Troubled Baja’s mine sees another day, firm faces delisting from TSX

Canada’s Baja Mining (TSX:BAJ) is not giving up on its Boleo mine in Mexico, despite fresh challenges that threaten its operations, such as the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) recently announced review to determine whether the Vancouver-based miner meets the minimum requirements to continue on the exchange.

In a project update released Monday, the company said its subsidiary Minera y Metalúrgica del Boleo is targeting mechanical completion of the copper circuit for the copper-cobalt-zinc-manganese project, located in Baja California Sur, by the end of January 2014.

However, given the potential manpower shortage during the holiday season, the company warned there is potential that this completion may slip to the end of February.

Troubled Baja’s mine sees another day, firm faces delisting from TSXConstruction on the Minera y Metalúrgica del Boleo mine started in late 2010 and was originally set to cost $1.15 billion. But the project ran into $500 million in cost overruns and construction was halted on the half-finished mine.

Financial troubles forced Baja to lay off 40% of its staff in May 2012 and even the company’s founder, John Greenslade, was forced to resign.

In January this year, a consortium of South Korean lenders rescued the project, injecting an additional $30 million in April, but reducing Baja’s ownership to a mere 10%.

“Baja is done. It was done, in reality, in March 2009, when the market cap was in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” wrote CEO.ca’s analyst Chris Parry earlier this month.

“It’s been a wild ride, if your definition of a wild ride is a short rise and a long, agonizing, sorry slope downward,” he concluded.