Bunker Hill bulks up land ownership

US-based Bunker Hill, which is planning to restart and develop the silver mine of the same name, has increased its surface land holding by more than 50% through the purchase of a private ground parcel situated at the mine site. 

Nathan Richardson
Bunker Hill bulks up land ownership

"This will serve as a strategic asset for the rapid restart of the mine, optimising construction efficiency and costs while providing improved access to prospective areas identified by our recent geophysics survey," the company's CEO Sam Ash said. 

The purchase is of 225 acres for about US$200,000. 

"The purchase of the land package originates from a lease-to-purchase option with Northern Enterprises Inc that was signed by [Bunker Hill] in late 2020. The agreement called for monthly lease payments of $4,000, with the crediting of 12 payments against the purchase price of $250,000, resulting in a net purchase price of $202,000," Bunker Hill explained. 

There are portions of 24 patented mining claims on the land parcel, for which Bunker already holds the mineral rights. 

"In addition to being a strategic operational acquisition, the acquired land provides further surface access up both East and West Milo Gulch, opening up a large portion of ground identified by the geophysical programme for future exploration efforts," the company said. 

Initial discovery and development of the property began in 1885 and it closed in 1991. In between those years, the mine totalled 42.77 million tons at an average grade of 8.43% lead, 3.52 ounces silver per ton and 4.52% zinc, the company says. 

The closure of the mine was due to low metal prices, an extended labour strike and capital shortfalls required to meet new environmental standards. 

In September last year, Bunker Hill released an updated preliminary economic assessment for the Idaho mine, which is in the Coeur d-Alene zinc, lead, and silver mining district. The PEA features production of nearly 1 billion zinc-equivalent pounds over an extended 11-year mine life. 

The PEA also shows a $143 million NPV 5% after-tax, 35% after-tax IRR, and 2.6-year payback period. 

The company has scheduled a prefeasibility study in the second quarter of this year and commissioning and commercial production in the second half of next year. 

Bunker Hill traded at C$0.325/share on March 6, which is up 3% day-on-day. The company had a market capitalisation of $53.44 million. 

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