NEW YORK PolyMet Mining Corp. fell deeper into the red in its fiscal first quarter, when it increased spending on its copper-nickel-platinum group metals NorthMet project.
The St. Paul, Minn.-based company posted a net loss of $1.66 million for the three months ended April 30, up 32.8 percent from a $1.25 million loss in the same period last year.
Spending on the project in northeastern Minnesota has increased as the company moves through the permitting process, chief financial officer Douglas Newby said. Were not in operation so were not making any revenue. Its not that were losing money on the (mine) ... the losses are positive in the sense that as we move toward completing permitting we spend more money.
PolyMet spent nearly $4.86 million on the NorthMet project in the first quarter, up 18.5 percent from $4.1 million a year earlier, and general and administrative expenses jumped 68.4 percent to more than $1.12 million from $667,000 in the same comparison.
Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency is performing another review of NorthMets supplemental draft environmental impact statement (EIS).
The company could have the draft approved as early as this summer, and once the EIS process is complete it should take 15 months for the mine to begin production, Brad Moore, executive vice president of environmental and government affairs, said at a conference earlier this month (amm.com, June 6
The mine is expected to produce 72 million pounds of copper annually for the first five years.