Stonegate Agricom Ltd. provided an update on permitting activities at its Paris Hills Phosphate Project in Idaho.
"Stonegate continues to achieve important milestones in the permitting process at Paris Hills and the Company continues to expect to obtain all state permits and approvals required for its planned underground phosphate mine by the fourth quarter of 2014," said Mark Ashcroft, President and Chief Executive Officer.
"As a result of the recent $11.5 million equity financing, the Company expects to have sufficient funds to complete its permitting work over the next 15 months and is currently examining the potential for equipment financing to comprise as much as half of the estimated $121 million construction cost to bring the mine into commercial production after permitting is completed."
An important aspect of the permitting work is obtaining approvals for the planned pumping of groundwater prior to underground mining and injecting it in a different location. The Company recently obtained a drilling permit for an aquifer pump test well that will provide technical data for dewatering and approval for the point-of-compliance locations for the groundwater monitoring required by state regulatory agencies in advance of and during mining operations.
The Company is currently focused on several permitting activities including the required groundwater sampling and the drilling of the aquifer pump test well on the property. Drilling of the aquifer test well and the pumping tests are expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
The Company over the past year has drilled eight monitoring wells - six in the mine area in 2012 and two in the injection field in 2013 - for the ongoing groundwater sampling and data collection required by state regulatory agencies. This will supplement information obtained from monitoring equipment installed in eight exploration wells in 2010 and 2011.
On December 10, 2012, Stonegate announced it had completed a Feasibility Study for an underground mine in the Lower Phosphate Zone at Paris Hills, producing 904,000 tonnes annually of saleable phosphate rock concentrate over a 19-year mine life.
Additional information is available in a Technical Report entitled "Amended and Restated NI 43-101 Technical Report Paris Hills Phosphate Project Bloomington, Idaho, USA" effectively dated January 18, 2013 and amended and restated as of July 8, 2013. The report is available on the Stonegate website at www.stonegateagricom.com and at www.sedar.com.
The contents of this news release have been reviewed and approved by Daniel Thompson, P.E., Manager, Technical Services, Paris Hills Agricom Inc., who is a qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101.