Hudbay picks up fourth Manitoba mine

Hudbay Minerals (TSX, NYSE:HBM) has purchased the idled Snow Lake project in Manitoba, adding to its stable of properties in the Canadian province of Manitoba.

The mine's owner, QMX Gold Corporation (TSXV:QMX) announced on Friday it is selling the Snow Lake Project, which includes the Snow Lake mine and processing plant, to Hudbay for US$12.3 million in cash, plus a contingent payment of $5 million. The past-producing mine is currently on care and maintenance, having closed in 2005. It first opened as the Nor-Acme mine in 1949, closed in 1958, and was re-opened as the New Britannia mine in 1995. According to QMX, between 1995 and 2005, 6.48 million tons were mined at an average grade 0.132 oz/ton for a total of 858,075 ounces.

The company says it wants to focus on its two properties in Quebec, Lac Pelletier and Lac Herbin, the latter of which produced 610,000 gold ounces.

"I'm very pleased to announce that Hudbay, a well-established Canadian mineral producer, will be acquiring the Snow Lake Project. We remain confident in the historic Snow Lake mine, but this transaction will now permit QMX Gold to move forward and focus on its assets in Quebec," said Brett New, president and CEO of QMX Gold. 

The acquisition means that Hudbay Minerals will now have four producing mines in Manitoba, assuming the Snow Lake project is restarted.

They include the 777 mine, which produces copper, gold and silver; the Lalor mine, which mines zinc, copper, gold and silver; and the Reed mine, a copper deposit that started producing in 2013. Hudbay also has processing facilities in Flin Flon and in Snow Lake, where a refurbished concentrator processes ore from the nearby Lalor mine.