I am very pleased with the updated feasibility study that was compiled, assessed and approved by the independent consulting firm, CTS Engtec Oy. It shows healthy estimates for the planned mining operation's profitability, even with metal prices lower than current prices.
The study's economic figures and assumptions were also reviewed by Mining Associates, a well-known independent international mining focused consulting- and financing firm. They conducted a technical due diligence and a comprehensive independent audit of the economic model in the Silver Mine project and the feasibility study. Mining Associates´ due diligence showed that the assumptions of the feasibility study and the economic model of Sotkamo´s Silver Mine are correct and confirm the strength of the project.
After the implemented share issue 2016, the Company has focused on activities at the mine area. Preparatory work at the Silver Mine has commenced. The work includes planning and construction of the concentrator- and underground mine´s infrastructure. The mine is prepared for mining, by improving the ventilation and pumping stations. Earthworks are also made for the area's roads and the founding of the ponds.
By starting these works already now, the Company can plan and implement them effectively. In addition, the main contracts for the construction can be carried out faster and smoother. The ambition is that all building- and construction works should be completed so that full production is reached during the first half of 2018. The upcoming start of construction will be a significant event in Sotkamo Silver's mining history.
The Company dispose ore reserves, as to the Company's judgment initially will last for six years’ production. This time is necessary to defend the resolution of start the mining operations with good profitability. In addition, the Company has mineral resources and exploration potential with good potential to be upgraded to mineral reserves.
As a result of the completed drilling program and geophysics, we have been able to show that in the extension of the silver-, gold-, zinc and lead carrying zones there is the further potential down to 1 500-2 000 meters with corresponding geology and grades in the Silver Mine. We also know that in connection with the Tipas green stone belt, there are several interesting silver- and gold deposits. The Silver mine's concentrator will in the future serve as the centre of operations. All this together, we have high hopes of continued mining production for many years.