Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE American: TGB; LSE: TKO) ("Taseko" or the "Company") has announced that it has reached a definitive agreement ("Agreement") to purchase an additional 12.5% stake in the Gibraltar Mine from Sojitz Corporation ("Sojitz"). The Gibraltar Mine is a joint venture between Taseko and Cariboo Copper Corporation ("Cariboo"), with Taseko holding 75% ownership and Cariboo holding 25%. Under the terms of the Agreement, Taseko will acquire Sojitz's 50% interest in Cariboo, giving Taseko an effective 87.5% interest in the Gibraltar Mine.
The acquisition price includes a minimum amount of C$60 million that will be paid over a five-year period, in addition to potential contingent payments based on Gibraltar mine revenues and copper prices over the next five years. Upon closing, an initial payment of C$10 million will be made to Sojitz, and the remaining minimum amount will be paid in annual C$10 million installments over the next five years.
Stuart McDonald, President & CEO of Taseko, stated, “This is a logical and beneficial transaction for Taseko, providing immediate 17% growth in our attributable copper production and earnings from mine operations. Gibraltar is a high-quality asset with a long mine life in an excellent jurisdiction. The transaction is immediately accretive to Taseko and the deferred payment structure allows us to focus our financial capacity on the construction of the Florence Copper project which we expect to commence later this year.”
Contingent payments, up to a maximum of C$57 million over the five-year period, will be payable annually only if the average LME copper price exceeds US$3.50 per pound in a year. The payments will be calculated by multiplying Gibraltar mine copper revenues by a price factor, based on a sliding scale ranging from 0.38% at US$3.50 per pound copper to a maximum of 2.13% at US$5.00 per pound copper or above. The acquisition cost will be limited to a maximum of C$117 million due to the contingent payment cap.