Automaker Stellantis and Nuton, a Rio Tinto venture, have increased their stakes in McEwen Copper, a subsidiary of Canadian gold and silver producer McEwen Mining.

McEwen Copper owns the Los Azules copper project in San Juan, Argentina, and the Elder Creek project in Nevada, US.

Stellantis has made an additional investment of 42bn pesos ($120m) to increase its stake in McEwen Copper to 19.4%.

It will acquire McEwen Copper shares in a private placement of 1,900,000 common shares.

In February 2023, Stellantis invested $155m to acquire a 14.2% stake in McEwen Copper.

Furthermore, Nuton will make an additional investment of $10m to increase its stake in McEwen Copper from its current 14.2% interest.

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By GlobalData

Nuton’s investment will be made in a two-part transaction, which includes private placement of 52,615 McEwen Copper common shares, and the purchase of 232,000 common shares owned by McEwen Mining in a secondary sale.

The proceeds from Stellantis and Nuton are due to be used by McEwen Copper to advance the Los Azules project development and for general corporate purposes.

The transaction, which is expected to close by 19 October 2023, values McEwen Copper at around $800m.

Nuton will own a 14.5% stake in McEwen Copper on a fully diluted basis. McEwen Mining will own a 47.7% interest.

Among the other shareholders are Rob McEwen (12.9%) and Victor Smorgon Group (3.2%).

Located around 80km west-north-west of Calingasta, the Los Azules advanced-stage porphyry copper exploration project is expected to produce an annual average of 322 million pounds of copper cathode.

As per the updated preliminary economic assessment, the project has mine life of 27 years.