VANCOUVER, British Columbia, October 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Capstone Mining Corp. ("Capstone") (TSX: CS) has completed the previously announced acquisition of the Pinto Valley copper mine and the associated San Manuel Arizona Railroad Company from BHP Copper Inc., a subsidiary of BHP Billiton Ltd. ("BHP Billiton").
"The closing of the Pinto Valley acquisition advances us as one of the leading intermediate copper producers, with a focus in the Americas," said Darren Pylot, President and CEO of Capstone. "Following the closing of the transaction, we have retained considerable financial flexibility with a very conservative capital structure."
The purchase price of US$650 million was funded from cash and Capstone's credit facilities.Operations The restart of the Pinto Valley Mine, which commenced in December 2012, is continuing with a targeted run-rate of 50,800 tonnes per day by the end of 2013 with annualized production of 130 million to 150 million pounds of copper per year. Capstone will commence reporting full operating and production information for Pinto Valley with its fourth quarter report. An experienced workforce remains in place, with 98% of Pinto Valley's 650 employees accepting Capstone's offer of employment, including all key positions. Steve Winkelmann, formerly Capstone's VP of North American Operations, has been appointed Pinto Valley's Mine General Manager and has been on site shadowing his BHP Billiton counterpart since early September. Steve has 40 years of mining experience including large mining operations, primarily in the US and most recently in Arizona. Next Steps The Capstone Pinto Valley team will initially focus on continuing to ramp up production levels and the integration of the operations to achieve our targets. At the same time leadership will identify opportunities for cost reduction, reliability enhancement and throughput maximization.