Amur Minerals boosts value of Russia nickel deposit

Amur Minerals boosts value of Russia nickel deposit

Amur Minerals Corp. , looking for nickel and copper in Russia’s Far East, said on Monday its valuation had risen 43 percent after a survey of its main deposit by independent firm SRK Consulting.

The London-listed company said SRK’s “in the ground” valuation of the company was $90-110 million, versus $60-80 million when the firm was admitted to London’s Alternative Investment Market in March.

Amur Minerals said in a statement the valuation was based on a nickel price of $5.80 per lb and a copper price of $1.40 per lb.

“There is significant potential to increase resources in the areas we have drilled and other vast areas where our information is still limited,” Amur Minerals CEO Robin Young said.

The company said its overall resource had increased to 53.3 million tonnes with an average nickel grade of 0.48 percent and copper grade of 0.14 percent. This represented 254,500 tonnes of nickel and 73,000 tonnes of copper, the company said.

Amur Minerals is the sole owner of the Kun-Manie licence in the Amur region of eastern Russia. At the time of the company’s IPO, the deposit’s Vodorazdelny and Ikenskoye zones held 209,000 tonnes of nickel and 58,500 tonnes of copper.

Since then, Amur has added two zones, Maly Krumkon and Falcon, and acquired rights to a separate deposit, Anadjakan, in Khabarovsk region. The company said the addition of Maly Krumkon and increased confidence in resource statements were the main reasons for the higher valuation.

Nickel , which adds strength and sheen to stainless steel, has doubled in value in the last 12 months. Copper is trading about 25 percent higher than a year ago.

Young told Reuters in October mining at Kun-Manie could potentially begin in 2010 but that 2012 was a more realistic target. The deposit also contains some palladium and platinum.

Kun-Manie is located 700 km (435 miles) north of Blagoveshchensk, the capital of the Amur region and the only Russian city sharing a border with China. It was first mapped by Soviet geologists in the 1950s and Canadian miner Falconbridge Ltd. conducted a review between 1999 and 2002.

Amur, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, acquired a five-year exploration licence for Kun-Manie in 2004. The Anadjakan licence, acquired last year, is also valid for five years.

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