Vancouver — May 7, 2012 - Imperial Metals Corporation (III-TSX) reports the Province of British Columbia has issued a Mines Act permit for Red Chris. Mine development will include a 30,000 tonne per day milling operation and related open pit mine with reserves of 301.5 million tonnes grading 0.359% copper and 0.274 grams per tonne gold. Red Chris is located 80 km south of Dease Lake in northwestern British Columbia and is 100% owned by Imperial Metals, subject to a 1.8% net smelter royalty that can be bought down to 1.0% prior to commencement of production.
The Red Chris project received British Columbia Environmental Assessment Certification in 2005 and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) approval in 2006. In July 2010 the Company submitted an Application for a Mines’ Act Permit following confirmation by the Supreme Court of Canada on a challenge under CEAA that there was no evidence before it of dissatisfaction with the environmental assessments conducted by the BC Environmental Assessment Office or the responsible authority and no evidence of dissatisfaction with the assessment process from anyone else. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the project could go ahead.
Electrical power will be supplied by a connection to the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL) at Bob Quinn. The NTL is expected to be complete by May 2014. Imperial plans to connect to the NTL and begin commissioning of the Red Chris plant as soon as the NTL is complete.
During operations the project will employ approximately 300 hourly, salaried and contract personnel, operating on a fly-in/fly-out basis on a two week rotation. During construction the workforce is expected peak at 500 workers. Chartered aircraft will fly all non-local employees to a nearby airstrip from where they will be bused to Red Chris.
Engineering and procurement for Red Chris mine development is proceeding with approximately 38% of the detailed engineering complete, and major long lead items including the SAG mill, ball mill, primary crusher and truck fleet procured. In 2010 capital costs were estimated to be approximately $450 million.
Imperial is a mine development and operating company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Company’s key properties are two open pit mines: Mount Polley copper/gold mine and Huckleberry copper/molybdenum mine, both in British Columbia, as well as the development stage Red Chris copper/gold property in British Columbia and the Sterling gold property in Nevada.
Contacts: Brian Kynoch, President 604.669.8959; Byng Giraud, Vice President, Corporate Affairs 604.488.2688
Sabine Goetz, Investor Relations 604.488.2657 // website: www.imperialmetals.com
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