Carpathian Gold announces $20 million strategic placement by Barrick Gold Corporation
Carpathian Gold Inc. (TSX: CPN) (the “Corporation” or “Carpathian”) is pleased to announce that it has concluded an agreement (the “Agreement”) with Barrick Gold Corporation (“Barrick”) for a CDN$20 Million private placement to purchase 38,461,538 common shares (the “Private Placement” and the “Common Shares”) of the Corporation at a price of $0.52 per share. The Common Shares will be subject to a four-month hold period. The proceeds from the Private Placement will be exclusively applied to the Corporation’s ongoing exploration and development work on its wholly owned Rovina Valley Project (“RVP”) situated in west-central Romania.
The Corporation has committed to use certain of the proceeds from the Private Placement to expand the Corporation’s previously announced 2011 drill program by at least an additional 15,000 m (from 35,000 m to 50,000 m) which will focus on expanding the Ciresata Au-Cu porphyry deposit as well as testing surrounding targets and other satellite targets on the project as prescribed by Barrick. Additionally, the remainder of the funds will be used to expedite and complete the on-going drill program for purposes of an updated NI 43-101 resource estimate and to fund the on-going pre-feasibility study. The Corporation will have access to Barrick’s technical expertise through an advisory technical committee of five people that will be comprised of three Carpathian and two Barrick representatives. In addition, up to two Barrick employees may be seconded to the project at Barrick’s expense.
In connection with this announcement, Carpathian’s President and CEO Dino Titaro said, “We view the transaction with Barrick as a significant endorsement of the Rovina Valley Project, our exploration team and Romania as a country with world-class mining potential. Equally important is the fact that these added funds together with access to Barrick’s expertise will provide a major step up in Carpathian’s development plans for the Rovina Valley Project.”
Upon closing of the Private Placement, Barrick will own approximately 9.0% of the Corporation’s issued capital. Except in certain circumstances, for as long as Barrick does not sell any Common Shares where its interest would fall below 8.5% in the share capital of the Corporation following the disposition, Barrick will have the right to participate in any future equity offerings by the Corporation to maintain its pro-rata share ownership and a right of first refusal, at the asset level only, on any disposition or sale of the Corporation’s Romanian assets.
By way of an agreement entered into in connection with the acquisition by the Corporation of its RDM Project in Brazil, Zoneplan Limited and Repalla Inc. have a period of ten days during which they may elect to participate in a contemporaneous private placement under the same pricing terms in order to maintain their respective interests in the Corporation. In the event where such election is made up to its full allotment, the Corporation may issue approximately an additional 12.0 million common shares.
Closing of the Private Placement which is expected to take place on or about August 1, 2011 is subject to the customary conditions and regulatory approvals, including stock exchange approval.
Rovina Valley Project (RVP) Background
RVP is comprised of three Au-Cu porphyry systems (Rovina, Colnic and Ciresata), which were discovered by the Corporation. From 2006 to 2008, 181 diamond drill holes totaling 71,375 m have been completed on the project prior to the present drilling program. In late 2008, PEG Mining Consultants Inc. (“PEG”) completed a NI 43-101 resource estimate (“2008 Resource”).
A detailed NI 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) was released on March 23, 2010. The PEA was completed by PEG, which led a consortium of specialists assembled for the study. The PEA, utilized conventional open-pit mining for the Colnic and Rovina deposits with the Ciresata deposit mined by bulk-underground methods. Ore processing will utilize industry-standard crush-grind and flotation process at a rate of 40,000 tonnes per day to produce a gold-rich saleable copper concentrate. This process does not require the use of cyanide. The study considered a 19 year mine-life over which a total of 6.22 million Au-eq ounces would be produced. At metal prices of US$1,250/oz gold and US$3.00/lb copper the study arrived at a pre-tax NPV of US $870 million based on a 10% discount rate. Further details of the study are presented in previous news releases of the Corporation.
According to the cautionary statement required by NI 43-101, it should be noted that this PEA is preliminary in nature as it includes inferred mineral resources that cannot be categorized as reserves at this time and as such there is no certainty that the preliminary assessment and economics will be realized. The full Study of the PEA is available on www.SEDAR.com.
The Corporation is an exploration and development company whose primary business interest is developing near-term gold production on its 100% owned Riacho dos Machados Gold Project in Brazil, which is currently focusing on activities surrounding permitting and construction, along with progressing its exploration and development plans on its 100% owned Rovina Valley Au-Cu Project located in Romania. On a company wide basis, the Corporation currently hosts NI 43-101 resources of 4.0 million ounces of gold in the measured plus indicated categories and 4.5 million ounces of gold in the inferred category, as well as 759.1 million pounds of copper in the measured plus indicated category and 663.1 million pounds of copper in the inferred category.
The Riacho dos Machados Gold Project is targeted to produce in the order of +/-100,000 ounces of gold per annum, with construction targeted by management to be initiated by mid 2011 with an anticipated goal for the commencement of production in late 2012 or early 2013. The Rovina Valley Project will enhance the Corporation’s growth profile as a mid-tier gold producer.