Western Copper and Gold Corporation (TSX:WRN,NYSEMKT:WRN) reported year-end financials and as of December 31, 2014, the Company has CAD $15.7 million in working capital, with $16.6 million in cash and short-term investments.
Western Copper and Gold Corporation (TSX:WRN,NYSEMKT:WRN) reported year-end financials and as of December 31, 2014, the Company has CAD $15.7 million in working capital, with $16.6 million in cash and short-term investments. Western Copper and Gold also provided updates on the Casino project in the Yukon, including highlights such as the submission of the Casino Project Proposal to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board in January 2014; the MOU with Siemens Canada signed in May 2014 for the development of integrated electrical mining equipment; and the signing of a LOI with M3 in September 2014, for the operation and maintenance of the Casino mine.
As quoted in the press release:
As at December 31, 2014, Western had $15.7 million in working capital, including $16.6 million in cash and short-term investments. This compares with $22.4 million in working capital, including $23.2 million in cash and cash equivalents as at December 31, 2013.
The Company spent $1.5 million on operating activities and $5.3 million on advancing the Casino Project in 2014. Western believes that its current working capital balance will be sufficient to complete the permitting of the Casino Project.
Permitting and Community Relations
Western submitted the Casino Project Proposal (the “Project Proposal”) to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (“YESAB”) for assessment in January 2014.
On November 28, 2014, the Casino Project re-entered the YESAB process after a six-month hold period to allow for additional consultation with Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (“LSCFN”). On January 23, 2015, YESAB provided its Adequacy Review Report to the Company. This report outlines the YESAB’s requests for further information before the Casino Project may proceed to the public screening phase of assessment. Western submitted additional information on March 16, 2015. YESAB will review the additional information and either declare the application adequate to advance to the screening phase or request further information.
The Casino Project is located primarily within Selkirk First Nation’s Traditional Territory. On March 12, 2014, Western and Selkirk First Nation announced that they had entered into an agreement relating to the Casino Project. The agreement commits the parties to work cooperatively to review, evaluate and discuss the Casino Project, and lays the foundation for establishing future agreements.
On November 18, 2014, Western and LSCFN signed a Consultation and Technical Cooperation Protocol and a Negotiation Protocol. The protocols commit the parties to work cooperatively to review, evaluate and discuss the Casino Project, and lay the foundation for establishing future agreements.
The Company continues to work with First Nations and local communities to ensure that the various stakeholder concerns are addressed.
The Company continues to develop certain key engineering aspects of the project, particularly in regards to power supply, Liquefied natural gas supply chain, and project execution planning.
In May 2014, the Company signed a memorandum of understanding with Siemens Canada Ltd. (“Siemens”). Under the terms of this agreement, the two parties will work together to develop a concept for integrated electrical mining equipment from Siemens for the Casino Project, including the power plant and the mill drives.
In August 2014, Western announced that it has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction management contract for Casino to M3 Engineering & Technology Corporation of Tucson, Arizona (“M3″). M3 is a logical choice because it is very familiar with Casino, having worked on the project from an early stage preparing two pre-feasibility studies as well as the feasibility study issued in early 2013.
In September 2014, the Company announced that it signed a letter of intent (“LOI”) with M3 committing to develop an agreement for M3 to operate and maintain the Casino mine. The LOI outlines the general terms and scope by which M3 will operate the heap leach and concentrator processing facilities at Casino and provide procurement and contract management services to the Company. Under the direction of Western, M3 will manage all aspects of day-to-day operations at the mine site and the port of export, including mining, contract maintenance of mining equipment, power plant operations and maintenance, concentrate storage and load-out, and other support services contracts.
This arrangement is expected to enhance the Company’s ability to finance, build and operate the Casino mine and is expected to provide substantial benefits while having minimal impact on project economics.
In 2015, the Company will continue to work with governments, local communities, and stakeholders to advance the Casino Project through the permitting process. Based on Casino’s permitting progress to date, the Company now estimates that key permits will be received near the end of 2016, with construction starting as soon as practicable thereafter.
“2015 should be a transformative year for the Casino Project and Western. We expect to achieve significant permitting milestones and are currently looking at various development options for Casino,” states Dale Corman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, “We are excited to bring this mine — one of the few significant copper-gold projects economic at current commodity prices — forward towards production.”
The Company filed its annual information form, audited consolidated financial statements and MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2014 with the appropriate Canadian regulatory bodies on March 27, 2015. These filings are available for viewing on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
The Company also filed its Form 40-F with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2014 on March 27, 2015. Western’s Form 40-F is available for viewing and retrieval through EDGAR at www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.