Sherwood Raises US$37.5 Million From Minto Precious Metal Productionadmin
Sherwood Copper Corporation announced that it and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Minto Explorations Ltd. and Kutcho Copper Corp., have entered into a letter of intent with Silverstone Resources Corp. whereby Silverstone will purchase, subject to certain terms and conditions, all of the payable gold and silver from the Minto Mine in the Yukon, over the life of the mine starting December 1, 2008. Silverstone will make an upfront payment of US$37.5 million in cash, one third of which is to be advanced immediately following receipt of stock exchange acceptance and the balance on execution of the formal agreement. Additional payments will be paid against future production. Sherwood will use the upfront payment to strengthen its balance sheet and that of its subsidiary, MintoEx.
“Approximately 10% of the revenue from Sherwood’s Minto Mine is derived from by-product gold and silver contained in copper concentrates. This transaction allows Sherwood to reduce leverage by monetizing its precious metals stream at a time when precious metals are trading well above those assumed in our feasibility study,” said Stephen Quin, President & CEO of Sherwood Copper. “The objective of the transaction, which has been under discussion for some time, is to strengthen our balance sheet and increase the financial flexibility of Sherwood,” he said. “Some of the benefit to Silverstone from this transaction should flow back to Sherwood on completion of the previously announced merger with Capstone Mining, should it be approved, since Capstone owns approximately 22% of Silverstone.”
Silverstone will purchase all of the gold and silver production from the Minto Mine and, in exchange, Sherwood will receive an up-front payment from Silverstone of US$37.5 million, plus a further payment of the lesser of (a) US$300 per ounce of gold and US$3.90 per ounce of silver (subject to a 1% inflationary adjustment after three years and each year thereafter) and (b) the prevailing market price on the London Metal Exchange for each ounce delivered. US$12.5 million of the upfront payment will be advanced immediately following receipt of stock exchange acceptance and the balance within 14 days of the date of the letter of intent, subject to certain conditions. If production from the Minto Mine exceeds 50,000 oz of gold in the first two years of the agreement or 30,000 oz of gold per year thereafter, Silverstone will be entitled to purchase only 50% of the amount in excess of those thresholds. Kutcho Copper, Sherwood’s wholly owned subsidiary that owns the Kutcho copper-zinc-silver-gold project in British Columbia, has also granted Silverstone a right of first refusal to purchase any gold and/or silver streams from the Kutcho project, should Kutcho Copper elect to sell such, on terms and conditions to be agreed by mutual consent.
About Sherwood Copper
Sherwood Copper’s objective is the profitable production of base and precious metals from high grade, open pit mines in Canada. Sherwood’s first operating mine, the high grade Minto copper-gold mine in Yukon, Canada, was built on budget and ahead of schedule. The Minto Mine is one of the highest-grade open pit copper-gold mines in the world, and is forecast to be a low cost producer. Aggressive exploration on the Minto property has yielded significant success, providing Sherwood the opportunity to ‘grow from within’ by expanding the resource and reserve base, potentially leading to further production increases. To further accelerate its production growth, Sherwood intends to pursue merger & acquisition opportunities that fit its business model and, in May 2008, Sherwood acquired 100% ownership in Western Keltic Mines (now Kutcho Copper Corp.), owner of the high-grade Kutcho copper-zinc-gold-silver deposit in northwestern British Columbia. Sherwood expects to lever off its successful development of the Minto Mine and rapidly advance the Kutcho project to a production decision. Sherwood has also agreed to combine with Capstone Mining, subject to requisite shareholder and regulatory approvals, creating a new low cost, growth oriented copper producer with two high grade mines and a strong balance sheet.
Additional information on Sherwood and its Minto Mine can be obtained on Sherwood’s website at http://www.sherwoodcopper.com.