* Sees prefeasibility at Ollachea by mid-year
* Sees production by 2014
By Pav Jordan
TORONTO, March 7 Minera IRL (IRL.LM), a gold
miner focused on properties in Peru, Chile and Argentina, says
it could have a resource of more than 2 million ounces of gold
at its flagship Ollachea property.
Speaking on the sidelines of the annual Prospectors and
Developers conference in Toronto, Minera IRL Chief Executive
Courtney Chamberlain said the company plans to have a
prefeasibility study ready for the project by mid-year, with
production by the second half of 2014.
It acquired the property from global mining giant Rio Tinto
(RIO.L) and production should ramp up as its existing mine, the
Corihuarmi gold mine in Peru, stops operating by 2015.
"We're now saying that we can see a 2 million-plus resource
there, which is psychologically another hurdle," Chamberlain
told Reuters. "People will start taking notice."
For more stories on PDAC convention: [ID:nN02153893]
Chamberlain is in Toronto to sell the story further. He
plans to make Minera IRL a C$500 million company, more than
double its current market capitalization is C$189 million.
Trading volumes in the company's stock has risen steadily
since the fourth quarter last year and shares are close to a
52-week high of C$1.60 a share. In mid-February the stock was
around C$1.30 a share.
Chamberlain was one of some 22,000 global mining players at
the Toronto PDAC conference, the largest of its kind in the
world and which comes this year as metals prices soar and gold
prices flirt with record highs.
Minera IRL is listed in Lima, Toronto and London.
Its Corihuarmi mine will produce 30,000 ounces of gold in
2011, generating about $40 million in revenue, based on today's
near-record gold prices around $1,400 per ounce.
Chamberlain says the company has $30 million in the bank,
and a $20 million line of credit with Macquarie bank, so there
is no need for more financing at the moment. The company has an
annual burn rate of about $60 million a year.
"It would give us a lot of satisfaction to build a mid-tier
mining company and I think we'll unlock a lot of shareholder
value," he said.
Minera plans to bring Ollachea and its Argentina property,
Don Nicolas, into production before Corihuarmi cash flow dries
up and says it will create a company with gold output of some
180,000 to 200,000 ounces a year.
"That isn't mid-tier yet, but it'll give us sales of $200
million or $300 million a year, and a margin that we can really
plow back into the company or think about a dividend policy,"
(Reporting by Pav Jordan; editing by Janet Guttsman)