CATAMARCA, Argentina WHEATON RIVER MINERALS has completed the acquisition of Rio Tinto's 25% interest in the Bajo de la Alumbrera gold-copper mine. The investment makes it, says Wheaton River, Canada's eighth largest gold producer with projected 2003 production (annualized) of 458,500 oz Au equivalent.
To finance the acquisition, Wheaton River raised $33.5 million in what is believed to be the largest gold equity financing done in Canada.
The Alumbrera mine is located in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains at an elevation of 2,600 m. It is one of the largest copper mines in the world, and was profiled in CMJ's February 2000 issue (www.canadianminingjournal.com/issues/past_issues.asp). The latest reserve figures (June 30, 2002) stand at 372 million tonnes averaging 0.53% Cu and 0.61 g/t Au.
The Alumbrera mine is jointly owned by MIM Holdings (50%) of Australia, BHP Billiton (25%) of Australia, and Wheaton River of Vancouver, B.C. An excellent capsule description of the project is available at www.mim.com.au by clicking on Products and Operations, then on the map location for Alumbrera.