Intergeo MMC Ltd. and Mercator Minerals announced in mid-December an agreement to combine their businesses to create a copper-focused base metals company with a robust growth profile and strong financial backing.
|Mercator Minerals’ Mineral Park mine, shown here, is located in northwestern Arizona, approximately 120 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. Mercator will merge its assets with Intergeo, a Russian company, which owns the Ak-Sug copper deposit in Siberia.|
Intergeo is a diversified Russian company primarily focused on developing, exploring and acquiring base metal properties in Russia. The company is 99% owned by Daselina, a part of ONEXIM Group, which is an investment vehicle owed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Intergeo’s key development project is its Ak-Sug copper porphyry deposit in southern Siberia.
Mercator Minerals owns and operates the Mineral Park copper-molybdenum-silver mine in northwest Arizona. The company also has two development projects in Sonora, Mexico: the El Pilar copper heap leach project and the El Creston molybdenum-copper property.
As part of the agreement, Daselina will invest $100 million in the combined company, with $50 million of the total earmarked for stabilizing and improving operations at the Mineral Park mine.
Following closure of the transaction, existing Intergeo shareholders will own approximately 85% and existing Merca- tor shareholders will own approximately 15% of the outstanding shares of the combined company. The company will be renamed Intergeo Mining Ltd. and will retain Mercator’s listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The companies expect the transaction to close during the second quarter of 2014.
John Lill, current president and CEO of Intergeo MMC, will be CEO and a director of Intergeo Mining. Lill has previously served as CEO of FNX Mining, COO of BHP Billiton Base Metals, executive vice president of Dynatec Corp., vice president of Operations for Rio Algom, and senior vice president of U.S. Opera- tions for Barrick Gold.
Regarding the Intergeo/Mercator combination, Lill said, “The entire Intergeo organization and its owners are very excited by the potential of a combination with Mercator. We believe there are tremendous opportunities to create value based on a well-funded business plan for Mineral Park and the combined portfolio of world-class development properties in El Pilar and Ak-Sug. We intend to focus our efforts initially on optimizing Mineral Park, bringing El Pilar to production, and then developing Ak-Sug in a financially disciplined manner. We have assembled a highly experienced management team and board of directors to execute our vision.”