Historic plant on Candelaria Mining’s Pinos Project in the Zacatecas mining belt in north-central Mexico. Credit: Candelaria Mining
Empress Royalty (TSXV: EMPR) has made an impressive start for a company in just six months.
Since its creation in July 2020, the global precious metals royalty and streaming investment company has already built a portfolio of 14 precious metal royalties, 13 of which are exploration-stage gold royalties in Canada.
These include near term producer Calendaria Mining’s (TSXV: CAND) Pinos project in Mexico, Osisko Mining’s (TSX: OSK) Windfall East gold project in Quebec, and the Destiny gold project in Quebec and Oxford Gold project in Manitoba, both operated by Big Ridge Gold (TSXV: BRAU).
At the end of December, Empress also started trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol EMPR.
The company, says president and CEO Alexandra Woodyer Sherron, an industry expert with over 20 years of mining experience who has completed over US$1.5 billion in financings, offers “unique financing solutions” for small to mid-tier gold and silver mining companies that require additional capital.
“We’re focused on investing in development and production stage projects by providing financing to mining companies that require non-dilutive capital,” she said. “By investing in quality cash and near-term cash producing assets, we will be able to generate the necessary cash flow to start paying out dividends to our shareholders.”
The company’s approach, she continued, allows it to create royalty and streaming investments instead of competing for and purchasing existing ones.
Empress generates revenue in two ways. Firstly, through a royalty which allows it to receive payments based on a percentage of gold or silver produced at a mine or the revenues or profits generated from the sale of those metals at a mine in exchange for an initial investment. Streaming provides the company with the second revenue source by offering it the right to purchase all, or a portion, of the gold or silver produced from a mine in exchange for an upfront payment and an additional payment upon the metals’ delivery at a price determined by the purchase agreement.
“What makes us stand out from our peers are the strategic partnerships we have developed with Endeavour Financial, based in London, Terra Capital in Australia, and Accendo Banco in Mexico,” Sherron said.
Through these partnerships, she added, the company benefits from expertise in mining finance, deal structure, and capital finance and gains access to capital markets and global investment opportunities.
The partnership with Accendo Banco is already bearing fruit.
Last November, Empress acquired its first near-term cash producing investment with a royalty on Candelaria Mining’s Pinos gold and silver project in Mexico, which is slated for production in the first quarter of 2022.
The development-stage project is located in the high-grade gold and silver district of the Zacatecas mining belt in north-central Mexico, the second-largest gold producing district in the country, with historical production of over 800,000 oz. of gold with average grades of 30-50 grams gold per tonne.
Under the investment, Empress acquired a combined 1% net smelter return (NSR) royalty on Pinos for a US$1.5 million payment. The acquisition combines a newly created 0.5% NSR royalty for a US$750,000 investment and the purchase of an additional 0.5% NSR royalty on the project from an existing royalty holder on the same terms and conditions.
“We are delighted to be involved in the Pinos project, which is one of our flagship assets and is a good example of how we’re able to deploy capital,” Sherron said. “This is our first investment in Mexico and came directly as a result of our alliance with Accendo, which provides us with exclusive access to royalty and streaming investment opportunities in the country.”
In addition to its current assets, the company is progressing a potential gold royalty investment in Mozambique, targeted for production in quarter three of this year, and a silver streaming opportunity in Mexico.
It is also evaluating over 20 projects globally, with potential investments valued at over US$50 million. The company has term sheets out on several of these opportunities, with investments ranging from US$1 to US$10 million.
“We currently have around US$7.5 million in cash and no debt, warrants, or options,” Sherron said. “We plan to raise additional capital to fund our pipeline of projects and are also seeking other investment opportunities to generate further revenue.”
— The preceding Joint-Venture Article is PROMOTED CONTENT sponsored by EMPRESS ROYALTY and produced in cooperation with The Canadian Mining Journal. Visit www.empressroyalty.com for more information.