Wheaton Precious Metals International Ltd. has entered a precious metals purchase agreement, a silver stream, with Waterton Copper Corp., with respect to its Mineral Park mine located in Arizona, USA.
“Wheaton is excited to bring Mineral Park back into our portfolio given our long history with the mine, particularly given the work Waterton Copper has done to optimize the operation,” said Randy Smallwood, president and CEO, Wheaton Precious Metals. “Our unique understanding of Mineral Park, and its potential, positions us well to assist Waterton Copper in bringing the mine back into production in a sustainable manner.”
“Waterton Copper is delighted to have Wheaton Precious Metals’ support,” said Isser Elishis, executive chairman, Waterton Copper. “Waterton is investing approximately $600 million to optimize Mineral Park including significant capital investments in new primary crushers, secondary and pebble crushing circuits, and new higher-power SAG mills, which are expected to result in decades of operational excellence.”
WPMI will pay Waterton Copper a deposit of $115 million in four payments during construction (three installments of $25 million and a final installment of $40 million). Under the Silver Stream, WPMI will purchase 100% of the payable silver from the project for the life of the mine. Payable silver is calculated using a fixed payable factor of 90%.
Attributable production is forecast to average over 690,000 ounces per year (oz/y) of silver for the first five years of production and more than 740,000 oz/y of silver for the life of mine, with construction to be completed by the end of Q1 2025. Mineral Park is forecast to have a 12-year mine life, with the potential to expand the mine life to over 20 years.
WPMI will make ongoing production payments for the silver ounces delivered equal to 18% of the spot price of silver until the uncredited deposit is reduced to nil and 22% of the spot price of silver thereafter. The addition of Mineral Park will increase Wheaton’s total estimated proven and probable mineral silver reserves by 14.6 million oz, measured and indicated mineral silver resources by 18.4 million oz and inferred silver resources by 16.2 million oz.
Owned and operated by Origin Mining, a subsidiary of Waterton Copper LP, Mineral Park is a polymetallic mine located in northwest Arizona, 18 miles north of Kingsman. A copper-molybdenum-silver porphyry deposit with a long mining history, Mineral Park is currently under Phase 2 construction, which is expected to be completed by the end of Q1 2025. Waterton Copper is fully funded and is investing approximately $600 million to execute Phase 2 of its operating plan, which will bring the site to more than 100 million pounds of copper equivalent annually and fully modernize the operation.