Polaris Begins Construction of the Orca Quarry and Reports Progress at the Richmond Terminal
March 31, 2006
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Polaris Minerals Corporation (TSX:PLS) today reported that construction has begun at its proposed Orca Quarry on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. In addition the Company reported progress at its Richmond Terminal in San Francisco Bay, California.
Commencement of Construction at the Orca Quarry
Development of the Orca Quarry began in early March 2006 with land clearing and site preparation for the construction of the ship load-out conveyors and the sand and gravel processing plant. Construction of the ship berth will commence on April 3, 2006, when piling operations begin under a contract with Vancouver Pile Driving Ltd.
To date, contracts of approximately $42.7 million have been executed for the supply and installation of the sand and gravel processing plant, the ship loader, and various ancillary equipment supplies. The processing plant is being provided under a turn-key contract with Metso Minerals, the largest global supplier of aggregates processing equipment and process solutions. Mobile equipment has been ordered from Finning (Canada), and the Company intends to enter into capital lease agreements for this, which will reduce the Company's debt requirement under its existing bridge loan facility by approximately $4.3 million.
It is expected that construction of the Orca Quarry will be completed, and that production will have commenced by the end of 2006. The first shipment of sand and gravel to northern California is expected in the first quarter of 2007.
Progress at the Richmond Terminal
Polaris is pleased to report that a long-term facilities use agreement has been signed with Pacific Atlantic Terminals LLC for a 20-year term, with a 10-year extension option. The agreement allows construction aggregates to be discharged from vessels at Pacific's berth and conveyed to the adjacent Richmond Terminal. This was the last major element required to proceed with the Richmond Terminal development, which received its development permits in May 2004.
The Company is currently completing a redesign of the Richmond Terminal and anticipates that significant capital cost savings will result.
Polaris Minerals Corporation is exclusively focused on the development of construction aggregate resources in British Columbia, for marine transport to urban markets on the west coast of North America. These markets are experiencing a growing local supply deficit of construction aggregates caused by diminishing local resources and increasing demand. Polaris is currently developing the Orca Quarry on Vancouver Island and the Richmond Terminal in San Francisco Bay. Shipments of high-quality sand and gravel to the California ready-mix concrete industry are expected to commence in early 2007.
For further information, please contact:
Marco Romero, President and Chief Executive Officer or
Marlene Mathison, Director Corporate Development
Polaris Minerals Corporation
Tel: (604) 915-5000
Certain of the statements contained in this press release contain forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The Company does not expect to update any forward-looking statements as conditions change. Investors are referred to the discussion of the risk factors associated with the Company's business contained in the Company's Final Prospectus dated December 21, 2005, and filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR.