SSR Mining will make an upfront cash payment of $120m upon closing, to acquire a 10% interest, and will also pay an additional $150m in earn-in structured cash milestone payments to acquire an additional 30% interest in the project

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Start of initial earthworks at the Hod Maden site. (Credit: Business Wire)

SSR Mining has signed an agreement to acquire up to 40% interest and operatorship of the Hod Maden gold-copper development project, located in north-eastern Türkiye.

The Canadian mining company is purchasing the stake from Lidya Mines and Horizon Copper, which own a 70% and 30% interest in Hod Maden, respectively.

Under the terms of the agreement, SSR Mining will make an upfront cash payment of $120m upon closing, to acquire a 10% interest in the project.

The company will also pay an additional $150m in earn-in structured cash milestone payments to acquire an additional 30% interest in the project.

The milestone payment is payable upon scheduled beginning at the start of construction and one year after the start of commercial production.

With the upfront cash payment made on closing, SSR Mining now serves as sole project operator responsible for project development, construction and operations.

Upon completion of the milestone payments, SSR Mining will own 40% of the project.

SSR Mining president and CEO Rod Antal said: “We have been closely monitoring Hod Maden for well over seven years as it has progressed through critical development and permitting milestones, largely de-risking the Project as it approaches a construction decision in 2024.

“Following our review and after discussions with our joint venture partners, we believe there are several positive operational value levers as well as exploration potential beyond the existing life of mine plan that was presented in the 2021 Feasibility Study.

“We will now spend the next twelve months updating the existing technical report for these value enhancing opportunities, as well as to account for changes in market conditions.”

Upon completion of the earn-in structured cash milestone payments, SSR Mining will own 40% of the project, while Lidya Mines and Horizon will own 30% each.

SSR Mining has now assumed the sole operatorship of Hod Maden, with plans to advance the project development, construction, and operations.

Hod Maden is a high-grade and high-margin asset located in the Artvin province of Turkey, in the Eastern Pontides metallogenic belt that contains gold-copper mineralisation.

The project has a 13-year mine life, can produce two million ounces of gold and 255 million pounds of copper, and will further enhance SSR Mining’s free cash flow generation.

SSR Mining said that the transaction will generate an attributable 80,000 gold equivalent ounces and $66m in cash flow annually.

Antal added: “We are excited for the outcome, which delivers our stakeholders exposure to what we believe is one of the most compelling undeveloped gold-copper projects in the world.

“It is clear that Hod Maden is one of the highest margin, lowest capital intensity projects in the sector, and once operational should be a meaningful free cash flow contributor to the SSR Mining business as our fifth producing asset.

“Our proven project development team will work to advance Hod Maden to a full construction decision in 2024 with a goal of delivering the first production in 2027.”