Battery Mineral Resources Corp. [BMR-TSXV] said Monday March 8 that it has struck a deal with a unit of Xiana Mining Inc. to acquire the Punitaqui Mining Complex, a copper-gold mine in the Coquimbo region of Chile.
The Xiana unit, called Minera Altos de Punitaqui (MAP), owns a past-producing mining operation which consists of an integrated copper and gold mining complex. MAP is fully permitted and includes a centralized process plant which is fed by four satellite copper-gold deposits: San Andres, Cinabrio, Dalmacia and Los Mantos.
The MAP process plant consists of a standard copper sulphide crush-grind-flotation circuit which can produce a marketable copper-gold concentrate for domestic and foreign smelters. The MAP plant historically operated at a permitted capacity of 3,000 tonnes/day with allowances to 3,600 tonnes, with a potential capacity of 4,000 tonnes/day to be investigated.
Battery plans to execute a low capital cost restart program after an infill drilling program.
Concurrent with entering into the agreement with MAP, Battery has begun a concurrent equity raising of up to $15 million in common shares at 65 cents per share.
When trading in the shares was halted early Monday, they had been trading at 51 cents in a 52-week range of 90 cents and 51 cents.
The company said proceeds are earmarked to partially fund the Punitaqui acquisition through the settlement of outstanding obligations due to certain secured and unsecured creditors; to fund exploration, development and restart activities at MAP, to fund activities at the companyâ€™s Canadian cobalt-silver projects and for working capital and general corporate purposes.
â€œWe are excited to have entered into an agreement to add the Punitaqui Mine to our portfolio,â€ said Laz Nikeas, Chairman and CEO of Battery Minerals. â€œWhile the Punitaqui Mine was placed on care and maintenance following a decline in copper prices and challenging macroeconomic conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have identified a range of opportunities that we believe have the potential to deliver a near term restart of the operations and significant improvements in operating performance,â€ he said.
The mine produced approximately 21,000 tonnes of copper concentrates in 2019.
The company owns an 89.2% interest in ESE Energy Services Inc., an operating energy services business that serves the pipeline and renewables markets.