Franconia delays project start date

Nov 17, 2009 | 11:15 AM | Anne Riley

At the hands of a struggling credit market, exploration company Franconia Minerals Corp. has hit a speed bump.

Spokane Valley, Wash.-based Franconia, which said in December 2007 that its polymetallic Birch Lake project in eastern Minnesota would produce its first metal by 2011, is now expecting output to begin in late 2014 or early 2015, according to Brian Gavin, president and chief executive officer. The tumultuous economic environment is largely to blame.

"Everything kind of started going to sleep in the middle of 2008, and all of 2009 has essentially been downtime. We've just been waiting to see what market conditions are like," Gavin told AMM. "It's been basically . . . our expectation that the finance people have not been interested."

But while the credit environment has temporarily tripped up the project, Gavin said the company still intends to plow forward with the development of the copper-nickel-platinum group metals (PGM) deposit, albeit on a delayed time frame.....

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