The Yukon is home to one of the largest undeveloped deposits of lead and zinc in the world.
Half of that site, known as the Selwyn Project, is now owned by a Chinese company.
This company is owned by a Chinese provincial government.
On Monday, Selwyn Resources announced it would be forming a joint venture with a Chinese zinc company to bring the Selwyn Project into production.
The site is located in Howard’s Pass, along the Yukon/NWT border, just north of the Cantung mine.
Yunnan Chihong Zinc & Germanium Co. Ltd. will put up $100 million in cash to set up this new joint venture.
This cash payment will buy Chihong a 50 per cent interest in the joint venture and the mining project.
“The formation of the joint venture is a major step towards advancing the Selwyn project to production,” said Selwyn president and CEO Dr. Harlan Meade.
“We are very pleased to have Chihong, an experienced and accomplished fully integrated zinc-lead mining and smelting company, as our strategic partner.”
The partnership also opens the project up to Asian financing.
Chihong has over 60 years of experience in exploration, mining and smelting.
The billion-dollar company’s major shareholder is China Yunnan Metallurgical Group, which is itself majority owned by the Yunnan provincial government.
Chihong’s $100-million investment is expected to see the project through advanced exploration, engineering, permitting and initial construction activities.
The transaction creating this new joint venture is expected to close in May 2010.
After the deal closes, the joint venture plans to bring the Selwyn Project into commercial production as soon as possible.
Selwyn and Chihong look forward to working with Yukon governments and communities to advance the Selwyn Project, the companies said in a press release.
Selwyn has already spent more than $100 million on development of the Selwyn Project.
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