20/12/2007 - 14:25

Kiernan's IRL acquires stake in Indian explorer

20/12/2007 - 14:25

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Michael Kiernan's diversified mineral company India Resources Ltd has expanded its footprint in the Indian resources sector, paying $2.3 million for a 17 per cent stake in fellow Indian minerals developer Pebble Creek Mining Ltd

Michael Kiernan's diversified mineral company India Resources Ltd has expanded its footprint in the Indian resources sector, paying $2.3 million for a 17 per cent stake in fellow Indian minerals developer Pebble Creek Mining Ltd

Pebble Creek Mining is a Canadian-based minerals exploration company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange with a focus on India.

Its primary project is the Askot base metal project in the Uttaranchal state in northern India, which is a massive sulphide copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver deposit that was previously drilled and tunnelled by Indian government agencies and the UN Development Program.

The full extent of the mineralised system has not been defined and there is further anomalism over a wide area.

IRL has acquired the stake in Pebble Creek Mining via a private placement involving five million units of Pebble Creek Mining at C$0.40 per unit (46 cents per unit), for a total consideration of C$2 million ($2.32 million).

IRL chairman Michael Kiernan said Pebble Creek Mining shared a complementary direction and focus, and offered an opportunity for IRL to fast track further development in India.

"IRL is focussed on pursuing strategic partnerships within India, to capitalise on the huge resource potential in one of the world's largest and fastest growing markets," Mr Kiernan said.

"Pebble Creek's Askot project is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in a region where IRL currently has no presence. The project represents a high grade base metal deposit which will be leveraged with efficient and low cost mining techniques."

"This deal is a natural extension of IRL's investment in projects in India, and increases the company's exposure to India's great potential," Mr Kiernan said.

The deposit was the subject of previous drilling and mining activity until the late 1980s. Pebble Creek recommenced drilling in July this year with the aim of establishing a JORC standard mineral resource and a Canadian National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource.

Pebble Creek Mining has also refurbished the previously created underground levels within the project area and is extending a crosscut into the hanging wall and installing underground drill stations. IRL last month entered producer status with commencement of trial mining at its primary Surda Copper mine in eastern India, and has since mined more than 2000 tonnes of ore. It is expected to reach full scale mining this month, and the company is on track to achieve an initial annual target of 4500 tonnes of copper concentrate per year.

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