Participation of Balcorp Limited on the Trade mission to India

MONTREAL, Jan. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - Regarding the participation of Balcorp Limited on the Trade mission to India organized by the Government of Quebec and the Montreal World Trade Center.

Baljit S. Chadha arrived in Montreal in 1973 as a university student.  He graduated from Concordia University and in 1976  started Balcorp, an import-export business.  Balcorp's head office has always been located in Montreal.  The company today has offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, India.  It actively trades in minerals, food products, aerospace products, and biopharmaceutical products, among others.

For the past fifteen years, Baljit Chadha has been at the forefront of the effort to increase trade between Quebec and India.  He has worked with all governments at the provincial and federal levels to that end.  He has participated in the negotiation of trade agreements.  In 2006, he represented the Quebec association of Manufacturers and exporters in Kolkata where he signed, on their behalf, a Memorandum of understanding with the Confederation of Indian Industries.  He also played an important part in the opening of the Canadian Consulate General in Chandigarh. He has himself participated, or has delegated a representative, to several of the trade missions organized by those governments. 

In the context of the current trade mission, he has delegated Mr. Harshal Owalekar, a 28-year old university graduate he hired three months ago to promote business development.  The participation of Balcorp to this mission furthers two ends:  first, to actively support the Government of Quebec and the business people from Quebec as they meet with their Indian counterparts and second, to further its own business development by creating new links between Quebec and India.  There is no link between this trade mission and the ongoing negotiations regarding Jeffrey mine.

As for the negotiations surrounding the 58 M $ loan guarantee for the Jeffrey mine:

Jeffrey mine has been in a difficult financial situation for years.  To get it back on its financial feet, it needs to convert to an underground operation and to increase exports.  This requires investments.  About a year ago, the government offered the mine a 58 M $ loan, providing that the present owners come up with 15 M $; they were unable to do so and were therefore set to close.  Up to that point, Baljit Chadha was unaware of the details of these events.

Balcorp has been a client of Jeffrey Mine for over 15 years.  In the summer of 2010, Baljit Chadha was informed that Mine Jeffrey may file for bankruptcy.  Because he believed in the future of the world market for chrysotile, Baljit Chadha felt that he could bring together a group on international investors to buy the mine.  Only at that time was Baljit Chadha introduced to the government of Quebec by Mine Jeffrey as the new owners, with whom the government should continue the negotiations.

Rather than get a direct loan from the government, the consortium agreed that the government provide a guarantee for a 58 M $ loan to be provided by a private bank.  Further, the consortium has offered to invest in the mine up to 25 M $ of its own funds, instead of the 15 M $ requested, which are at risk and will be lost should the mine eventually close.  This a much better arrangement for the government than what it had previously offered to Mine Jeffery. No deal has yet been concluded as it is subject to the standard approvals and completion of the due diligence process about the project being financially sound and viable. 

Moreover, it is true that Baljit Chadha hosted an event for the Quebec Liberal party in September of 2009, as was confirmed by a representative of this Party.  This occurred a year before he became aware that the mine was to finally close. There are no links whatsoever between those events.

"Balcorp has been an active player in the economy of Quebec for three decades. I have personally put a great deal of effort into building strong economic ties between Quebec and the world's second largest emerging economy, India. The consortium I represent is willing to invest in the future of Quebec. We strongly believe we can transform Jeffrey mine into a thriving company" concluded Mr Chadha.

SOURCE Jeffrey Mine

For further information:

Guy Versailles, ARP
(514) 744 2142  OR (514) 386 9774

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Jeffrey Mine

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