Solaris unveils $130 million Zijin Mining investment, shares up

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Solaris Resources Inc. [SLS-TSXV, SLSSF-OTCQB] has announced a $130 million strategic investment by Chinese multinational company Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd. with proceeds earmarked for the advancement and development of the company’s flagship Warintza copper project in southeastern Ecuador.

The company said Zijin will invest that amount via a private placement of 28.4 million common shares priced at $4.55 per share. That represents a 14% premium to the closing price of the common shares on January 10, 2024.

Upon closing of the private placement, Zijin will own approximately 15% of the common shares of Solaris on a fully diluted basis.

Solaris shares jumped 6.0% or 24 cents to $4.24 in early trading Thursday. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $7.53 and $3.96.

“Zijin is one of the most successful major mining companies in the world,’’ said Solaris President and CEO Daniel Earle. “It boasts an unprecedented track record of growth from its origins operating a single gold mine in the early 1990s to becoming a global major operating in 16 countries with total revenue far in excess of its gold mining peers, including expected top five-ranked copper production in 2024,’’ he said.

News of the financing comes after Solaris recently named Javier Toro as Chief Operating Officer to lead the advancement of the company’s Warintza copper project, one of the last remaining greenfield copper districts at low elevation and adjacent to infrastructure available globally. The appointment was scheduled to take effect on January 1st, 2024.

Warintza is a world class porphyry copper discovery, with untested gold potential, that the company has been able to expand in recent months. It was discovered in the early 2000s by geologist David Lowell, who was a consultant and strategic partner to Solaris when he passed away in May, 2020. He was 92 at the time of his death.

On October 3, 2023, Solaris announced the appointment of China International Capital Corp. (CICC) as its Chinese financial advisor. CICC is a Beijing-based global investment bank with over 200 branches in China and offices in Kong Kong SAR and internationally. Solaris said that in recent months it has received a number of proposals from parties interested in acquiring all or part of the Warintza. It said CICC will assist in fielding and evaluating the merit of these enquiries and other strategic matters.

Solaris recently reported the discovery of a significant new porphyry deposit at the Patrimonio target area southwest of its Warintza copper project.

Patrimonio represents the sixth porphyry deposit discovered on the Warintza Project, the company said in a press release. The target was identified as part of a program of reconnaissance mapping and sampling.

The first drill hole into this target was completed with visual results from SLSP-01 confirming the discovery of a significant new porphyry deposit, mineralized with high concentrations of chalcopyrite, molybdenite and pyrite from surface to the end of the hole.

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