A Chinese metal producer is investing $19.4 million in the development of the Mactung tungsten project, one of the Yukon’s largest prospective tungsten mines.
Hunan Nonferrous Metals Corporation, China’s largest nonferrous metals producer, bought 9.9 per cent of North American Tungsten Corporation.
The company owns and operates the Cantung tungsten mine along the Yukon-NWT. border.
Planning is underway to develop the promising Mactung site.
The Yukon government is taking credit for its role in the deal.
“We’ve been very pleased to have a major role in facilitating the agreement between North American Tungsten and Hunan Nonferrous Metals,” said Economic Development Minister Jim Kenyon last week.
“We’ve been working very closely for a long, long time.”
Kenyon spoke from Toronto where he was attending a conference of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.
The annual conference draws 21,000 delegates from more than 100 countries.
The tungsten deal was announced just after markets closed on Wednesday and is still subject to approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.
The deal is expected to close in 30 days.
Representatives from the Chinese firm visited the territory last summer.
“This is a good example of what we’ve been doing to facilitate the investor visits and investor network bringing investment into the Yukon,” said Kenyon.
“And if all options are taken up over time we’ll probably see (investments) in the neighbourhood of $60 million.”
“I think it’s very, very important that everyone realizes that as with any Yukon business or industry the development of North American Tungsten properties will follow all the standard regulations and permitting requirements,” he added.
“They will be treated in exactly the same way.”
The Mactung project is said to be one of the largest undeveloped tungsten projects in the world.
Hunan, Kenyon pointed out, controls one of the largest production facilities in the world.
“So we’re merging the largest source with the largest producer,” said Kenyon.
“Once the site goes to a working mine, then we will be one of the major exporters of tungsten in the world.”