Canadian, Chinese companies sign deal on proposed Idaho mine

From the Associated Press:

A Canadian mining company has reached an agreement with a Chinese firm that will bring $700 million in financing for a possible open-pit molybdenum mine near Boise, Idaho.
Vancouver, British Columbia-based American CuMo Mining Corp. said it reached the deal with Hong Kong-based MCC8 Group Co. Limited.

American CuMo said it marks a major step in paying for a feasibility study and will keep local control of the project with its subsidiary, Boise-based Idaho CuMo Mining Corp.

The area northeast of Boise contains the largest unmined deposit of molybdenum in the world, the company said.

Estimates run from at least 2 billion tons to as much as 4 billion tons of molybdenum, copper and silver worth up to $60 billion at current prices.

Estimates put the deposits at 65 percent molybdenum, 32 percent copper and 3 percent silver, Shaun Dykes, American CuMo’s president and chief executive officer, said Thursday.

He said at least $100 million from the agreement will be used to better understand the deposits so a decision can be made on whether to move forward with the mine. The rest of the money would cover the start of mine construction, if approved.

“As of today there’s no decision with mining,” Dykes said.

The total cost of getting the mine operating could reach $2.5 billion, he said.