Goldcorp Inc. won a court battle with Barrick Gold over ownership of the El Moro gold-copper project in Chile. Ontario Court Justice Herman Wilton-Siegel dismissed Barrick’s claims seeking to declare unlawful and ineffective the deal struck between Goldcorp and New Gold on January 7, 2010, with respect to the acquisition of El Morro. Goldcorp acquired 70% of the El Morro project from a subsidiary of New Gold, which acquired the El Morro project from Xstrata. Barrick had struck a deal with Xstrata, but Goldcorp came in with another bid after a minority shareholder exercised its right to reject Barrick’s offer.
“We are pleased the court has confirmed our position that our acquisition of El Morro was completely proper and consistent with the relevant agreements and Chilean law and that Goldcorp’s 70% ownership share of the project has now been clarified for our shareholders,” said Chuck Jeannes, president and CEO, Goldcorp.
El Morro is a copper-gold development project located in the Huasco Province, Atacama region of northern Chile, approximately 800 km north of Santiago. Proven and probable gold reserves at December 31, 2011, totaled 5.84 million oz of gold and 4.36 billion lb of copper on a 70% basis. Site development and construction activities have been suspended since April 30, 2012, pending an environmental permitting decision.
Barrick continues to believe that New Gold improperly exercised its right of first refusal, unlawfully interfering with the company’s right to acquire a 70% interest in El Morro from Xstrata Copper Chile S.A. Barrick said it will review the Court’s ruling in detail and will consider its options, including a possible appeal in this case.