MINER Magellan Metals, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada’s Ivernia, is seeking alternative financing as it waits on WA Environment minister Bill Marmion’s review of its operating conditions.
The company’s Magellan mine, 30 kilometres from the WA township of Wiluna, has been placed on care and maintenance twice after breaching strict environmental conditions imposed by the Government.
Magellan Metals was forced to stop shipments in January, when lead carbonate was found inside the sealed railway containers used to take the bags to Fremantle, and again in April, when traces of lead were found in mud outside shipping containers at the port. The Environmental Protection Authority released its recommendation to Mr Marmion, advising that shipments could resume if tougher operating conditions were imposed.
The EPA recommended that lead carbonate be placed in sealed bags inside a clean shipping container, with all bags to be inspected by an independent accredited auditor before being reloaded into shipping containers.
It also proposed that an independent review be conducted on the way in which lead sampling had been conducted at the mine.
EPA chairman Paul Vogel said the recommended conditions met the EPA’s objective to protect human health and the environment.
Ivernia said in a statement that these conditions would need to be satisfied before lead transportation from the Wiluna mine resumed.
There is an existing stockpile of 10,100 tonnes of lead carbonate at the site. “Upon making the decision to restart the Magellan mine, the company expects that it would take greater than three months for a ramp up of operations to be completed,” the statement said. The company has about US$10.5 million in cash to fund care and maintenance at the Magellan mine, including the completion of an end-to-end
“Until the company is in a position to assess when it will be able to recommence shipments of lead carbonate concentrate from the Magellan mine, the company cannot make any assurances that it will have sufficient working capital on hand to fund the care and maintenance period and/or restarting the Magellan mine,” the statement said.
“Due to such uncertainty, the company now anticipates that it will require additional financing prior to the restart of the Magellan mine and is pursing financing alternatives.”  Ivernia recently had to sell off more than 93 million shares to raise money for the Magellan mine, the second time it has done so to maintain the troubled site.