Just before the Christmas break, Coeur Mining announced the sale of its subsidiary, Empresa Minera Manquiri S.A., which owns and operates the San Bartolomé mine and processing facility located near Potosí, Bolivia, to Argentum Investments AB, a privately held Swedish company owned by a group of Mexican individuals with extensive mining experience in Latin America.

Under the terms of the agreement, affiliates of Argentum will acquire Manquiri from Coeur for 2% net smelter returns royalty (NSR) payable to Coeur on all metals processed through the San Bartolomé’s processing facility (estimated to be $5 million); all refunds of pre-closing value added tax (VAT) that will be collected or received by Manquiri in the future ($13 million); and one-year promissory notes equal to Manquiri’s cash and cash equivalents ($28 million).

As an all-stock transaction, except as otherwise specifically provided in the agreement, all of the current and future assets and liabilities of Manquiri, including its processing facility, mineral rights and other assets, and its current and long-term liabilities (including future reclamation and closure liabilities), will remain with Manquiri after ownership of the entity is transferred to Argentum.

“The sale of 100% of the shares of Manquiri reflects our strategy to continually optimize our portfolio and to focus on developing and operating high-quality, North American precious metals assets,” said Mitch Krebs, president and CEO, Coeur Mining.

“San Bartolomé was an important operation for the company after it was constructed and placed into production in 2008,” he added. “However, the mine’s short remaining life, higher operating costs and future estimated closure-related costs led the company to conclude that a sale to a new owner at this time made strong strategic sense.”

By retaining a 2% NSR, Krebs said Coeur will preserve positive exposure to San Bartolomé as Argentum continues to operate the mine and pursue opportunities to generate additional value from it.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2018.