March 24, 2007 in Business

Business in brief: Bunker Hill may be sold

The Spokesman-Review
 

The historic Bunker Hill Mine may be sold to a Canadian companhy. Azteca Gold Corp. announced Friday it has signed a letter of intent for an option to purchase the Bunker Hill property. The terms of the option are confidential at this point, said Matthew Russell, Azteca Gold’s president.

The company is based in Alberta, but has offices in Spokane.

The Bunker Hill Mine and smelter complex was once one of the Silver Valley’s largest employers, with more than 2,000 workers. Its history is closely twined to both the area’s development and its Superfund legacy from mining pollution.

The Bunker Hill Co. started in 1885 and operated for nearly a century. Eventually, it was acquired by Gulf Resources in a hostile takeover.

In 1992, current owner Bob Hopper purchased Bunker Hill though a bankruptcy proceeding. He said he’s spent years exploring for more reserves and restoring the mine workings in hopes of attracting investors to restart operations.

Spokane

GU to host media lecture

New York Times technology reporter John Markoff will present a public lecture on “The Future of the Media” Monday at Gonzaga University’s Cataldo Hall Globe Room. The event is free and starts at 7 p.m.

Markoff is based at the paper’s San Francisco bureau. He is the author of “The High Cost of High Tech” and “Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier,” written with Katie Hafner.

In 1988, Markoff received the Software Publishers Association’s award for news reporting. He has lectured at the University of California at Berkeley School of Journalism and for the Stanford University communications department.

Oilseed crusher set for Clarkston

A Florida-based company plans to set up a large oilseed crusher at a Snake River port near Clarkston to supply biodiesel refineries.

Losonoco Inc., through a Spokane subsidiary, is buying the crushing equipment from Tim King of Spokane and plans to erect it at the Port of Wilma. King has been named a vice president of the company overseeing Northwest operations.

The company will buy some canola seed from Idaho farmers and import the rest from Canada by rail through Spokane. Besides the oil, Losonoco plans to sell the leftover meal to feedlots and ranchers.

King said the company wants to buy oilseed crops from Eastern Washington farmers. However, high grain prices and the lack of assurances to farmers that their oilseed crops will be purchased remain a hurdle.

“We’re still in that chicken-and-egg scenario,” he said. “We want the supply of canola to get the crusher set up. They want the crusher operating before growing a supply.”


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