Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater has entered into an agreement with Regulus Resources, and its subsidiary Aldebaran Resources, to acquire a stake in the Altar copper/gold project, in San Juan, Argentina. Peregrine owns the Altar project.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sibanye’s wholly-owned subsidiary Stillwater Canada and Aldebaran, will enter into a joint venture agreement with an opportunity to earn up to 80% interest.
Mining Weekly reported that Sibanye states that the arrangement creates a “new, well-capitalised, Argentinean-focused exploration company”.
“This transaction is consistent with our strategy of maintaining our focus and investment on our core mining operations. We believe Aldebaran possesses the vision, skills and experience to unlock the considerable upside potential of the Altar project, in which we will continue to hold a meaningful interest,” commented Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman.
Interview with Santiago Saravia Frías at Saravia Frías|Cornejo Abogados
Please tell me about your involvement in the deal?
I was involved as the local lawyer of Regulus Resources Inc in Argentina. Our work basically consists in advising our client on the implementation of the Joint Venture from an Argentinean law perspective and performing a due diligence on Minera Peregrine S.A. (Sibanye/Stilwater`s Argentinean Subsidiary) and its mining titles in the Altar Project.
Being the mining rights the main assets of Minera Peregrine S.A., the most important aspect of our due diligence was focus on reviewing them to determine its good standing, whether there were encumbrances, private royalties, landowners claims/agreements, overlapping with third parties, agreements with San Juan Province, third parties claims, and the extend of the permits related to exploration activities like the scope of the environmental impact assessments approved, water rights, right of way to access to the project etc.
Why is this a good deal for all involved?
This is a good deal for all involved since with Aldebaran Resources – the operator of the mining projects -, the parties will benefit with all Regulus Resources’ successful past experience and technical knowledge. This will allow to further develop the Altar Project and hopefully carry it out to the exploitation stage. On the other hand, both parties will have interest not only in the Altar project in San Juan Province but also in others exploration projects like “Rio Grande” and “Aguas Calientes” located in Salta and Jujuy Province respectively, which also have the potential to add value to the new company.
What challenges arose? How did you navigate them?
The main challenge was to have the due diligence finished on time. Our client wanted to have a preliminary opinion on the main contingencies and on the good standing of the mining rights in few days, in order to decide whether to enter or not in formal negotiations. To accomplish this, I personally travelled to Mendoza Province where Sibanye-Stilwater’s subsidiary is registered to review the documents at their office and interview the local lawyers and officers. Then I went to San Juan Province and review in situ, most of the documents and files related to the mining rights and permits. Eventually we were able to give this preliminary opinion on time.