McEwen Copper Inc., a subsidiary of McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE: MUX) (TSX: MUX), is pleased to announce the closing of the third and final tranche of the previously announced private placement offering of up to 8,000,000 common shares of McEwen Copper Inc. priced at US$10.00 per common share. The third tranche is comprised of a $25 million investment by Rio Tinto’s copper leaching technology venture, Nuton, and $1.85 million from other investors. The total Offering has been increased to 8,185,000 common shares, with the amounts raised in the three tranches of the private placement totalling $81.85 million.
McEwen Copper is well-funded to advance its Los Azules Project, located in the mining friendly province of San Juan, Argentina. The next milestones are the upcoming drilling season from October 2022 to June 2023, the completion of an updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) in early Q1 2023, and the planned IPO of McEwen Copper in H1 2023.
In connection with the Offering, McEwen Copper entered into a collaboration agreement with Nuton to advance our understanding of the potential application of heap leach technology at Los Azules, including the testing of Nuton® Technologies for compatibility with Los Azules copper mineralization. Leaching has many potential economic and environmental benefits over a conventional milling scenario, including lower water and energy consumption, no large tailings storage facility or dam, and typically lower capital and operating costs.
McEwen Copper Chief Executive Rob McEwen said: “Los Azules is among the largest undeveloped copper assets in the world. We recognize the potential opportunity of using Nuton Technologies to produce copper in greater amounts, more rapidly, and with less impact on the environment and water resources. I trust that our relationship with Nuton and Rio Tinto will accelerate the process of realizing the enormous potential of Los Azules.”
Rio Tinto Chief Executive Copper Bold Baatar said: “This agreement will allow us to evaluate the potential to commercially deploy Rio Tinto’s innovative Nuton Technologies for copper leaching in McEwen Copper’s planned development of Los Azules. Our Nuton Technologies have the capacity to unlock increased copper production for Rio Tinto and our partners, with a low carbon footprint and leading environmental performance.”
The principal terms of the Nuton Collaboration Agreement include:
About McEwen Copper
McEwen Copper Inc. holds 100% interest in the Los Azules copper project in San Juan, Argentina and the Elder Creek project in Nevada, USA. McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE/TSX:MUX) owns a 68% share of McEwen Copper.
About Los Azules
Los Azules was ranked in the top 10 largest undeveloped copper deposits in the world by Mining Intelligence (2022). Its current copper resources are estimated at 10.2 billion pounds at a grade of 0.48% Cu (Indicated category) and an additional 19.3 billion pounds at a grade of 0.33% Cu (Inferred category).
Nuton is an innovative new venture that aims to help grow Rio Tinto’s copper business. At the core of Nuton is a portfolio of proprietary copper leach-related technologies and capability – a product of almost 30 years of research and development. Nuton® Technologies offer the potential to economically unlock copper sulphide resources, copper bearing waste and tailings, and achieve higher copper recoveries on oxide and transitional material, allowing for a significantly increased copper production. One of the key differentiators of Nuton is the potential to deliver leading environmental performance, including more efficient water usage, lower carbon emissions, and the ability to reclaim mine sites by reprocessing mine waste.
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is the second largest mining and metals company in the world, operating in 35 countries, and producing the raw materials essential to human progress. It aims to help pioneer a more sustainable future, from partnering in the development of technology that can make the aluminum smelting process entirely free of direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to providing the world with the materials it needs – such as copper – to build a new low-carbon economy and products like electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and smartphones.
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We acknowledge the [financial] support of the Government of Canada.