Frontier Mining expands Kazakh copper mine, boosts funding

May 09. Central Asia Newswire

Frontier Mining expands Kazakh copper mine, boosts fundingKazakhstan-focused Frontier Mining announced Monday it is boosting its finances and expanding the Benkala copper mine in the northwest of the country.

The mineral exploration and development company signed a $10 million loan extension deal with Zere Group, doubling the loan to $20 million and lengthening the term by around a year to December 31, 2012.

Also the miner issued 16 million securities worth a total of $5 million to a group of private and institutional investors.

Frontier also said it has inked a $2.5 million subsurface use agreement to increase the size of its Benkala copper project.

“We are extremely excited to have had the opportunity to acquire the South Benkala deposit,” the news web site reported chief executive Erlan Sagadiev as saying.

The deal gives the company a choice to raise output from 22,000 to 33,000 tons per year or lengthen the life span of the mine from seven years to 11 years.

“The synergies with our existing Benkala deposit are obvious and the company will now consider seriously whether, with no substantial additional cost, it should extend the … plant’s life or increase capacity,” Sagadiev said.

“Either way, this acquisition marks a very significant step for the company and will allow us to move forward,” he added.

The new prospect, which it secured from a firm called PromSnab2030, is six miles from the Benkala mine and facility.

Frontier expects to spend $12 million on relocating a railway line to gain full access to the deposit at South Benkala.