Excelsior Mining has decided to proceed with construction at the Gunnison Copper Project in Arizona, US after securing $75m in project financing from Triple Flag Mining Finance Bermuda.

Excelsior

Image: Native copper piece. Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Zander/Wikipedia.org

The project financing includes a $65m copper metal stream and a concurrent $10m private placement of Excelsior’s common shares.

Through the financing, Excelsior has received $20m initially. The remaining amount will be paid by Triple Flag in installments to the mining company, as it expands or allocates the previously received funds for the construction of the project.

As part of the share acquisition, Excelsior has issued Triple Flag 13.8 million common shares for a price of $10m, which equates to C$0.95 ($0.72) per share.

Excelsior Mining president and CEO Stephen Twyerould said: “With this comprehensive financing package, Excelsior will initiate construction activities at the Gunnison Copper Project before year-end.

“With the two crucial milestones of permitting and construction financing now behind us, we look forward to unlocking the remarkable economics of this project as we advance towards first copper production from the wellfield in 2019.”

The Phoenix, Arizona-based mining company had also issued 3.5 million five-year common share purchase warrants for Triple Flag, whose five year term started on 30 November this year, which entitle Triple Flag to buy 3.5 million common shares of Excelsior at a strike price of C$1.50 ($1.14) per share.

Excelsior Mining board chairman Mark Morabito said: “With access to over $75m in capital, Excelsior is ideally positioned to start construction this year, and we are supremely confident in the ability of our management team to execute and maintain our construction schedule.

“I want to thank our project financing partners, Triple Flag and Greenstone Resources for their commitment and support as we now move towards first production in 2019.”

Located in Cochise County, southeastern Arizona, the Gunnison Copper Project covers an area of about 9,500 acres. The project’s probable reserves are estimated at 775.4Mt, grading 0.29% Cu and containing 4.5Blbs of copper.

The project’s technical work is supervised by Twyerould, who is a fellow of AUSIMM and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.