Deals this week: Rio Tinto, Areva, Highland Copper and more

29 May 2014 (Last Updated May 29th, 2014 18:30)

Rio Tinto has signed a $20bn deal with the Government of Guinea to develop the Simandou iron ore mine in the south-east of Guinea.


Rio Tinto has signed a $20bn deal with the Government of Guinea to develop the Simandou iron ore mine in the south-east of Guinea.

Under the deal, the Republic of Guinea will own a 7.5% stake in the project while partners Rio Tinto, Aluminium Corporation of China and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will own 46.57%, 41.3% and 4.625% respectively.

The deal included an investment framework for blocks three and four of Simandou.

The project also includes the construction of a new 650km railway line to transport iron ore to the coast, and a new deep-water port in the Forécariah prefecture to ship the iron ore.

Areva has entered into an agreement with the Government of Niger to pay more taxes and increase royalty rates for its mines in the country.

With the agreement, Areva will continue its uranium mining operations in the country, while Niger will receive higher tax payments as per the terms of a 2006 mining law that reduces tax exemptions.

The five-year deal will force both the parties to take appropriate measures to improve the economic and financial profitability of the uranium mines and to create more jobs in the region.

Additionally, it will allow Areva to renew the mining contracts held by its SOMAÏR and COMINAK units.

Highland Copper has signed a non-binding letter of intent with AMCI Holdings to form a joint venture (JV) for developing Highland's projects in Michigan.

Under the deal, Highland will contribute its entire interests in mineral projects in Michigan for the JV, while AMCI will contribute $45m, which will be divided in two instalments of $5m by 25 September and $40m by 15 December.

Although AMCI has completed its initial due diligence review, it is yet to complete confirmatory due diligence on the projects.

The JV agreement is subject to number of customary conditions including TSX Venture Exchange approval and all other required regulatory, corporate, security holder and third party approvals.

Alturas Minerals, a 100% Peruvian subsidiary of Alturas Minerals Corporation, has signed an agreement with the Peruvian firm Andes Generating for its 100%-owned 2,000ha Callejones mining concessions in northern Peru.

Additionally, they also agreed for the $100,000 convertible loan.

Under the five-year option agreement, Andes can earn a 100% interest in the project by spending at least $200,000 on exploration in the first three years and by making yearly cash payments of up to $0.5m to Alturas.

As part of the loan agreement, Alturas received a $100,000 loan, which carries an annual interest rate of 15% and can be paid within 12 months. The agreement, however, is subject to regulatory and TSX-V approvals.

Kapuskasing Gold has completed the purchase deal for the Borden North and Rollo gold exploration projects in Ontario, Canada.

The deal, which was signed in February, had cleared all the regulatory approvals.

The Borden North property is located in the Kapuskasing Structural Zone near Probe Mines' Borden Gold project, while the Rollo Property is situated within the Ridout Deformation Zone.

Kapuskasing Gold purchased Borden North and Rollo properties for a consideration of 600,000 and one million common shares, respectively.

Image: Several deals were signed this week. Photo: courtesy of adamr /