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Western Copper and Gold announces investment by Rio Tinto

Published by
Global Mining Review,


Western Copper and Gold Corp. has announced a CAN$25.6 million strategic investment by Rio Tinto Canada Inc., which has been made in order to help advance the company’s copper-gold Casino Project in the Yukon.

Rio Tinto has agreed to subscribe for and purchase 11.8 million common shares at a price of CAN$2.17 per share for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately CAN$25.6 million, resulting in Rio Tinto owning approximately 8.0% of Western’s outstanding common shares.

“We are pleased to welcome Rio Tinto as a strategic investor in the company,” said Paul West-Sells, President and CEO. “The investment by Rio Tinto, a leading global mining group which operates in 35 countries around the world, and whose purpose is to produce the materials essential to human progress is a strong endorsement of the Casino Project. We look forward to working with Rio Tinto to advance Casino.”

Western remains the sole owner of the Casino Project and will continue to be the operator. The company will use the proceeds of the strategic investment to fund specific areas of study, which will form part of the feasibility study and permitting with the aim of progressing to a development phase for the Casino Project. The investment represents an opportunity for Rio Tinto to better understand the potential of the Casino Project.

In connection with the strategic investment by Rio Tinto, the company and Rio Tinto will enter into an investor rights agreement, whereby, subject to certain conditions, including time and ownership thresholds, Rio Tinto will have certain rights, including the right to appoint:

  • One member to a Casino Project Technical Committee.
  • One non-voting observer to attend all meetings of the board of directors of the company.
  • One director of the company, if Rio Tinto’s ownership increases to at least 12.5%.
  • Up to three secondees to the Casino Project.

In addition, Rio Tinto will have a right to participate in future equity issuances to maintain its ownership in the company and will be provided with a one-time “demand registration right” and “piggy-back registration rights.”

Under the investor rights agreement, for a period of 12 months, Rio Tinto has also agreed:

  • Not to sell, transfer, offer or otherwise dispose of any shares without first notifying the company.
  • To vote any shares in favour of each director nominated by the board of directors of the company for election by shareholders.
  • Not to acquire any securities of the company, subject to certain exceptions.

The closing of the strategic investment is expected to occur on or about 31 May 2021 and is subject to regulatory approval, including that of the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NYSE American LLC. The common shares will be subject to a statutory hold period in accordance with applicable securities legislation.

RBC Capital Markets is acting as financial advisor to Western in connection with the strategic investment by Rio Tinto.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/18052021/western-copper-and-gold-announces-investment-by-rio-tinto/

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