Exploration & Processing - Winter 2010 - (Page 120)
AVANTI MINING INC. BY CHRIS PETERSEN AVANTI MINING INC. FOUND ITS CENTERPIECE MOLYBDENUM ASSET WHERE FEW OTHERS WERE LOOKING – THE KITSAULT MINE IN WEST-CENTRAL BRITISH COLUMBIA. HIDDEN ASSETS N The Kitsault Mine was largely ignored by other molybdenum firms because it was part of the portfolio of aluminum firm Alcoa, but Avanti Mining recognized its potential. COMPANY PROFILE Avanti Mining Inc. www.avantimining.com HQ: Centennial, Colo. Employees: 10 Specialty: Molybdenum develCraig Nelsen, president and CEO: “It’s a past producer; it’s ot all of a successful mineral development firms’ exploration happens in the ground. In the case of Avanti Mining Inc., the company discovered a hidden gem that is now the centerpiece of its strategy, but the only thing it had to dig through was layers of documents. President and CEO Craig Nelsen says the firm was founded to purchase byproduct molybdenum assets, but had a difficult time finding any in the first few months. “In that space, there were probably 15 to 20 potential candidate copper producers that had byproduct molybdenum, and we were unsuccessful in talking to any of them about selling us a life-of-mine molybdenum stream,” Nelsen says. Nelsen blames the situation on the rise in commodities prices at the time, and says he and his partner, CFO AJ Ali, would have had better luck with copper producers if they had tried a year earlier. Nevertheless, Avanti was undaunted and continued to search for a molybdenum asset that was close to development. Eventually, it identified the Kitsault Mine in west-central British Columbia. Nelsen says the property escaped the industry’s notice as a molybdenum asset because of its ownership. “It was a little under the radar because it was owned by the large aluminum company Alcoa,” he says. “Nobody could really make the obvious connection there.” Avanti began discussions with Alcoa concerning the property in 2007, eventually winning a private bid for the property and closing the agreement in June 2008. Alcoa came to own the property after its original owner, Amax, spent nearly $200 million in the early 1980s to develop a mine that only operated for about nine months, after which the moly market bottomed out, and it was forced to close the mine. Amax transferred the mine to its profitable aluminum company, Alumax to harvest the capital tax loss on the mine. Alcoa took over Alumax in the mid-1990s, thus inheriting the Kitsault Mine. A Proven Asset Nelsen says Avanti is excited to have the Kitsault property as the focal point of its portfolio because of its proven history and potential for future development. “There are basically three things that are really signifiWINTER 2010 opment not a greenfield start-up.” 120 | EXPLORATION-PROCESSING.COM
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Exploration & Processing - Winter 2010
Exploration & Processing - Winter 2009
Preparing for an Economic Upturn
Emergency Preparedness Case Study
quasar energy group
The Crossing Co.
Discovery Drilling Contractors
Mantra Venture Group
Alaska Clean Seas
Platinum Group Metals Ltd.
TG Engineering Inc.
Abacus Mining & Exploration Corp.
Advanced Rig Services
Bell Industries Inc.
Canrig Drilling Technologies Ltd.
Equipment Maintenance Services
Galloway Oilfield Construction Ltd.
Latex Construction Co.
PC Gold Inc.
Processes Unlimited International Inc.
Global Industries Ltd.
Herman Oil Co.
Juhl Wind Inc.
MWD Services LLC
Nevada Geothermal Power Inc.
Oski Energy LLC
Powertech Uranium Corp.
Avanti Mining Inc.
BlackBrush Oil & Gas – Texstar Midstream
The Coeur d’Alenes Co.
Vibration Technology Inc.
Exploration & Processing - Winter 2010