BRITISH COLUMBIA

Silver Wheaton strikes deal with Vale S.A. for gold production

02/05/2013 05:37 EST | Updated 04/07/2013 05:12 EDT
VANCOUVER - Silver Wheaton Corp. (TSX:SLW) says it has a binding agreement with a subsidiary of mining giant Vale SA to receive gold production from mines in Brazil and Sudbury, Ont.

The Vancouver-based company says the deal will see it receive 25 per cent of the gold production from Vale's Salobo mine in Brazil for the life of the mine.

The agreement also includes 70 per cent of the gold production from mines located in Sudbury, Ont., for a 20-year period.

On closing, Silver Wheaton says it will pay Vale US$1.9 billion in cash, plus 10 million Silver Wheaton warrants with a strike price of $65 and a term of 10 years.

It will also pay up to $400 for each ounce of gold delivered, subject to inflation adjustments and the current market price.

"Partnering with Vale on two new gold streams represents a significant step forward for Silver Wheaton and for the streaming model as a whole," Silver Wheaton president and CEO Randy Smallwood said in a release.

"Not only does Silver Wheaton gain accretive gold ounces to further grow and diversify our company, but the precious metals streaming model has now been further endorsed by another one of the world's preeminent mining companies."

Silver Wheaton also updated its one-year and five-year production guidance as a result of the agreement.

"In 2013, attributable silver equivalent production is forecast to be 33.5 million silver equivalent ounces, including 145 thousand ounces of gold," it said.

"In 2017, annual attributable production is anticipated to increase over 80 per cent compared to 2012 levels, growing to approximately 53 million silver equivalent ounces, including 180 thousand ounces of gold."

The deal, a binding term sheet, remains "subject to negotiation and execution of definitive agreements consistent with the terms of the term sheet, and to approval by the Vale S.A. board of directors," the company said.

Silver Wheaton also says it has entered into an agreement with Scotiabank and BMO Capital Markets to finance the deal.