibility study is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023. It said several optimization opportunities to unlock further value are being assessed as part of the feasibility study, including options for the initial extraction level of the first block cave and alternative plant expansion options.

Progress towards block caving mining is advancing with the exploration decline at 3,245 metres as of July, 20, 2023, and the ventilation fans have been commissioned in the first ventilation raise.

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