Engineering & Mining Journal

JUL 2017

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Page 17 of 91

REGIONAL NEWS - LATIN AMERICA 16 E&MJ • JULY 2017 ing supervision and supervision fund, and 15% to the Mining Development and Pro- motion Fund. Total surface available for mining con- cessions in Nicaragua is 71,000 square kilometers, a little more than the territo- ry of Ireland, according to data from the state-owned Investment Promotion Agen- cy (ProNicaragua) in 2016. Currently, the country has about 10,000 square kilome- ters under concession and another 1,500 kilometers are in process of being granted for concession. Goldcorp Completes JV With Barrick Goldcorp announced the completion of a previous transaction resulting in the forma- tion of a 50/50 joint venture with Barrick Gold Corp. in the mining district of Mari- cunga, northern Chile. Under the terms of that transaction and offer for the acqui- sition of Exeter Resource Corp., Goldcorp and Barrick will jointly control more than 20,000 hectares of mining property within the Maricunga District with the Caspiche and Cerro Casale orebodies. Together, both deposits, contain more than 3,500 tons of mineral resources. Also, Goldcorp will spend at least $60 million in a two- year period, unless the deferred payment obligation worth $250 million is satisfied. The companies expect to achieve an increase in the net asset value per share from this project by combining their finan- cial and technical skills, and give more value to all their stakeholders and owners. Cerro Grande Files for Bankruptcy in Chile Cerro Grande Mining Corp. announced the closure of its Pimenton mine and that it has entered into voluntary bank- ruptcy, effective June 1. On the advice of its Chilean lawyers, the directors and management of Compania Minera Pimen- ton and the Board of Directors of Cerro Grande Mining Corp. decided to go into voluntary bankruptcy versus waiting for its creditors to place Pimenton into invol- untary bankruptcy. Under Chilean law, a court-appointed bankruptcy liquidator will take possession of Compañia Minera Pimenton and its assets and is responsible for all ongoing costs of Pimenton until they are success- ful in obtaining the sale or liquidation of Compañia Minera Pimenton in both vol- untary and involuntary filings. There are no bonds in place to cover the reclamation procedures at Pimen- ton and none were requested by Serna- geomin, the Chilean government mining agency. The liquidator will be responsible for all mine closure costs, if any, until the liquidator is successful in selling the mine, claims and/or liquidating the as- sets of Compañia Minera Pimenton. All employees at Compañia Minera Pimenton have been terminated and their salaries and severance costs will be paid for by the liquidator from the sale or liquidation of Compañia Minera Pimenton. Under Chilean law, salary and some severance costs must be paid first and once paid, the creditors of the mine are second to be paid. The liquidator is paid his fees from the proceeds of the sale of Compania Minera Pimenton or liquidation of its assets. The other subsidiaries of CEG, includ- ing Compañia Minera Til Til, Compañia Minera Catedral, Compañia Minera Tor- dillo, Compañia Minera Bandurrias and Compañia Minera Cal Norte are not af- fected by the bankruptcy of Compañia Minera Pimenton. No officers or directors of Cerro Grande Mining Corp. have resigned. The transfer agent is still in place. Silver Standard Forms JV With Golden Arrow Silver Standard Resources has formed the Puna Operations joint venture (JV) with Golden Arrow Resources Corp. to devel- op the Chinchillas project. The JV will be comprised of Silver Standard's Pirquitas property and Golden Arrow's Chinchillas property. Silver Standard owns 75% and Golden Arrow owns 25% of the venture. Silver Standard is the joint venture opera- tor and has made an option exercise pay- ment of $13 million to Golden Arrow. This transaction was previously announced in March 31. "Forming the joint venture is anoth- er important step toward extending the life of the Pirquitas operation," said Paul Benson, president and CEO, Silver Standard. "By leveraging the assets of the two companies, the Chinchillas pre- feasibility study outlines a project with a short payback period for a modest cap- ital investment. We have also begun to evaluate the potential for a small tonnage Pirquitas underground operation to pro- vide an additional, high-grade ore stream to the Pirquitas plant. Final permitting for Chinchillas is expected shortly, which will enable site development to com- mence. In addition to extending the life of Pirquitas and maximizing the value of our investment, the project will benefit the people and governments of Argentina through job creation, increased tax base and export revenues." The Chinchillas project is a silver-lead- zinc deposit, located in the Puna region of northwestern Argentina, in Jujuy Province. Chinchillas is approximately 42 kilometers (km) by road from the Silver Standard's Pirquitas property. The project is com- posed of three contiguous claims, totaling more than 2,000 hectares. A prefeasibility study evaluated the development and con- struction of an open-pit mine and support- ing infrastructure, which will supply ore to the Pirquitas processing facilities over an eight-year active mining period. The total capital required to construct the Chinchillas mine and associated in- frastructure is $81 million. Subject to permitting, Silver Standard has approved a development decision on the project and expects construction at Chinchillas to begin during the third quarter of 2017, with ore delivery to the Pirquitas mill ex- pected in the second half of 2018. Tahoe Challenges Anti-mining NGO in Guatemala Tahoe Resources reported this week that an anti-mining organization, CALAS, has filed a claim against Guatemala's Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) alleging it vi- olated the Xinca indigenous people's right of consultation in advance of granting the Escobal mining license to Tahoe's Guate- malan subsidiary, Minera San Rafael. The last official census, according to Tahoe Resources, shows the San Rafael community to be overwhelmingly non-in - digenous. Based on the lack of indigenous communities in or around the mine, and the fact that both MEM and Minera San Rafael participated in and documented hundreds of public and private meetings and open consultations in and around the mine area dating back to 2010, the company believes the claim by CALAS is without merit. Minera San Rafael consult- ed with a number of indigenous people during its many meetings, it said. (Continued on p. 30)

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