General Moly (AMEX:GMO,TSX:GMO) achieved a significant milestone with its Mount Hope project in early January, beginning preliminary construction at the site after completing the permitting process in late 2012.
“The permitting process was a long road,” said Scott Kozak, General's director of investor relations, in a January 30 telephone interview. “We worked as closely as possible with all major stakeholders, from the Bureau of Land Management to Eureka County and the general public. We are very confident in our planning and mitigation efforts and are committed to developing Mount Hope responsibly. We believe Mount Hope will become an important contributor to economic development in Nevada for decades to come.”
General is a molybdenum-focused development, exploration and mining firm with two projects, 80-percent-owned Mount Hope and the 100-percent-owned Liberty project, both of which are located in Nevada. South Korea's POSCO (NYSE:PKX), the world's fourth-largest steelmaker by output, owns the remaining 20 percent of Mount Hope.
Molybdenum is the only economically viable mineral at the site, and Mount Hope contains 1.3 billion pounds in the proven and probable categories, according to the company's 2010 investor presentation. General Moly envisions an open-pit mine on the property with a projected life of 44 years. The project will contain on-site crushing, milling and roasting facilities.
Strategic partners, presold production benefit Mount Hope
“Mount Hope is a large-scale, high-grade, lower-cost molybdenum deposit located in a stable jurisdiction,” said Kozak. “We also have excellent strategic partners that are both underpinning our financing and are committed customers for when we start production.”
POSCO, for example, remains an important strategic partner, according to Kozak. “We reached an agreement with POSCO in 2008,” he said. “They have already contributed $200 million to Mount Hope's development, including a $100-million payment in December 2012 after we received all permits required for the construction of Mount Hope. POSCO continues to see this asset as a long-life, stable, significant source of moly, which they need to produce high-grade steels.”