“The completion of the US$5M silver stream is an important milestone for Empress as we continue to deliver on our plans to build a diversified portfolio of gold and silver investments,” stated Alexandra Woodyer Sherron, CEO and President of Empress. “We are pleased to be working closely with Altaley and our strategic partners to bring this quality asset into production.”
THE INVESTMENT & TRANSACTION
As announced on April 16, 2021 and April 29, 2021, Empress executed and has now fully funded the US$5M silver stream agreement on production from Altaley’s Tahuehueto project in Mexico. The US$5M Stream is on 100% of the payable silver production from Tahuehueto for the first 1,250,000 payable ounces; thereafter, the percentage will step-down to 20% of the payable silver production to a maximum of 10 years from first production after which the Stream terminates. Altaley has announced that its Tahuehueto project is approximately 60% constructed, with initial production forecast for late 2021 and full scale production forecast for early 2022. For further information, please see the Altaley Mining Corporate website for more information (www.altaleymining.com).
The Stream is part of a US$25M full financing solution being provided to Altaley by Empress and its strategic partners, Accendo Banco (“Accendo”) and Endeavour Financial (“Endeavour Financial”). The US$25M financing included a Altaley US$8M equity private placement which closed on March 30, 2021, a US$5M silver stream created by Empress and a US$12M debt facility from Accendo.
Tahuehueto is located in the mining friendly jurisdiction of Durango, Mexico. It is a typical epithermal polymetallic mineral deposit in this part of Mexico, with metals consisting of gold silver, zinc, copper and lead. Based on the PFS completed in 2017, the project had a 21 year life-of-mine at a production rate of 550 tonnes per day, however, Altaley has elected to build a 1,000 tonnes per day mining operation to achieve improved economics.
The mine is fully permitted, has all social licenses to operate, including with the local Ejido, has offtake agreements in place with Trafigura, and has already produced a saleable concentrate, processing over 42,000 tonnes of ore on a toll mill basis during 2018 – 2019. This confirmed the metallurgy as straight forward, with no need for fine or ultra-fine grinding, no refractory ore and the process uses standard “off the shelf” technology realizing excellent recoveries of payable metals.
ABOUT ALTALEY MINING CORPORATION
Altaley’s Tahuehueto mining project is located in Durango State, Mexico and construction has been advanced to an estimated 60% of completion. Upon closing of the US$25M funding package, Altaley now has funding available to finish construction of its processing facility and related mine infrastructure to initiate production of gold, silver, lead, and zinc in concentrates at Tahuehueto. Altaley is targeting initial production by end of 2021 and ramping up to full production capacity during the first quarter of 2022. For further information, on Altaley Mining Corporation’s, Tahuehueto project in Mexico, please see the Altaley Mining Corporate website for more information (www.altaleymining.com)
ABOUT EMPRESS ROYALTY CORP.
Empress is a new royalty and streaming creation company focused on providing investors with a diversified portfolio of gold and silver investments. Empress has a current portfolio of 16 investments and is actively investing in mining companies with development and production stage projects who require additional non-dilutive capital. The Company has strategic partnerships with Endeavour Financial, Terra Capital, and Accendo which allow Empress to not only access global investment opportunities but also bring unique mining finance expertise, deal structuring and access to capital markets. Empress is looking forward to continuously creating value for its shareholders through the proven royalty and streaming models.
Note: Mineral Reserves were defined as mineralized material that occurred within the stope shapes that were based on and NSR value of $62/t. Measured and Indicated resources within the defined mining shapes (stopes) were used to estimate Probable Reserves. No Proven Reserves were defined due to the limited definition resource drilling, limited definition by exploratory mining and the lack of geotechnical data that addresses underground mining. Probable Mineral Reserves include the effects of mining dilution assumptions which average 15% and extraction ratio assumptions which averaged 94%. Mining dilution was assumed to have zero (0) grade.
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum standards were followed in the estimation of the Mineral Reserves. Mineral Reserves were estimated using metal price forecasts of $0.60/lb for lead, $0.75/lb for zinc, $2.10/lb for copper, $1,000/oz for gold and $19.12/oz for silver. The low metal prices were selected to drive the mine plan towards mineralization with the highest confidence in the prospects of economic extraction. These metal prices were not used for the economic analysis of the mineral deposit. Totals may not add due to rounding. The foregoing mineral reserves are included within the current Mineral Resource Estimate for the Project.
Note: The above mineral resources have been calculated using a cut-off of 2.5 g/t Au Equivalent. These resource numbers are preliminary in nature. They include inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release contains statements about Empress’ expectations regarding the Stream and the Tahuehueto mining project which are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “expects”, “believes”, “anticipates”, “aims to”, “plans to” or “intends to” or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “will” occur. Although Empress believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them as actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include Empress not being successful in identifying suitable investment opportunities, being able to successfully complete technical, financial or legal diligence in respect of investment opportunities it has identified, or being able to negotiate and enter into binding agreements for royalty or stream deals with potential counterparties. Readers are referred to the risk factors and contained in Empress‘ most recent annual information form for a description of the principal risks affecting Empress, its business and its securities. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof, and Empress undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or information, except as required by law. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information.
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