Rambler Metals & Mining (TSX-V: RAB, AIM: RMM) is exercising its right to buy back 3% points of the total 4.5% Net Smelter Return (NYSE:NSR) royalty held on the Ming property in Canada. Rambler said it will buy back New Meridian Mining Corp's (TSX-V: NWM.H) 2% NSR and Ming Minerals' 1% NSR for C$600,000 and C$500,000 respectively, before the production begins at the Ming Mine.
"This is another clear step by Rambler to release the Ming Mine from old royalty agreements so that shareholder returns can be fully maximized once we reach full commercial production in 2011", Rambler president and CEO George Ogilvie commented.
The remaining 1.5% NSR will be retained by its respective holders: Royal Gold Inc (TSX:RGL) holds 1% and Peter Dimmell, a local Newfoundland businessman, holds 0.5%.
Last week, Rambler announced a £2.7m private placing. The company plans to issue up to 8.6 million shares at 32 pence each, or approximately C$0.50 per share. The proceeds have been earmarked to serve as working capital, as the company embarks on the construction phase required to bring the Ming mine into production following the signing of a US$20 million gold sale agreement, as announced on 4 March 2010.
Rambler is planning to start production at Ming in 2011 following the environmental release of the project.
The mine is located on the Baie Verte Peninsula. Ming is Rambler’s primary focus, and it was initially a copper play, however, an extensive exploration programme conducted by Rambler over recent years has increasingly identified elevated gold grades. In February 2009, a NI 43-101 compliant resource update, showed a total measured and indicated resource of 3.651 million tons grading 2.21 percent copper and 1.37 grams per ton of gold.
On March 4, Rambler announced a deal with Sandstorm Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: SSL) to sell a portion of the Ming mine’s ‘life-of-mine’ gold production for staged upfront cash payments totalling US$20m, with the first US$5m available immediately.
Upon completion and delivery of a satisfactory NI43-101 feasibility study, a second instalment of US$2m will be paid to Rambler. The company expects to complete the study in the second quarter of 2010. The remaining US$13m will be paid once the Ming mine has been awarded all necessary permits, anticipated in Q3 2010.
In return for the upfront payments, Sandstorm will be entitled to 25% of the Ming mine’s first 175,000 ounces of payable gold, and 12% of all payable gold thereafter. Initially the agreement will last for 40 years, and Sandstorm has the right to renew the deal for successive 10 year periods thereafter.
Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company