EMX has been participating in the advancement of the Malmyzh porphyry copper-gold project since identifying IG Copper LLC ("IGC") as an early-stage strategic investment opportunity in 2011. The Malmyzh exploration and mining licenses, located in Russia's Far East, were held by IGC and Freeport-McMoran Exploration Corporation, with IGC operating and managing the project. In October 2018, Malmyzh was sold to Russian Copper Company (“RCC”), a privately held, leading copper producer in the Russian Federation for US $200 million. Of this amount, US $190 million was released from escrow, with the remaining US $10 million to be held in escrow and released subject to certain conditions over the next 12 months (see EMX news release dated October 11, 2018). The initial cash distribution to EMX by IGC will be US $65 million. A second cash distribution to EMX (up to US $4 million) will be completed upon the remaining funds being released from escrow.
Malmyzh was rapidly advanced from a grassroots exploration discovery into an important district-scale porphyry copper-gold project. IGC's drill campaigns intersected porphyry copper-gold mineralization at fifteen separate target areas. The majority of the drill meters were concentrated on defining the Valley, Freedom (Southeast), Central, and Flats deposits on nominal 200 meter centers. The open pit constrained inferred resources for these four deposits at a 0.30% copper equivalent cut-off are 1,661 million tonnes at average grades of 0.34% copper and 0.17 g/t gold, or 0.42% copper equivalent, containing 5.65 million tonnes (12.45 billion pounds) copper and 9.11 million ounces gold, or 7.06 million tonnes (15.56 billion pounds) copper equivalent*.
EMX congratulates IGC on its outstanding accomplishments, including the early-stage exploration work leading to the discovery of the Malmyzh district, the completion of demanding work programs that advanced the project according to the requirements of the Russian Federation, as well as western reporting standards, and the execution of the process that culminated in the sale of the project to RCC. These achievements were made possible by steady guidance from IGC's Board of Managers, and the ongoing support of IGC's investors.
EMX also expresses its genuine appreciation to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Rosnedra (Federal Agency for Subsoil Use), Dalnedra (Regional Agency for Subsoil Use) and the governments of the Russian Federation for the strong support given in advancing Malmyzh as an exceptional mineral deposit asset with world-class potential. Russia strongly encourages mining investment and development, particularly in its Far East Krais (administrative regions). This encouragement is evidenced not only by long standing support of the Malmyzh project, but also by region-wide investment and tax incentives.
The closing of the Malmyzh sale is a milestone event for EMX, and the Company will continue to focus its efforts on achieving future successes in building value for its shareholders.
* Phil Newall, PhD, BSc, CEng, FIMMM, a Qualified Person under NI 43-101 and managing director of Wardell Armstrong International, an independent UK based consulting company, provided the statement of Malmyzh open pit constrained Inferred Resources effective as of May 1, 2015 under NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects and CIM definition standards. Copper equivalent was calculated as CuEq% = Cu% + (Au g/t x 0.5), and assumed prices of $3.25/lb Cu and $1400/oz Au, with recoveries of 90% Cu and 70% Au. For more information on the CuEq calculation, exploration results, QA/QC procedures, and methodology used to estimate the Malmyzh inferred resources. See EMX news release dated May 26, 2015, and SEDAR filed report titled "NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Initial Mineral Resource Estimate for the Malmyzh Copper-Gold Project, Khabarovsk Krai, Russian Federation" with an effective date of May 1, 2015 and filing date of July 10, 2015 (which can be downloaded here).