Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp. (“Solitario;”) (NYSE Amex:XPL) (TSX:SLR) and Ely Gold & Minerals Inc. (“Ely Gold” - including Ely Gold’s 100%-owned US subsidiary DHI US) (TSX.V:ELY) are pleased to announce that their joint venture, Mt. Hamilton LLC (“MH LLC”), has bought-down an existing 2.0% NSR royalty obligation on gold and silver production on the Mt. Hamilton gold project and has completed an initial evaluation of the Shell gold-molybdenum property optioned in the first quarter of 2011. The Shell property comprises eight strategically located mining claims on the south side of the Mt. Hamilton project area. Completion of the royalty buy-down along with the new potential on the Shell property significantly enhances overall project economics and exploration potential. Mt. Hamilton is situated at the southern end of the prolific Battle Mountain gold trend in eastern Nevada where Solitario is currently managing feasibility work.
Terms of the Royalty Reduction Purchase
MH LLC purchased the 2.0% NSR royalty for $2.52 million, consisting of $1.52 million in cash and $1.0 million by the delivery of 344,116 shares of Solitario. Solitario contributed the entire purchase price and loaned Ely Gold its 20% proportionate share. The loan to Ely Gold will bear interest at 6% per annum and will be repaid from Ely Gold’s future production proceeds. With the completion of the 2.0% NSR royalty reduction purchase, the royalty rate on gold and silver mineralization on the Mt. Hamilton gold project will be reduced to 1.0%, assuming MH LLC fully exercises its current option to further reduce the royalty from 6.0% to 1.0% for cash payments totaling $5.0 million to underlying royalty holders. The $5.0 million NSR royalty reduction option is exercisable at any time prior to commercial production. Closing of the royalty purchase, including the issuance of Solitario’s common shares, is subject to customary approvals including required regulatory approval by the NYSE Amex Equities exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.