Avanti outlines silver credit as key to financing Kitsault moly project

Avanti Mining (TSX-V: AVT) put legs under its business plan to sell a silver stream from its Kitsault molybdenum project in BC, Canada, outlining results of metallurgical tests that show it could recover substantial amounts of silver in a lead-silver concentrate with few modifications to its proposed processing circuit.

In a report by consultancy Resource Development (RDi) Avanti now has in its hands the bones to how much silver it might recover and produce at Kitsault. 

According to Avanti the route to silver recovery would be a cinch. Avanti said that to produce a lead-silver concentrate containing 13 percent lead and 2,000 g/t silver at recovery rates in the 30- to 40-percent range would only require “minor modifications of the planned sulfide recovery circuit” as set out in a feasibility study. 

“RDi also felt that there would be an opportunity for another 10 percent improvement in silver recovery from reagent and operational optimization.”

Within that general outline Avanti said production would be between about 625,000 ounces to 825,000 ounces silver a year. 

For Avanti the silver side to Kitsault – primarily a molybdenum deposit – has emerged as the core to Avanti’s ongoing efforts to fund its $250 million share of capital costs as part of a debt/equity financing. In a recent letter of mandate a consortium of banks agreed to fund $640 million of Kitsault capital costs through debt so long as Avanti comes up with about $250 million in equity funding.

How much Avanti might get for its silver by-product is an open question, but clearly Avanti believes it can go a fair way to meet its equity commitment. Silver stream buyers such as Silver Wheaton are willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on projects with sizeable silver resources and production prospects.
Avanti outlined the metallurgical results in a press release in which it also announced an updated resource on the Kitsault project. As it stands Kitsault holds some 322 million tonnes @ 0.071 percent moly, 236 ppm lead and 4.8 ppm silver in measured and indicated resources for 506 million pounds moly and 50 million ounces silver.

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