Copper Mountain Mining CEO to step down in June

Mining activities on the western wall of Pit 3 at the Copper Mountain Mine near Princeton, BC. Source: Copper Mountain Mining Corp.

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Mining activities on the western wall of Pit 3 at the Copper Mountain Mine near Princeton, BC. Source: Copper Mountain Mining Corp.

Copper Mountain Mining Corp. [CMMC-TSX; CPPMF-OTC] on Friday April 27 said President and CEO James O’Rourke will be retiring on June 1, 2018. Gil Clausen, currently President and CEO of Brio Gold Inc. [BRIO-TSX], will be his successor in the President and CEO role. Clausen will also join Copper Mountain’s board of directors.

“On behalf of the board, I am pleased to welcome Gil to drive our company’s growth going forward in a fiscally prudent manner,” O’Rourke said Friday. “His proven leadership skills and track record of value creation will unquestionably be an asset to the company as we launch into our new phase of growth.”

Copper Mountain’s flagship asset is the 75%-owned Copper Mountain Mine in southwestern British Columbia near the town of Princeton. The Copper Mountain Mine produces about 100 million pounds of copper equivalent annually with a very large resource that remains open laterally and at depth.

Copper Mountain shareholders recently approved the acquisition of Australia-based Altona Mining Ltd. [AOH-ASX], which brings significant growth potential with the development -ready Eva Copper (Cloncurry) Project and massive exploration potential in the 4,000 km2 (379,000 hectares) mineralized land package all within the highly prospective Mt. Isa area in Queensland, Australia.

Pierre Vaillancourt, Vice-President and Senior Mining Analyst at Haywood Securities, said the Altona acquisition could be transformative for Copper Mountain, potentially doubling Copper Mountain’s production profile by 2020.

“In the base metals space the main trend is all about electric vehicles,” Vaillancourt said. He was referring to the amount of copper that will be required in the electric vehicle construction process as well as for recharge stations,” he said.

Vaillancourt went on to say that 2017 saw the first decline in copper production in 15 years. “BHP [Billiton Ltd. [BHP-NYSE]] figures that it is going to take $100 billion of investment dollars over next decade to get us to where we need to be,” he said. “The demand will be high and we are going to look at a potential supply gap.”

Clausen is switching to Copper Mountain after Brio Gold agreed recently to be acquired by Leagold Mining Corp. [LMC-TSX] Brio is an established Canadian mining company with significant gold producing, development and exploration stage properties in Brazil. The company’s profile includes three operating gold mines and a fully-permitted, fully constructed mine that was on care and maintenance and is currently in development to be restarted. Brio is expected to produce 205,000 to 235,000 ounces of gold in 2018 and at full run-rate is expected to produce approximately 400,000 ounces of gold annually in 2019.

Clausen has served as President and CEO of Brio since its inception in 2014. A mining executive with 30 years of experience in areas of management, finance, development and operations in the base and precious metals industry, he previously served as President and CEO of Augusta Resource Corp.  That was until Augusta was taken over by HudBay Minerals Inc. [HBM-TSX, NYSE] in 2014.

Copper Mountain shares eased 3.68% or $0.05 to $1.31 on Friday. The 52-week range is $1.85 and 72 cents.

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