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Rio Tinto invests in Arizona Sonoran Copper

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Global Mining Review,

Arizona Sonoran Copper Co. Inc. (ASCU), an emerging US-based copper developer and near-term producer, has entered into a strategic partnership with Rio Tinto, focused on the company’s NutonTM venture and a non-brokered private placement.

Nuton offers a portfolio of proprietary copper leach related technologies and capability, developed by Rio Tinto to deliver increased copper recovery and leading environmental performance.

ASCU is conducting a structured non-brokered private placement for up to CAN$30.5 million gross proceeds, including Rio Tinto and Tembo Capital Elim Co-Investment LP. Rio Tinto will subscribe for 6.4 million common shares and Tembo will subscribe for just over 3.9 million common shares. An aggregate of up to approximately 15.2 million ASCU common shares will be issued at a price of CAN$2.00 per common share under the offering. The subscription price represents a 3.4% discount to the closing price of common shares as at 27 April 2022, and a 1.26% discount to the five-day volume weighted average price as at close of 27 April 2022.

Upon completion of the offering in full, Rio Tinto is expected to hold 7.4% of the outstanding share capital of the company, and although participating in the offering, Tembo will reduce its holding from 37.6% to 35.5% in the company.

The common shares issued under the offering will be subject to a statutory hold period under applicable Canadian securities laws, expiring four months and one day from the date of closing.

Cactus is a brownfield copper mine located on private land in western Pinal County, Arizona, that benefits from significant infrastructure including onsite power and water from and ready access to additional infrastructure.

George Ogilvie, President and Chief Executive Officer of ASCU comments:

“We are thrilled to introduce Rio Tinto as a key shareholder of ASCU and endorsement of the project’s potential by a major industry player. We are also thankful for our continued support from current shareholders, including Tembo in this capital raise. This private placement provides the company with significantly more capital to explore opportunities to deliver scale to the main project, by way of intensive exploration at Parks/Salyer (P/S) and metallurgical testing of the primary chalcopyrite material at Cactus, which is not currently in the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) mine plan.”

Clayton Walker, Chief Operating Officer of Rio Tinto Copper said:

“This investment will allow Rio Tinto to work with ASCU to assess the potential for deploying our innovative Nuton copper leaching technologies at Cactus. Nuton provides the opportunity to unlock additional copper and deliver environmental benefits including a low carbon footprint and reduced waste.”

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