MONTREAL - Cliffs Natural Resources of Cleveland, OH, has made a $4.9-billion all-cash bid to acquire Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines, the company that recently put the Bloom Lake iron ore mine near Fermont, QC, into production. Cliffs is offering $17.25 per share which represents a premium of 30% to Thompson's closing share price on Jan. 10, 2011.
The offer has the unanimous consent of the Consolidated Thompson board, and the largest shareholder, Wuhan Iron and Steel (19%), has agreed to support the deal. Thompson directors, senior officers and other insiders have also agreed to vote in favour of the arrangement.
The Bloom Lake mine made its first shipment to its Chinese customers in July 2010. The open pit mine and concentrator have a projected life of 30 years at the current production rate of 8.0 million tonnes of ore per year. A feasibility study has been completed for doubling the mining rate to 16.0 million t/y. The deposit has proven and probable reserves of 579.6 million tonnes with an average total iron grade of 30.0%.
Details including technical reports and photos of the project are posted at www.ConsolidatedThompson.com.