TORONTO, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Wallbridge Mining Company Limited (TSX: WM, FWB: WC7) announced today that through the exercise of its existing participation rights it has completed the purchase of 7,456,420 shares of Duluth Metals Limited ("Duluth Metals"). The purchase was financed under a bridge financing and the subsequent sale of 5,172,500 of Wallbridge's existing Duluth shares to institutional investors, which generated sufficient funds to effect the purchase.
As a result of these transactions, Wallbridge has increased its holdings in Duluth Metals by about 23% from 10,000,001 shares to 12,283,921 shares, representing approximately 12.9% of the issued and outstanding shares of Duluth Metals.
"We are particularly pleased to be able to increase our percentage ownership of Duluth Metals," stated Warren Holmes, Chairman of Wallbridge. "Not only does Duluth Metals have an exceptional deposit, but now through its recent joint venture agreement with Antofagasta plc ("Antofagasta") (LSE: ANTO.GB), it also has a first class partner to support the financing and execution risk on this very large project. The management of Duluth is to be commended on bringing this former Wallbridge project to this stage, and now securing the financing and execution capabilities to advance the project through feasibility to production. This has created tremendous value for Wallbridge and Wallbridge shareholders."
Duluth Metals was created in late 2005, when Wallbridge management decided to spin out its Minnesota Property into a new company. As part of the spin out transaction Wallbridge shareholders of record as at November 15, 2005 received a Special Warrant dividend of 1 Special Warrant for every four shares of Wallbridge held. These Special Warrants converted to free trading shares of Duluth Metals upon completion of its IPO in October 2006. In addition, for its part in the transaction,Wallbridge received 10 million shares of Duluth Metals.
Since 2006 Duluth Metals has defined a NI 43-101 compliant resource on the properties consisting of 550 million tonnes of Indicated Resources grading 0.639% copper, 0.200% nickel, 0.660 grams per tonne TPM (TPM = Pt + Pd + Au) for a copper equivalent (CuEq) grade of 1.51%, plus an additional 274 million tonnes of Inferred Resources grading 0.632% copper, 0.207% nickel, 0.685 grams per tonne TPM for a CuEq grade of 1.53%. It has also completed two preliminary economic assessments or scoping studies, which demonstrated the viability of the deposit at production rates of 20,000 and 40,000 tonnes per day. In January 2010, Duluth Metals announced it has signed a binding heads of agreement with Antofagasta on a joint venture which provides funding and financing commitments of up to US $227 million to advance development of the project.
The Duluth Metals shares remain a core holding for Wallbridge. In addition to its 12.9% share holding, Wallbridge retains the participation right to increase its holding to 15.67% of the fully diluted shares of Duluth through participation in future equity issuances.
About Wallbridge Mining
Wallbridge Mining Company Limited's primary focus is the exploration of nickel, copper and platinum group element ("PGE") deposits in the Sudbury area of Ontario. The Sudbury area hosts the world's largest concentration of nickel deposits and is currently the most active mining camp in North America. Major joint venture partners in Sudbury include Vale Inco, Xstrata Nickel, Lonmin Plc and Impala Platinum Holdings Limited. Wallbridge also has a major shareholding in Duluth Metals Limited, which has defined a large copper-nickel-PGE resource in the rapidly emerging Duluth Complex base metal camp in Minnesota. Wallbridge is also exploring a large porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum property in south-western British Columbia and has interests in copper-zinc and gold properties in north-eastern Ontario.
This document may contain forward-looking statements relating to Wallbridge's operations or to the environment in which it operates. Such statements are based on operations, estimates, forecasts and projections. They are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and may be beyond Wallbridge's control. A number of important factors could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements, including those set forth in other public filings. In addition, such statements relate to the date on which they are made. Consequently, undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements. Wallbridge disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, save and except as may be required by applicable securities laws.
SOURCE Wallbridge Mining Company Limited