Oil sands stakeholder gives Imperial Metals a $25 million helping hand

Oil sands stakeholder gives Imperial Metals a $25 million helping hand

N. Murray Edwards watches the Calgary Flames from the owner's box in the Scotiabank Saddledome, 2011.

Oil sands tycoon N. Murray Edwards, one of Canada’s most prominent billionaires, has agreed to lend Imperial Metals (TSE:III) $25 million (Cdn$30m) as the company had to delay the start of its Red Chris gold and copper project in British Columbia.

The Canadian miner, whose Mount Polley mine tailings pond failed catastrophically last summer, said in a statement that it also plans an Cdn$80 million rights offering to repay the loan and fund the development of Red Chris and the restart of Mount Polley.

This is not the first time that Edwards, Imperial’s largest shareholder, gives the Vancouver-based firm a much-needed helping hand. After the major spill at the company’s Mount Polley mine last summer, he backed a Cdn$100 million bond sale to help fund the clean-up.

Edwards, chairman of Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) — Canada’s largest heavy oil producer— and co-owner of the hockey team Calgary Flames, is also Edco Capital Corp., which is acting as the official lender.

Shares in Imperial Metals were down almost 4% this morning to $12.30 at 10:00 am ET.