Zijin Mining invests $97 million in Solaris Resources for a 15% stake

Solaris Resources’ Warintza project in Ecuador. Credit: Solaris Resources

An affiliate of Chinese Zijin Mining Group is investing about C$130 million (about $97m) in Solaris Resources (TSX: SLS) via the recent private placement of common shares. Solaris intends to use the funds to advance its flagship Warintza copper project in southeast Ecuador.

Zijin will purchase approximately 28.5 million shares of Solaris at a price of C$4.55 each, a 14% premium to the closing price at the end of day Jan. 10. Upon closing, Zijin will own about 15% of the Canadian company and will appoint a member of the board.

The Warintza property is located close to all infrastructure, including the hydroelectric power grid. The in-pit indicated resource is 379 million tonnes grading 0.47% copper, 0.03% molybdenum, and 0.05 g/t gold (0.59% copper equivalent). The indicated resource is 887 million tonnes at 0.39% copper, 0.01% molybdenum, and 0.04 g/t gold (0.47% copper equivalent).

Solaris has also outlined a high-grade starter pit at Warintza central of 180 million indicated tonnes grading 0.67% copper, 0.03% molybdenum, and 0.07 g/t gold (0.82% copper equivalent). There are also 107 million inferred tonnes at 0.64% copper, 0.02% molybdenum, and 0.05 g/t gold (0.73% copper equivalent.

The company says it plans to publish updated resource numbers by the middle of this year.

The Warintza deposit was discovered by David Lowell in 2000 but sat dormant for two decades due to a breakdown in social acceptance from local communities. In mid-2019, Solaris undertook extensive dialogue to understand the root causes of conflict and to resolve them. An impact and benefits agreement was signed in 2020 and updated in 2022.

Solaris Resources’ stock was up 4.2% midday Thursday in Toronto, capitalizing the company at C$625.1 million ($466.1m)