South32 Ltd. has agreed to purchase the remaining 83% of shares of Arizona Mining Inc., representing a fully funded, all-cash offer of US$1.3 billion. South32 has been a shareholder in Arizona Mining since May 2017. Arizona Mining owns the Hermosa Project located in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, which is comprised of the high-grade base metals Taylor deposit and the Central zinc, manganese and silver oxide resource and an extensive, highly prospective land package with potential for discovery of polymetallic and copper mineralization.
“Our all-cash offer for Arizona Mining will allow us to optimize the design and development of one of the most exciting base metal projects in the industry,” South32 Chief Executive Officer Graham Kerr said.
The Taylor deposit is a greenfield development project that has a reported resource of 101 million short tons at 10.4% zinc equivalent grade and is open at depth and laterally. The project is located close to key infrastructure in an attractive mining jurisdiction. A Preliminary Economic Assessment completed by Arizona Mining in January indicated that this low cost, long life project has the potential to deliver a very high Internal Rate of Return on investment.
“South32’s all-cash offer of C$6.20 per share represents a premium reflective of the truly world class nature of the Hermosa Project and allows shareholders to realize immediate value,” said Arizona Mining founder and Executive Chairman Richard Warke. “In addition, the transaction is not contingent on financing, which significantly reduces transaction risk.”
The transaction is expected to close in the September 2018 quarter.