Although surrounded by a national park, Prairie Creek zinc project still viable
While the expansion of the Nahanni National Park now completely encircles the Prairie mine project, Canadian Zinc says the project will still be permitted albeit it more slowly than originally planned.
Posted: Tuesday , 18 Aug 2009
RENO, NV -
Facing the prospect of permitting a zinc mine , which will be surrounded by a national park, Canadian Zinc (TSX: CZN) announced the junior miner "will limit expenditures at Prairie Creek for the foreseeable future, operating only a limited work program in the summer months," and to continue permitting and planning activities.
In June of this year the Canadian Parliament enacted legislation to enlarge the Nahanni National Park by 30,000 square kilometers, making it the third largest national park in Canada.
The enlarged park now "completely encircles the Prairie Mine," Canadian Zinc said. "However, the mine itself and a large surrounding area of approximately 300 square kilometers are specifically excluded from the park and is not part of the expanded park."
"Canadian Zinc welcomes the long-anticipated expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve, with the exclusion of the Prairie Creek Mine area of the guarantee of access to the mine through the enlarged park," the company said in financials statements released Monday.
"Canadian Zinc believes that the Prairie Creek Mine and the enlarged Nahanni National Park can co-exist and that, properly planned and managed, the enlarged park will not interfere with the operation of the Prairie Creek Mine and similarly that the operation of the mine will not adversely impact upon the park or its ecological integrity."
The Vancouver-based junior estimated that an additional $80 million to $100 million will be required to complete development of the mine. The Prairie Creek Mine is partially developed with an existing 1,000 tpd mill and related infrastructure. A total of $18.7 million was invested in the zinc-lead-silver property in the Northwest Territories in 2006 and 2007.
Meanwhile, Canadian Zinc has acquired 347,699,022 shares of Vatukoula Gold Mines for Cdn$4.54 million. The company now holds 20.1% of Vatukoula's shares. Canadian Zinc said the VGM shares were acquired for investment purposes. "Canadian Zinc's long-term aim has been, and continues to be, to bring the Prairie Creek Mine into production."
Vatukoula (formerly the Emperor Gold Mine) in Fiji is planning to restore the former gold and silver mine, which operated for more than 70 years.
For the first six months of this year, Canadian Zinc reported a net loss of $1 million, compared to a loss of $1.5 million reported during the first half of 2008. The reduction in losses this year were primarily attributed to the winter shutdown of the Prairie Creek Mine site, reduced overall expenditures and an overall gain for the company's marketable securities.
For the second-quarter 2009, Canadian Zinc reported a net loss of $722,000, compared to a loss of $1.13 million for second-quarter 2008.