Completion of the acquisition of the Sarama Resources Liberian licences and grant of options to directors and employees
TORONTO, Jan. 6, 2016 /CNW/ - Aureus Mining Inc., ("Aureus" or the "Company"), the TSX and AIM listed West African Gold Producer, is pleased to announce that the Company has completed the previously announced acquisition of three exploration licences from Sarama Investments Limited ("Sarama"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sarama Resources Ltd, for a total consideration of 6,645,070 Aureus common shares ("Shares").
The acquired licences are contiguous to the Company's Bea Mountain Mining Licence and are located close to the New Liberty Gold Mine. As a result of the acquisition, the Company's total land portfolio in Liberia has increased to 1,683 Km2 from 1,402Km2. A map of the Company's licence holding, including the newly acquired licences can be found at the link below:
On initial closing 5,648,310 Shares have been issued to Sarama, with the remaining 996,760 Shares retained and not issued until the required withholding tax clearance certificate is obtained. Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange for admission to trading of the first tranche of 5,648,310 Shares on AIM ("Admission"). It is expected that Admission of the first tranche of Shares issued to Sarama will become effective on or around the 7 January 2016, and the Shares will be subject to a statutory four month hold period from the date of issue (the second tranche of Shares will also be subject to a statutory four month hold period from the date of issue).
Accordingly, the figure of 541,816,572 may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in the Company under the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
Issue of Options
The Company also announces that, pursuant to its Stock Option Plan, it has granted incentive stock options to certain directors and employees of the Company as part of its annual incentive stock option programme. The stock options were granted on 4 January 2016 over a total of 11,796,000 common shares, representing approximately 2.18% of the issued share capital of the Company at an exercise price of GBP 0.0562 per share, being equal to the closing price of the common shares on 4 January 2016 on AIM. 1,150,000 of the stock options are exercisable immediately and the remainder vest over the next two years upon completion of certain vesting conditions. The stock options issued are capable of being exercised up to 5 January 2021.
The allocation of stock options to directors was as follows:
|Director||Position||New Options Issued||Total Options Held Following This Announcement||Current Shareholding in Aureus||Current Shareholding as a Percentage of Current Issued Share Capital|
|David Reading||President & CEO||1,200,000||4,150,000||1,090,805||0.20%|
These options were issued for nil consideration.
Correction - Please note that the total number of shares owned by Mrs. Karin Ireton was incorrectly stated in the press releases dated 30 November, and 9 December 2015. Mrs. Karin Ireton had an existing beneficial shareholding of 52,000 common shares and purchased another 80,000 common shares on 9 December 2015. The correct number as to the total shares owned by Mrs. Karin Ireton is 132,000 common shares as shown in the table above.
About Aureus Mining Inc.
The Company's assets include the New Liberty Gold Mine in Liberia (the "New Liberty Gold Mine," "New Liberty" or the "mine") which has an estimated proven and probable mineral reserve of 8.5 Mt with 924,000 ounces of gold grading 3.4 g/t and an estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 9,796 Kt with 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.63 g/t and an estimated inferred mineral resource of 5,730 Kt with 593,000 ounces of gold grading 3.2 g/t. A Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") has been completed, the first gold pour has taken place and work continues on commissioning the plant for full scale commercial production. The mine is expected to have an 8 year life and annual production of 119,000 ounces for the first 6 years of production. The foregoing mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated March 25, 2015 and entitled "New Liberty Gold Project, Bea Mountain Mining Licence Southern Block, Liberia, West Africa, Definitive Project Plan."
The New Liberty Gold Mine is located within the Southern Block of the 100% owned Bea Mountain mining licence. This licence covers 478 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Bea Mountain mining license also hosts additional gold projects of Ndablama, Gondoja, Weaju and Leopard Rock which are the focus of exploration programs during 2016. Ndablama has an indicated mineral resource of 386,000 ounces of gold grading 1.6 g/t and inferred mineral resource of 515,000 ounces of gold grading 1.7 g/t and Weaju has an inferred mineral resource of 178,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t. The Yambesei (759 km2), Archaen West (112.6 km2), Mabong (36.6 km2) and Mafa West (15.6 km2) licences will also be subject to preliminary reconnaissance geological work. The foregoing mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated December 1, 2014 and entitled "Ndablama and Weaju Gold Projects, Bea Mountain Mining Licence, Northern Block, Technical Report on Mineral Resources" ("Ndablama and Weaju Technical Report 2014").
The Company also has a gold exploration permit in Cameroon.
The Company's Qualified Person is David Reading, who holds a MSc in Economic Geology from University of Waterloo, Canada and is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. David Reading is the President and CEO of Aureus Mining Inc. and has reviewed and approves this press release.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain information in this news release relating to Aureus is forward-looking and related to anticipated events and strategies. When used in this context, words such as "will", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "intend", "target" and "expect" or similar words suggest future outcomes. Forward-looking information contained in this press release includes, but may not be limited to, statements or information relating to: the New Liberty Gold Project (including the quantity and quality of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates), the potential to upgrade inferred mineral resources, opportunities to optimize the New Liberty Gold Project, the ability of the Company to develop the New Liberty Gold Project into a mine and the proposed new plans relating thereto regarding operations and mine design, future gold production, and future cash flows, the expected mine life of the New Liberty Gold Project, progress in the fight against Ebola and the anticipated exploration and development activities of Aureus. By their nature, such statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including: risks normally incidental to exploration and development of mineral properties; the inability of the Company to obtain required financing when needed and/or on acceptable terms or at all; risks that the cost of implementing the new mine plan at the New Liberty Gold Project and the operating cash costs of the New liberty Gold Project exceed those estimated in the new mine plan; uncertainties in the interpretation of results from drilling and test work; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with expectations; regulatory and government decisions; the possibility that future drawdowns under the loan facilities may not be available; construction of the New Liberty Gold Project being delayed and/ or over budget; economic conditions; availability and cost of financing; estimates of capital and operating costs and start-up costs; plans regarding construction activities; risks related to the Ebola crisis; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors including, but not limited to, those listed under "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form dated March 26, 2015, a copy of which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and in the Aureus Mining Admission Document, a copy of which is available at www.aureus–mining.com. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information as actual results could differ materially from the plans, expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking information. Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable law, Aureus disclaims any obligation to update or modify such forward-looking information, either as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.
With respect to forward looking information contained in this news release, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: general business, economic and mining industry conditions; interest rates and foreign exchange rates; mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates; geological and metallurgical assumptions (including with respect to the size, grade and recoverability of mineral resources and mineral reserves) and cost estimates on which the mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are based; the parameters and assumptions employed in the New Liberty Technical Report, (including but not limited to, those relating to construction, future mining and operating costs, processing and recovery rates, net present values and internal rates of return, timing for the commencement of production, tax and royalty rates, future gold prices, metallurgical rates, pit design, operations and management, grades, the base case analysis and the proposed budget for further exploration plans and objectives); the supply and demand for commodities and precious and base metals and the level and volatility of the prices of gold; market competition; the ability of the Company to raise sufficient funds from capital markets and/or debt to meet its future obligations and planned activities; the business of the Company including the continued exploration of its properties; the political environments and legal and regulatory frameworks in Liberia and Cameroon with respect to, among other things, the ability of the Company to obtain, maintain, renew and/or extend required permits, licences, authorizations and/or approvals from the appropriate regulatory authorities and the ability of the Company to continue to obtain qualified staff and equipment in a timely and cost-efficient manner to meet its demand. Assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable by Aureus at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect.
Any mineral resource and mineral reserve figures referred to in this press release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of minerals will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While the Company believes that the mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates in respect of its properties are well established, by their nature mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on the Company. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
SOURCE Aureus Mining Inc.