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Minera IRL appoints Peru mining expert Napoleon Valdez Ferrand as non-exec director

Minera IRL (AIM: MIRL) has announced the appointment of Napoleon Valdez Ferrand as a non-executive director of the company.

Valdez is currently the president of the board and shareholder of privately owned glass companies Heinz Ferrand Glass and Cristalerias Ferrand and the owner and director of Peru incorporated Inversiones El Carmen, Agricola Topara and Gruval. Minera IRL said that Valdez is “well informed on the Peruvian mining industry in which he has been a long standing investor".

“I am pleased to welcome Napoleon Valdez to the board.  Our team is based in Lima and Peru is the centre of gravity of our Latin American sphere of interest.  The inclusion of a well connected and experienced Peruvian businessman on our board will be most valuable as we grow our business, particularly the advancement of the Ollachea project,” said executive chairman of Minera IRL Courtney Chamberlain.

Valdez holds 44,000 shares in the company.

Broker FD Capital upped its price target for the company from £0.63 to £0.90 following the completion of the scoping study at Ollachea. The study considered an underground mine, accessed via a 1.3 km tunnel treating 1 Mt per annum to produce approximately 117,000 oz (ounces) per annum over a 9 year mine life. Capital costs were estimated to be in excess of US$157 million, including a 20% contingency, with cash operating costs below US$400/ounce. Based on a gold price of US$850/ounce, the mine generated a pre-tax internal rate of return (NYSE:IRR) of 22.4%, 17.4% post-tax.

The study was based on a N143-101 compliant inferred resource containing 1.3 Moz (million ounces) of gold (8.9 million tonnes at 4.5 grams per tonne gold (g/t)) and mining inventory of 8.2 Mt (million tonnes) grading 4 g/t for 1.1 Moz. The resource estimate used a cut-off grade of 2.5g/t gold.

Minera’s total gold production for the year reached 33,012 ounces at a cash cost of US$341 per ounce, while Q4 production amounted to 10,259oz exceeding targets by 18%. Quarterly cash operating costs were 23% below budget at US$248/oz compared to the average sales price of US$1,107/oz during the quarter.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company