Yamana Gold cleans up balance sheet with $1-billion sale of Brazilian mine to Lundin Mining

When the administration groups at Yamana Gold Inc. and Lundin Mining Corp. take a look at copper and gold, each see a rising worth setting forward.

Regardless of the shared optimistic outlook, it was copper-focused Lundin Mining Corp. that introduced on Monday it could plunk down $1 billion in money to buy the Chapada copper-gold mine in Brazil from gold-focused Yamana, which wants money to cut back its debt load.

In some methods the deal mirrors analysts’ optimistic predictions about copper in comparison with a extra hazy outlook on gold equities, even within the face of a possible U.S. recession, and the potential for a world financial slowdown amid persistent commerce disputes. That’s partly as a result of analysts see an rising copper provide hole, whereas no matter steel costs, many buyers are staying away from Canadian gold mining corporations as they restore their stability sheets.

“This now’s an entire cleanup (of the stability sheet),” Peter Marrone, government chairman and founding father of Yamana, informed the Monetary Publish. “And now we’re prepared to maneuver ahead, and all of the discussions about getting forward of the leverage and debt at Yamana needs to be carried out.”

The corporate has US$1.6 billion in internet debt, and Marrone stated it plans to use all the proceeds from the Chapada mine sale to cut back that quantity. Traders stay unimpressed with Yamana Monday, sending its inventory three.5 per cent decrease to $three.30 on the Toronto Inventory Change.

In the meantime, Lundin jumped eight per cent to $7.38.

Marie Inkster, president and chief government of Lundin, stated her firm had been seeking to purchase a copper mine since she began final October — not lengthy after the corporate misplaced a bid to buy a deliberate copper mine in Serbia.

Yamana Gold Chairman and CEO Peter Marrone.

Peter Thompson / Nationwide Publish)

“I don’t assume there’ll ever be a deal on a extremely good copper asset,” Inkster informed the Monetary Publish, saying the worth was “very reasonable.”

Whereas Lundin has been in acquisition mode in recent times, Marrone stated Yamana’s board is concentrated on investing in its personal belongings to extend gold manufacturing slightly than shopping for something.

Yamana has stated it might probably add at the very least 150,000 ounces of annual gold manufacturing by increasing its current 5 mine complexes, positioned all through Canada and South America.

“The place to begin for us is what we’ve received within the portfolio,” stated Marrone.

Earlier than saying the sale of Chapada, anticipated to shut within the third quarter this 12 months, the corporate stated it goals to provide 940,000 ounces of gold and 120 million kilos of copper.

Chapada final 12 months produced 121,000 ounces of gold and 129 million kilos of copper, and has an estimated mine lifetime of 28 years.

Final Might, the corporate introduced enlargement plans that required phased investments of US$9 million, $140 million and $100 million.

On a convention name with analysts, Marrone stated the corporate would have struggled to make capital expenditures to maintain up Chapada whereas investing in the remainder of its portfolio and make debt funds.

“It might have been constrained, merely put,” he stated, including the worth of Chapada would decline with out the funding.

That created an impetus to promote Chapada, and Marrone stated the board began taking a look at choices and talking to patrons final fall.

S&P International Scores final week held “its gold worth assumption the identical” by 2021, citing the uncertainty in U.S. rates of interest, slower financial development and dangers of a commerce battle. Nevertheless it raised assumptions for copper costs primarily based on a provide deficit anticipated to start this 12 months and develop by 2021.

“We consider copper costs have some room for additional upside if deficits widen,” the corporate analysts wrote on April 11.

Yamana’s sale additionally permits it to unload a mine in Brazil — though it nonetheless holds one other mine within the nation — months after Vale S.A.’s Brumadinho iron ore mining tailings dam collapsed in January in a special a part of the nation. That collapse killed tons of of individuals plus untold numbers of livestock animals, destroying homes and left an environmental catastrophe in its wake.

Marrone stated this “catastrophe” possible restricted the variety of corporations keen to think about shopping for Chapada.

Certainly, in a convention name Marie Inkster, chief government of Lundin, stated the corporate carefully studied the tailings storage dam facility at Chapada as a part of its due diligence.

Her firm has been on the prowl for a copper mine, since its unsuccessful bid to purchase Nevsun’s deliberate copper mine in Serbia final summer time.

Chapada would carry its estimated copper manufacturing in 2019 up 263 million kilos of copper, an including 26 per cent to mines in Europe and the Americas.

As a part of the deal to amass Chapada, Lundin could also be on the hook for an extra US$125 million in funds to Yamana, primarily based on the common worth of gold in the course of the subsequent 5 years, plus an extra US$100 million fee relying if it builds a roaster that might optimize the efficiency of the mine.

Steve Gately, vp of technical providers for Lundin, stated the distinction in outlook on Chapada comes right down to the stability sheets: “We maybe received’t have the money constraints that Yamana would,” he stated.

• E mail: gfriedman@postmedia.com | Twitter: GabeFriedz

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