Minera IRL Limited, a Latin American precious metals mining, mine development and mineral exploration company, was created in 2000 by Investor Resources Limited, an Australian technical and financial consultancy, which included past Executive Chairman Courtney Chamberlain.
In August 2002, Minera IRL SA was registered in Peru by its founding executives, including Diego Benavides, currently the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. The Company quickly built a portfolio of gold development and brownfield exploration projects. In 2006, the registration of the Company was transferred to the Bailiwick of Jersey, a parliamentary democracy off the coast of France.
After acquiring the Corihuarmi project in 2002, we completed several drilling programs, an Environmental Impact Study (“EIS”) and a Feasibility Study for a conventional open-pit heap leach gold mining operation. By early 2007, we had all of the environmental approvals, construction permits and community agreements necessary to build the Corihuarmi Gold Mine. In 2006, we also acquired an option from Rio Tinto plc to purchase Ollachea, an orogenic gold prospect in southern Peru that had limited exploration work.
Using the funds raised in an initial public offering, we started construction of the Corihuarmi project in the second quarter of 2007. Construction was completed on schedule in the first quarter of 2008 at a cost of about US$20 million. As a testament to the robustness of the project, the cost to build the mine and all sunk cost were recovered within seven months of operation. The Corihuarmi mine has exceeded the initial expectations set forth in its feasibility study and is still in operation today.
While the construction of the mine at Corihuarmi was underway, we successfully negotiated a comprehensive surface access rights agreement for exploration with the community of Ollachea. With the cash flow from our Corihuarmi gold Mine, we initiated an extensive field exploration program in 2008 at Ollachea.
In early 2009, we confirmed the presence of a significant gold discovery at Ollachea. Drilling with two diamond drill rigs was continuous over three and a half years for 81,000 metres of drilling. Preliminary Economic Assessment and Preliminary Feasibility studies were also completed and, in late 2012, a Definitive Feasibility Study demonstrating that an underground mining operation at Ollachea was economically viable.
Since completing the Ollachea feasibility study, we have completed an optimization study and obtained the significant environmental, social and construction approvals and permits required to build the Ollachea gold Mine.
The pre-engineering studies for the Ollachea project are underway following the efforts to optimize the cost of the CAPEX. The report is expected in the first quarter of 2017, and the results will allow the company to proceed with its initial step to agree on a Feed / EPC/ Operation contract with a first-class construction company.
Minera IRL also has a mandate with Peruvian government Bank COFIDE (Corporación Financiera de Desarrollo) to structure a syndicated senior loan for US$240 million.
The shares of the Company are listed on the Lima Stock Exchange in Peru, the Bolsa de Valores Lima (BVL:MIRL). The company`s shares are also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange. (CSE:MIRL) The Company is in discussion with a London-based financial adviser, who is expected to be able to help explore the options for re-listing the Company in London and then advising and assisting with the listing process.