Crowflight Minerals reported on April 6, 2010, China-based Jinchuan Group had submitted an offer to acquire all of Crowflight’s common shares for an aggregate cash payment of C$150 million. Crowflight’s primary asset is its underground Bucko Lake nickel mine near Wabowden, Manitoba, Canada. Jinchuan is the largest producer of nickel, cobalt and platinum in China, and a significant producer of copper. The offer represented a premium of 47.3% to the closing price of Crowflight common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on April 2 and a premium of 56.8% to the 20-day, volume-weighted average trading price. The offer was subject to Jinchuan due diligence and receipt of all required government and regulatory approvals. The offer was premised on Jinchuan obtaining 100% of the offtake from the Bucko Lake mine and any of the Crowflight exploration properties that are subsequently placed into production. That condition would require dissolution of Crowflight’s existing contract for processing of Bucko Lake concentrates at Xstrata’s Sudbury, Ontario, smelter. The offer was also subject to negotiation of a definitive agreement between Jinchuan and Crowflight and the offer being approved by Crowflight shareholders.
A special committee of Crowflight’s board of directors was considering the offer. The committee was formed in January 2010 to consider an earlier, lesser offer for Crowflight from Pala Investment Holdings.
The Bucko Lake mine shipped its first concentrates in February 2009, suspended operations in November 2009 due to operating issues, and resumed production and shipment of concentrates in March 2010. As of March, Crowflight was targeting a 1,000-mt/d mine production rate during the second quarter of 2010 and 1,200 mt/d during the second half of the year. Production of nickel in concentrates for 2010 was targeted at 8.6 million lb.