SSR Mining Inc. announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire from Lidya Mines an up to 40% interest in, and operational control of, the Hod Maden gold-copper development project, located in northeastern Türkiye. Currently, Lidya Mines and Horizon Copper Corp. hold a 70% and 30% ownership interest, respectively, in Hod Maden.

SSR will made a $120 million upfront cash payment to acquire a 10% interest in the project, and will make $150 million in earn-in structured cash milestone payments to acquire an additional 30% interest, payable in accordance with an agreed upon schedule beginning at the start of construction and ending on the first anniversary of commercial production.

“We have been closely monitoring Hod Maden for well over seven years as it has progressed through critical development and permitting milestones, largely de-risking the project as it approaches a construction decision in 2024,” said Rod Antal, president and CEO of SSR Mining. “Our due diligence team was complimentary as to the detail and quality of work completed so far on the project. Following our review and after discussions with our joint venture partners, we believe there are several positive operational value levers as well as exploration potential beyond the existing life of mine plan that was presented in the 2021 feasibility study. We will now spend the next 12 months updating the existing technical report for these value enhancing opportunities, as well as to account for changes in market conditions.

Antal said SSR’s project development team will work to advance Hod Maden to a full construction decision in 2024 with a goal of delivering first production in 2027. “The same principles and discipline that enabled our team to deliver the Çöpler Sulfide Plant project in Türkiye on time and under budget will be applied to Hod Maden to help us maximize the value of the project,” Antal said. “The project’s robust economics have the ability to support a project-level finance facility, and we will build upon the project finance work completed by the joint venture to date as a potential funding opportunity while limiting SSR Mining’s cash outlay. Overall, this prudently structured transaction presents an opportunity to further our commitment to low capital intensity growth, strong free cash flow generation and continued robust capital returns.”

Following completion of the earn-in structured cash milestone payments, SSR Mining will own 40% of the project, Lidya Mines will retain a 30% ownership interest and Horizon will own the remaining 30%. Horizon acquired its 30% ownership in the project from Sandstorm Gold Ltd. in August 2022 in exchange for a gold stream on production from a portion of Horizon’s 30% interest and certain other non-cash consideration. SSR Mining’s attributable production and free cash flow are not encumbered by the gold streaming agreement between Horizon and Sandstorm. As an upside sharing mechanism with Lidya Mines, if an additional 500,000 oz of gold equivalent mineral reserves, beyond those currently identified as mineral reserves and mineral resources (MRMR) in the 2021 Feasibility Study, are delineated, SSR Mining will make an $84 million payment to Lidya Mines.