THE COMPANY which wants to build a molybdenum mine at Kitsault on the north coast is moving senior managers into place as it anticipates receiving the majority of its financing from an international banking consortium.
Avanti Mining has also changed its name to Alloycorp Mining Inc. to better reflect the company’s goal of producing molybdenum as a key steel alloy ingredient.
A newly hired health and safety manager is due to move here as is Luke Klemke who will be the general manager of the mine.
The company has also rented office space in Terrace and has hired local resident Christine Slanz as its community relations manager.
At the same time, the company has hired engineer Peter Mah to be its new chief operating officer as of Jan. 2, replacing Jeff Lowe who is retiring.
Speaking last week, company chief financial officer Graham du Prez said Alloycorp had anticipated approval by the banking consortium by now but a recent drop in the price of molybdenum has had some of the participating banks are reworking their numbers.
“It’s quite a process to go through,” said du Prez as the banks hone their final numbers based on a broad agreement reached earlier this year to provide just over US $600 million in financing toward the project which is to cost approximately Canadian $1 billion.
“Like any commodity, the price of molybdenum goes up and down and the price is now down a bit,” he said.
Included in the banking group is Export Development Canada, which is owned by the federal government and which provides financing for companies exporting products.
Even if several of the banks ultimately decide not to participate, Alloycorp has plans to take that into account, du Prez said.
“We are ready for that but we don’t think that will happen,” he added.
For the moment, the low value of the Canadian dollar in relation to the American dollar makes exports from Canada more attractive, du Prez noted.
And he said the financial model for the project is based on a mid-range price of molybdenum.
Alloycorp has already lined up offtake agreements with Korean and German customers.