08/19/2013 06:55 EDT | Updated 10/19/2013 05:12 EDT

Sunshine Oilsands negotiating $250-million investment, slows West Ellis project

CALGARY - Sunshine Oilsands Ltd. (TSX:SUO) says it's negotiating to form a 50-50 joint venture with an unidentified partner that would invest up to $250 million in some of its oilsands leases.

The Calgary-based company says the partner would also contribute thermal enhanced recovery technology to achieve 5,000 barrels per day from its Muskwa and Godin area oilsands leases.

Sunshine also says that work on its West Ellis project near Fort McMurray, Alta., has been temporarily slowed until additional funding has been committed.

The company says it will maintain staff at the West Ellis site to continue with reduced work activities and to ensure safety of the worksite.

Sunshine said in its latest quarterly report, issued Aug. 14, that West Ellis will cost about $525 million. At the time, it expected first steam from Phase 1 to be in the fourth quarter of this year. It didn't provide a revised estimate Monday.

Based on its Friday stock price, Sunshine had a market value of about $660 million.

Its shares have traded between 19 and 47 cents since the shares began trading in November on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Sunshine stock closed Friday at 23 cents, down from the Nov. 16 opening price of 42 cents.