Candelaria Mining Corp (CVE:CAND) (OTCPINK:CDELF) announced Monday it is acquiring a 50% interest in a Georgian metal project and hiring a new CEO in former Empire Metals Ltd executive Mike Struthers.
The firm inked a deal to acquire Empire’s subsidiary GMC Investments Ltd, which holds a 50% interest in the Bolnisi gold and copper project in the Republic of Georgia. Bolnisi spans an 860-square-kilometre area in the prolific Tethyan belt, which hosts numerous high-grade deposits and producing mines.
Struthers, who currently holds the CEO position at Empire Metals, comes to Vancouver-based Candelaria with over 40 years of international mining experience, including seven years as a projects director with Lundin Mining Corporation.
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In addition to the new CEO’s appointment, Candelaria said it is welcoming economic geologist and former Lundin executive Neil O’Brien to its board of directors. Both appointments subject to the closing of the Empire transaction, expected in December.
“We are very pleased and looking forward to having Mr Struthers and Dr O’Brien join our team,” Candelaria president Ramon Perez said in a statement.
“They bring very valuable experience and expertise in exploration and development of precious metals assets on a global basis to our company. We look forward to drawing upon this experience as we continue to build a portfolio of mining projects and step up the development and exploration activities even further.”
The acquisition of the interest in the Bolnisi project provides Candelaria exposure to an emerging gold-copper district, Perez said, adding that the company can realize the “full potential” of the project under the leadership of Struthers and O’Brien.
Under the terms of the deal, Candelaria will pay C$2 million worth of shares priced at C$0.50 to Empire. The company will pay an additional C$1 million in shares once a reserves report on the Kvemo Bolnisi East project is approved by the State Reserves Committee in Georgia, and an additional C$2 million in shares once there is a NI 43-101 technical report on the Dambludi project or another project that is not Kvemo Bolnisi East. Both payments will be calculated in shares based on the previous 10-day average closing price.
In addition, Candelaria will pay another C$2 million in shares upon the completion of a feasibility study and final investment decision on Kvemo Bolnisi East.
The deal is subject to a right-of-first-refusal clause in favour of Empire’s Georgian partner Caucasian Mining Group Ltd.
Candelaria currently owns 100% of the Caballo Blanco project and the Pinos gold project, both in Mexico.
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