Tahera Corporation: First Quarter Report
TORONTO, May 4, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- (PR NewsWire)
Tahera Corporation remains highly focused and committed to developing its wholly-owned Jericho Diamond Project as Nunavut's first diamond mine. Tahera is targeting completion of both permitting and project financing initiatives during 2004, and plans to advance the Jericho Project to commercial production as quickly as possible. During the Jericho Mine development phase, Tahera will continue to be an active diamond explorer as previous exploration activities indicate that the Company's properties have high potential for further kimberlite discoveries.
Jericho Diamond Project
Tahera achieved significant progress with respect to permitting its Jericho Diamond Project during the first quarter. The final environmental hearing was conducted in January 2004, and in February 2004, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) issued a report recommending approval of the project. The NIRB approval represents a major milestone regarding development of the project as Nunavut's first diamond mine, and Tahera is committed to working with all stakeholders to satisfy the terms and conditions outlined in the NIRB report as it develops the Jericho Diamond Project.
The NIRB recommendation was forwarded to the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in February 2004 for federal approval. Tahera anticipates a federal decision with respect to approval of the Jericho Diamond Project during the second quarter.
Tahera mobilized its spring exploration program in May 2004. The program will entail detailed geophysical surveys and prioritization of kimberlite targets on both the Jericho Claims and the Hood River Property. Dependant on equipment availability, drilling of the priority kimberlite targets may be conducted in late May, or alternatively during the summer program.
The recently discovered diamondiferous kimberlite dyke that lies 9 kilometres south of the Jericho pipe will be further evaluated to determine its extent and economic potential during the program, and several other areas that are prospective for kimberlite discovery will be assessed and prioritized. Tahera's Jericho Claims exploration programs are intended to identify new economically viable kimberlites which would provide additional feed to the Jericho plant and thereby extend the mine life.
Exploration on the Hood River Property is the first program undertaken in this area since early 2001. The Hood River Property hosts the diamondiferous Tenacity kimberlite discovered in 2000. Ground geophysical grids will be completed over specific target areas, followed by prioritization of kimberlite targets.
Subsequent to the quarter end, Tahera made a significant addition to its management team with the appointment of Mr. Dan Johnson as Executive Vice President, Operations. Mr. Johnson (P. Eng., MBA) is a seasoned mining executive with extensive experience in mine development and operations in remote locations. Mr. Johnson was employed with BHP Billiton PLC for 16 years from 1981 to 1997, where he worked in various senior management positions throughout the world. His last position with BHP until 1997 was as Project Manager, Mine Development for BHP Diamonds where he was responsible for all aspects of the development, engineering and construction of the Ekati mine, Canada's first diamond mine. Mr. Johnson will oversee all of the construction activities with respect to the Jericho Diamond Project.
Tahera also made a significant addition to its board with the appointment of Mr. Andrew Adams as a director of the Company. Mr. Adams is a financial executive with 25 years of international experience in the natural resource sector. He was employed as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Aber Diamond Corporation from 1999 to 2003 where he was responsible for all of Aber's financial and administrative activities including the funding of that company's US$400 million capital commitment to the Diavik diamond project. The credentials and experience of Mr. Adams in financial matters and the diamond business make him an excellent fit for Tahera's Board.
2004 First Quarter Results
At March 31, 2004, Tahera's cash balance was $13,836,000. Tahera has no long-term debt following the conversion of a $2.8 million secured convertible debenture in March 2004. In addition to being completely debt free following this conversion, Tahera will benefit from the elimination of the remaining interest payments and the release of the Jericho project security.
The Company recorded a loss of $581,000 ($0.001 per share) for the quarter ended March 31, 2004, which compares with a loss of $529,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2003 ($0.002 per share). Operating expenses increased moderately to $632,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2004 compared to $521,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2003.
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SOURCE Tahera Corporation
Tahera Corporation, Grant Ewing - Executive Vice President, Corporate Development; Investor Relations, Tel: (416) 777-1998, Fax: (416) 777-1898, Toll free: (877) 777-2004, Email: email@example.com (TAH.)