Wheaton Precious Metals (TSX: WPM; NYSE: FWB) has agreed to invest $115 million during construction of the Mineral Park polymetallic project in Arizona. The money will be paid in three instalments of $25 million and a final instalment of $40 million to Waterton Copper.
Wheaton has also agreed to purchase 100% of the silver produced by the mine over the project life. Payable silver is calculated using a fixed payable factor of 90%.
“Waterton Copper is delighted to have Wheaton Precious Metals’ support,” said Isser Elishis, executive chair. “Waterton is investing approximately $600 million to optimize Mineral Park including significant capital investments in new primary crushers, secondary and pebble crushing circuits, and new higher-power SAG mills, which are expected to result in decades of operational excellence.”
Mineral Park has a 12-year mine life, with the potential to extend production to over 20 years. Attributable production is forecast to average at least 690,000 oz. of silver per year for the first five years, rising to an average of 740,000 oz. over the life of the project.
The project is owned and operated by Origin Mining, a subsidiary of Waterton Copper. It is located near Kingsman, in the northwest corner of Arizona. The project is in the second phase of construction with completion expected by the end of the first quarter 2025.
Large-scale open pit copper mining began in 1963 and continued into 2014. Origin purchased the property in 2015.