Imperial Metals Corporation (“Imperial” or the “Company”) (III-TSX) reports that Huckleberry Mines Ltd. (“HML”) has notified employees at the Huckleberry mine (“Mine”) that operations will be suspended once the stockpiles have been milled. It is anticipated milling of the stockpiles will be completed by about the end of August 2016, and at that time the Mine will be temporarily placed on care and maintenance until there is an improvement in the price of copper.
The continuing low copper price has forced HML to make this difficult decision despite HML and its employees having made significant strides in reducing operating costs at the Mine. HML will continue to investigate ways to maintain operations, including consideration of the plan announced today by Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett that will allow mining companies to temporarily defer a portion of their hydro bills.
HML owns and operates the Mine. Imperial owns a 50% interest in HML, and the remaining 50% interest is owned by the Japan Group, comprised of Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Dowa Mining Co. Ltd. and Furukawa Co.
Imperial is an exploration, mine development and operating company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns the Mount Polley copper/gold mine in British Columbia, the Sterling gold mine in Nevada and the Red Chris copper/gold mine in northern British Columbia. Imperial owns a 50% interest in Huckleberry Mines Ltd. and a 50% interest in the Ruddock Creek lead/zinc property, both in British Columbia.