Moly-Cop Canada is putting together a business case to sway its board of directors to expand its Kamloops operation.
Marketing sales manager Maurice Hindle said Thursday the company has submitted a development permit with the City to expand onto the neighbouring property, which the company has already bought.
But construction permits are not on the agenda at this point, as the board hasn't give its approval for the expansion that would see the Kamloops operation double its current annual output of 100,000 tonnes of grinding balls used in mining.
"We have a group putting together detailed design and costing," he said.
Once the board approves the project as a whole, the finer detail and construction can proceed, he said.
"Then the next step will be to go for the business permit, which is really the building permit," said Hindle.
"It won't happen this quarter or next quarter, this is a multi-year focus. We have to be very cautious. Once you put the shovel in the ground, there's no turning back."
The Kamloops business has operated for 25 years, manufacturing grinding balls from one to five and a half inches in size that are used in mining.
It began with about 50 staff and has slowly grown to 57. If the expansion is a go, another 35 employees will be hired. Hindle said the positions range from trades and production staff.
"We're at top level of salary rates for this area. This may be good timing especially with Domtar changes. We've had some of their staff apply here already. But we're not hiring other than selective in the short-term," he said.
"Everything is predicated on getting board approval."
Hindle is hoping for that go-ahead in 2013.
The expansion is not related to the proposed Ajax mine, but Moly-Cop wouldn't turn down the business if that project is given the governmental green light, he said.
"If Ajax meets all the requirements and it is a go, we would expect to supply it. But our expansion is not based on that," said Hindle.
Moly-Cop supplies grinding balls throughout North America, from the Arctic to Vancouver Island to Newfoundland. And Eastern Russia, too.
He didn't have a firm number yet on the cost of the expansion, but gave a ballpark figure of tens of millions of dollars.
© Kamloops Daily News