March 18 2015, Marimaca Copper Corp. (“Coro” or the “Company”) (TSX Symbol: COP) is pleased to announce the details of a financing package for the Berta project and an agreement to dispose of our equity interest in the San Jorge project, while retaining a royalty on all production, except gold. An update on the current status of our other projects, including the sale of our Chacay project royalty, is also provided.
Alan Stephens, President and CEO of Marimaca Coppercommented, “We are very pleased to have been able to negotiate a new financing package for Berta, given the difficult market conditions and the fall in the price of copper since the beginning of the year. We look forward to final completion of the financing, to acquiring the Nora processing plant and to starting development and construction of the project. We are also encouraged by the initial results from the Planta Prat metallurgy, described below, and will be moving this project forward to production as quickly as possible. Finally, we are pleased to be able to continue our record of monetising non-core assets and wish our partners much success in getting San Jorge into production and to eventually receiving our royalty. Marimaca Copperis now exclusively focused on the development of a succession of uncomplicated, high return, financeable, copper leach projects in Chile, one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world.”
The financing package comprises a combination of a senior secured bridge loan facility (“the Facility”) (US$13.5m), leasing (US$1.3m) and vendor financing (US$3m) together with an equity injection (US$1.5m) to provide for 100% of the financing requirements for our subsidiary company SCM Berta (“SCMB”) to acquire the Nora plant, to build and construct the Berta facilities, and for project working capital. The indicative term sheet for the Facility is from Auramet International LLC (“Auramet”), is repayable in 18 months, is subject to due diligence, and is expected to close and fund in April 2015. As part of the Facility, Marimaca Copperwill issue 4 million warrants to Auramet with a tenor of 3 years that will be priced at the lower of CA$0.05 or at a premium of a 25% premium to the 10 day VWAP price at closing of the Facility. The Facility is conditional upon reaching final agreement on the leasing and vendor financing and upon the equity injection, and provides for the interest and fees to be paid at the end of the Facility which results in a net US$10m being available to fund the Berta project.
Marimaca Copperwill fund the whole of the $1.5m equity requirement and claw back the ProPipe share preferentially from production proceeds. ProPipe currently owns 18% of SCMB and had the right to earn up to a 50% interest; they have agreed to forgo this right and will hold a 35% interest in SCMB upon closing of this financing package.
SCMB has extended the underlying Letter of Intent with the Receiver of the Nora SXEW plant by 30 days. Assuming completion of the debt financing on schedule in April and final acquisition of Nora within 90 days, we now anticipate that Berta will be in production at the end of 2015.
Planta Prat and Marimaca Updates
We have extended the option payment dates for the Marimaca and Planta Prat projects until April 6 2015 in return for increasing the payments from $40k to $50k for each project. We have received results from agitation leach test work on samples from the Planta Prat residues. This indicates that recoveries of 80% of total copper are achievable and with acid consumption of 16kg/t, some of the copper oxides present being water soluble. The iron sulphate build up issue experienced by the previous operator has been resolved by the use of proprietary technology developed by ProPipe. We will now proceed to complete our evaluation of Planta Prat with the objective of getting it into production as soon as possible.
San Jorge Update
Marimaca Copperhas reached a tentative agreement with our partners, Aterra Capital (“Aterra”) and Solway Industries (“Solway”), whereby they will immediately advance Marimaca CopperUS$1.3 million for the right to acquire a 100% interest in the San Jorge project. The acquisition of the 100% interest in the project is subject to Franco Nevada, the underlying owner of San Jorge, approval and also Argentinean regulatory approval, which will be sought prior to the completion of the acquisition. Marimaca Copperwill retain a 2% Net Smelter Royalty (“NSR”) on production from the property, other than gold, in the event that Aterra and Solway develop the project. It is anticipated that the $1.3m will be advanced before the end of March and that the revised agreement will supersede the existing definitive agreement.
Further to our news release of November 6 2014, Peñoles have initiated their exploration activities at this interesting project and we look forward to reporting on their progress in due course.
Auramet International LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Auramet Trading LLC. Starting in 2004 and with annual revenues in excess of $10 billion, Auramet provides a broad array of services to the metals industry in four business units; physical metals trading; merchant banking; project and corporate finance advisory; and resource fund management.
Coro’s strategy is to grow a mining business through the discovery, development and operation of “Marimaca Coppertype” deposits. These are defined as projects at whatever stage of development, that are well located with respect to infrastructure and water, which have low permitting risk, and which have the potential to achieve a short and cost effective timeline to production. Our preference is for open pit heap leach copper projects, where we will seek to minimise capital investment rather than maximise NPV, where we will prioritise profitability over production rate, and finally, where the likely capital cost is financeable relative to our market capitalization. Partners will be sought for any attractive projects identified that we do not have the financial capacity to develop alone. Coro’s properties include the Berta pre-production project, the Planta Prat copper development project and the Marimaca copper exploration prospect, all located in Chile. The advanced San Jorge copper-gold project located in Argentina has been sold to Aterra Capital and Solway Industries while the Llancahue copper exploration prospect in south-central Chile has been optioned to Peñoles.
CORO MINING CORP.
President and CEO
For further information please visit the Company’s website at www.coromining.com or contact Michael Philpot, Executive Vice-President at (604) 682 5546 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This news release includes certain “forward-looking statements” under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Such forward-looking statements or information, including but not limited to those with respect to a proposed financing, construction and operation of the Berta project, metal prices, metallurgical results and resource estimates, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such factors include, among others, the actual price of copper and iron, the factual results of current and future exploration, development and mining activities, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be evaluated, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company’s documents filed from time to time with the securities regulators in the Provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.