The headline “Fluorspar project will go ahead: company” above the article published on May 21, may lead your readers to conclude that our proposed reactivation of the fluorspar mining project at St. Lawrence is at a more advanced stage than is, in fact, the case.
We have said for some time that if the project is to be viable over the long term then it must be capable of being undertaken in a cost-effective manner. That is the only way in which we can discharge our responsibilities to all our stakeholders.
More than a year ago we noticed that, as with many other mining projects, the estimated cost of the St. Lawrence initiative had increased significantly during the planning stage.
Faced with these increasing anticipated costs, we could have taken the easy way out and simply pressed on with the project in the hope that those costs could be accommodated.
More often than not, such an approach has only met with failure. Even more, it would have been totally irresponsible to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to the people of St. Lawrence and to our shareholders.
That is why we announced in May of last year that we would conduct a thorough review of the project in order to establish a more precise understanding of its anticipated costs and scope.
We now have the results of that extensive review process and are using them to develop a new economic plan for the proposed project which will likely involve scope changes and new engineering work.
As that plan has yet to be finalized and this will take some time, it would be premature to state “Fluorspar project will go ahead.”
Our hope, of course, is that we will be able to proceed with the project in due course, because our ultimate goal remains unchanged: an economically viable and long-term project that will create real and lasting benefits for all concerned.