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Bear Creek remains optimistic of closing Mercedes mine acquisition despite ‘interference’ from royalty company

Mercedes mine. Photo by Premier Gold Mines.

Bear Creek Mining (TSXV: BCM) remains optimistic of closing its acquisition of a 100% interest in Equinox Gold’s Mercedes gold-silver mine located in Sonora, Mexico.

On Friday, Bear Creek said it expects to receive anti-trust approval for the deal next month. The company and Equinox recently agreed to extend the outside date for the completion to April 30.

The statement comes after it was made aware that Trident Royalties, which previously acquired a non-material offtake agreement with Equinox, recently brought an application for an order of an arbitrator restraining and enjoining the closing of the acquisition.

Bear Creek said it believes the application is without merit and intends to hold Trident fully responsible for all loss and damage it may suffer as a consequence of Trident’s “interfering conduct.”

The company also said it will take all available steps to have Trident post security for such amounts that will reflect Bear Creek’s reasonably foreseeable gains over the production life of Mercedes, in the unlikely event that an order is granted in respect of the acquisition, which would prevent or obstruct its closing.

“It is disappointing that Trident did not meaningfully engage with us prior to initiating an arbitration to disrupt an ordinary course mining transaction. However, we look forward to a timely resolution of their dispute with Equinox,” Bear Creek president and CEO Anthony Hawkshaw said in a press release.

In December, Bear Creek signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Mercedes property for a cash consideration of C$75 million and the issuance of approximately 24.7 million shares. The mine has been in continuous operation since commencing production in 2011, producing about 781,800 ounces of gold and 3,356,200 ounces of silver up until the end of 2020.