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Aris Mining gains controlling stake in Soto Norte project

Aris Mining (TSX: ARIS; NYSE-A: ARMN) has entered into a binding agreement with MDC Industry to acquire an additional 31% joint venture interest in the Soto Norte gold project in Colombia. 

MDC Industry is a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company.

The acquisition brings Aris’ interest in the Soto Norte project to 51%, giving it a controlling stake.

In exchange, Aris will issue 15.8 million common shares, representing a 9.9% stake in the company, to Mubadala. Upon receiving an environmental licence for the proposed underground mine, it will issue another 6 million shares.

In total, the 21.8 million shares have a current market value of $90 million, Aris said in a news release.

Meanwhile, the current option held by Aris to acquire an additional 30% interest in the project will be terminated. It will continue to act as the operator.

To develop the project, Aris has completed optimization studies for a smaller, more efficient Solo Norte mine development plan, which it believes can reduce the environmental footprint by building a smaller processing plant with a longer operating life.

Aris also plans to target higher-grade material earlier in the mine life, as well as installing a backfill plant which will minimize surface tailings storage requirements.

The company also plans to incorporate processing solutions for contract mining partners into the design and development of Solo Norte, along the lines of the partnership model Aris developed at its Segovia gold-silver operations in Colombia, CEO Neil Woodyer said in the statement.

Aris is starting a pre-feasibility study for the new development plan, which it expects to complete by early 2025. As per the conditions of the joint venture, the company will solely fund operating costs during the pre-licensing period.

In March 2022, a feasibility study estimated a 7,200 t/d capacity processing plant with average annual production of over 450,000 gold oz. over an 11-year production period, at all-in sustaining cost of $471/oz. from a 5 million oz. mineral reserve.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More