A mining company has entered into an agreement with Tembec to purchase 38 hectares of property containing the old Cranbrook mill site in the industrial park.
MGX Minerals Inc. paid $3.7 million for the land, as the deal should be official on or by Dec. 15. The company is currently in discussions regarding mortgage and equity financing as well as leasing unused portions of the land and sale of unused equipment.
Jared Lazerson, CEO of MGX Minerals Inc. said the property and available infrastructure was too good to pass up, considering the proximity of the company’s mining operations in the East Kootenay.
“Basically, we’ve been looking at this site for over a year, effectively working on this deal for over a year. By the same time period we acquired the magnesium Driftwood deposit, so it was kind of part and parcel,” Lazerson said.
“We were looking at developing a mining property and we knew that a big part of that would be finding a place that would process the ore and more infrastructure-related, that there was actually infrastructure to handle a small industrial operation.”
Major infrastructure currently on the site includes some buildings and a wood processing plant, while the property itself is a large, fully-serviced industrial location with natural gas, water, power and rail access.
Tembec had formerly operated a saw and planer mill on the site which closed down respectively in 1998 and 2010. The planer mill was destroyed by a fire in November 2012.
The company is engaged in the acquisition and development of industrial mineral deposits in Western Canada that offer near-term production potential.
Cranbrook is situated close to the the MGX Minerals Inc’s flagship property—the Driftwood Creek magnesium project—as the long-term objective is to build a quarry mine and processing plant to produce magnesium oxide.
The proposed project is currently under permitting review for granting of a of a mining lease and applications for associated operating permits are in various stages of preparation.
As a rough explanation, the proposed facility will be similar to that of a cement plant.
“Everything that comes in basically goes out and is cycled, so we don’t have tailings, it’s like cement. You have your stockpiles and you process them and that’s it. Then it goes to rail—and that’s the big advantage to Cranbrook—to the U.S.,” Lazerson said.
If all goes according to plan, the processing plant should be operational by 2017, he added.
“There are some things that take some time in terms of planning right now, we’re moving as quickly as we can, but we want to be smart about this,” he added.
As a rough ballpark, Lazerson said he estimates there will be 50 jobs when the plant is operational, which could double during the construction phase of the facility.
For more information on the company, visit their website at: www.mgxminerals.com.