McEwen Copper details US$10 million Nuton investment

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McEwen Copper Inc., a subsidiary of McEwen Mining Inc. [MUX-TSX, NYSE], has announced a binding agreement that will see Rio Tinto Plc [RIO-NYSE] copper leaching technology venture Nuton making an additional US$10 million investment in McEwen Copper.

Part of the proceeds will be used to advance development of the Los Azules copper project in San Juan, Argentina.

The investment will consist of a two-part transaction, consisting of a private placement of 152,615 McEwen Copper common shares and the purchase of 232,000 common shares owned by McEwen Mining.

The transaction is expected to close on October 19, 2023, leaving Nuton with a 14.5% stake in McEwen Copper, which in turn will be held 47.7% by McEwen Mining.

McEwen Mining shares rose 3.8% or 34 cents to $9.30 and currently trade in a 52-week range of $13.36 and $4.35.

Back in August, 2022, McEwen said it had raised $81.85 million from an offering of 8.18 million common shares McEwen Copper, priced at US$10 each.

It said the financing consisted of a $25 million investment by Nuton and $1.85 million from other investors, leaving Nuton with a 9.73% stake in McEwen Copper., which holds a 100% interest in the Los Azules copper project and the Elder Creek project in Nevada.

McEwen said the financing left it well funded to advance the Los Azules project. At the time, it said future milestones would include the completion of an updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) in early first quarter of 2023, and a planned IPO of McEwen Copper in the first half of 2023.

In connection with the offering, McEwen Copper entered into a collaboration agreement with Nuton to advance the company’s understanding of the potential application of heap leaching technology at Los Azules, including the testing of Nuton Technologies for compatibility with Los Azules copper mineralization.

“Los Azules is among the largest undeveloped copper assets in the world,’’ said McEwen Copper CEO Rob McEwen. “WE recognize the potential opportunity of using Nuton Technologies to produce copper in greater amounts, more rapidly and with less impact on the environment and water resources,’’ he said. “I trust that our relationship with Nuton and Rio Tinto will accelerate the process of realizing the enormous potential of Los Azules.’’

In late February, 2023, McEwen Copper said it has signed a binding agreement for an additional US$30 million investment by Nuton. It said the investment would consist of a two-part transaction, including an initial private placement of 350,000 McEwen Copper share, and a second purchase of 1.25 million shares owned by McEwen Mining.

Proceeds of the subscription and purchase were expected to be approximately US$6.5 million to McEwen Copper and US$23.5 million to McEwen Mining. After closing Nuton was expected to own 14.2% of McEwen Copper, leaving McEwen Mining with 51.9%.

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