Thor continues
Prefeasibility due in summer

Doug Ashbury
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Apr 03/00) - Prefeasibility work on the Thor Lake beryllium project is expected to be completed in third quarter, the company announced last week.

Highwood Resources said once prefeasibility work -- which involves $400,000 in spending -- is concluded it will have a better handle on feasibility, permitting and financing.

A feasibility study will cost about $3.5 million, according to the company.

Commercial development of the complex and controversial property, located 105 kilometres southeast of Yellowknife, is estimated to be two to four years away.

To oversee the Thor Lake project, Highwood has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary, Rare Metal Alloys Inc. (RMA).

"Rare Metal Alloys was established to advance the commercial development of the company's Thor Lake, NWT beryllium deposit.

"Upon completion, this will position RMA as an alternate source of beryllium," said Highwood Resources' CEO Jim Roxburgh.

To help advance the project, RMA has partnered with metallurgical technologies division of Dynatec Corp. Dynatec owns about one-third of Calgary-based Highwood.

"The challenge to Rare Metal Alloys is to develop the business to world- class standards; taking into account market structure, community interests, health and environmental care, and the state of mining and processing technology today," Roxburgh said.

Beryllium and some of its compounds and alloys are industrial materials -- it is used in telecommunications, medical and manufacturing sectors -- which withstand extreme heat and remain stable over a wide range of temperatures.

Recent developments in computer and broadband communications driven by Internet growth are expected to boost demand for beryllium metals and alloys, Highwood said.

Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Highwood plans to barge a bulk sample from Thor Lake to Hay River where it will undergo initial processing.