Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp. (“Solitario;” NYSE MKT:
) and Ely Gold & Minerals (“Ely Gold;” TSX.V:
) are pleased to announce that the joint venture has received the second and final payment of $4.0 million from Sandstorm Gold (NYSE MKT:
) for the sale of a NSR royalty on its Mt. Hamilton gold-silver project in Nevada. On June 11, 2012 Solitario announced the sale of a 2.4% NSR royalty for $10.0 million and received an initial US$6.0 million payment from Sandstorm. The Mt. Hamilton gold project, located in Nevada, U.S.A., is held by Mt. Hamilton LLC (“MH-LLC”) that is 80%-owned by Solitario and 20%-owned by Ely.
As part of the agreement with Sandstorm, MH-LLC has an option to repurchase up to 100% of the NSR for US$12 million, provided that Solitario enters into a gold stream agreement with Sandstorm that has an upfront deposit of no less than US$30 million. This option expires on December 11, 2014. In addition, MH-LLC has provided Sandstorm with a right of first refusal on any future royalty or gold stream financing for the Mt. Hamilton project.
Mt. Hamilton Project Update
In 2012 Solitario achieved important milestones on its Mt. Hamilton gold project in Nevada. These included:
- In February the Mt. Hamilton Feasibility Study was completed
- In June and August we secured important project financing from Sandstorm Gold and RMB Australia Holdings Limited, respectively
- In September we added new resources in the Seligman area
- In the second half of 2012 we completed field work necessary to evaluate the economic viability of the Seligman resource
- In November the Plan of Operations was filed with the U.S. Forest Service
In 2013 our focus will be on environmental permitting to allow for project construction and subsequent gold and silver production. Other activities include metallurgical testing of Seligman mineralization and exploration drilling in the Wheeler Ridge area that lies immediately south of the Centennial deposit. The Wheeler Ridge zone displays a large gold in soils anomaly that measures approximately 5,000 feet long and up to 1,000 feet wide. Only a very small area of this significant soil anomaly has been drill tested.