A young woman observes the Guadiamar River on her way to Aznalcóllar (freely translated from Spanish: "Una joven observa el caude del Guadiamar a su paso por la localidad de Aznalcóllar"; source)
Today, Emerita Resources Corp. has provided new information on the Aznalcollar Appeal in Spain. Criminal charges against 5 officials of the Government panel and 2 Minorbis company representatives are pending in the near future. All of them were directly involved in the awarding of the Aznalcollar public tender to Minorbis. The judges found that there was evidence of gross negligence and misconduct, and indicated that there may be evidence of possible corruption and prevarication. As such, the Court has ordered the criminal case to be reopened against the Panel.
As Emerita´s CEO, Joaquin Merino, highlighted today: "The laws governing public tenders in Spain are very clear: if it is determined that there was a commission of a crime in the awarding of a tender, that bid shall be declared invalid and the tender must be awarded to the next qualified bidder. In the Aznalcóllar tender, we believe that Emerita is the only qualified bidder."
As allegations of corruption are on the rise in the Spanish media, one may expect the case to be closed as fast as possible. A prompt and fair solution is imperative, in order to prevent further loss of reputation across all levels. Accordingly, Rockstone expects an official re-awarding of the Aznalcollar project to Emerita at the soonest. The number of articles in Spanish newspapers is gaining weight, whereas Emerita is being mentioned in an increased fashion:
Emerita pide a la juez que paralice los trabajos en Aznalcóllar (El Mundo; November 8, 2016)
La empresa perdedora del concurso de Aznalcóllar pide al juzgado la "inmediata" paralización de los trabajos en la mina (El Diario; November 8, 2016)
El caso Aznalcóllar, un nuevo vaparalo a la Policía tras los ERE (El Mundo; November 6, 2016)
Emerita pide a la juez la "suspensión cautelar" de los trabajos en la mina de Aznalcóllar (Diario de Sevilla; November 6, 2016)
Emerita señala la "gran mentira" de la Junta en Aznalcóllar, porque "nunca ha sido paralizada" la adjudicación (20 Minutos; November 6, 2016)
La juez amplía la investigación de la mina de Aznalcóllar y la cede a la UCO (Yahoo Finanzas; November 3, 2016)
POLÉMICA CONCESIÓN DE LA JUNTA DE ANDALUCÍA / Aznalcóllar: la perdedora del concurso quiere abrir “ya” la mina tras la reapertura del caso (El Confidencial; October 23, 2016)
Emerita Resources "irá hasta el final" para explotar la mina de Aznalcóllar (Expansion; October 21, 2016)
Emérita mantiene su voluntad de desarrollar la mina de Aznalcóllar (El Correo; October 20, 2016)
La Audiencia reabre el caso de la concesión de la mina de Aznalcóllar (EFE; October 19, 2016)
It was also mentioned in today´s news release that more than 70 professionals prepared Emerita´s mining proposal, which comprised over 10,000 pages and 300 maps, plans and sections, covering all aspects of the proposed project development, including a strong emphasis on environmental and water management and community involvement in order to develop Aznalcóllar into a modern, safe and environmentally responsible operation.
Emerita proposes to first mine the high-grade portion of the deposit with underground methods. The Swedish mining giant Bolliden had to suspend open-pit operations in the 1990s due to low zinc market prices and a severe tailings failure. Most of the deposit remains in the ground due to the short time it was operating.
As Aznalcóllar and Los Frailes are world-class zinc-lead-copper-silver deposits, the Spanish Government intends to re-start mining operations backed by significantly improved zinc prices while local communities are demanding new jobs.
The historical Los Frailes open-pit resource, as calculated by the previous operator of the mine, was estimated to be 71 million tonnes grading 3.86% zinc, 2.18% lead, 0.34% copper and 60 g/t silver. The higher grade portion of this resource is estimated to contain 20 million tonnes grading 6.65% zinc, 3.87% lead, 0.29% copper and 84 g/t silver, which has been modeled by Emerita to be the focus for the underground mining operation; which would roughly equate to the following numbers:
1.33 million tonnes of zinc: in-situ value = $3.2 billion USD (at a zinc price of $2,400 USD/tonne)
740,000 tonnes of lead: in-situ value = $1.6 billion USD (bat a lead price of $2,100 USD/tonne)
58,000 tonnes of copper: in-situ value = $290 million USD (at a copper price of 5,000 USD/tonne)
54 million ounces of silver: in-situ value = $1 billion USD (at a silver price of $19 USD/ounce)
TOTAL IN-SITU VALUE (underground) = $6.1 billion USD
Emerita Provides an Update on the Aznalcollar Appeal
TORONTO, ONTARIO - (Nov. 9, 2016) - Emerita Resources Corp. (the "Company" or "Emerita") (TSX VENTURE:EMO) is pleased to announce that following the unanimous ruling by the Provincial Court of Seville (the "Court") (See Emerita´s October 27, 2016 press release), the Court has served "imminent judicial notice" to five officials of the Government panel (the "Panel") that were directly involved in the awarding of the Aznalcóllar public tender to a subsidiary of the group comprised of Minorbis and Grupo Mexico (collectively, "Minorbis-Grupo Mexico"). Such notice has also been served to two representatives of Minorbis. In Spain, imminent judicial notice provides formal prior notice to individuals that criminal charges against them are pending in the near future.
The Court has also engaged the "Unidad Centro Operativo (UCO) de la Guardia Civil" (Spain´s national police force) to investigate the alleged cash payments made from Grupo Mexico to Minorbis and to clarify Minorbis´ role in the tender process. The Direccion General de Industria, Energia y Minas (the Andalucian government agency responsible for the administration of the Aznalcóllar public tender) has been asked by the Court to submit a copy of the Panel´s final resolution that awarded the tender to Minera Los Frailes (a company that did not participate in the Aznalcóllar public tender process) for the Court´s review.
Joaquin Merino, President and CEO of Emerita, commented: "This is a very important step for the Company. The laws governing public tenders in Spain are very clear: if it is determined that there was a commission of a crime in the awarding of a tender, that bid shall be declared invalid and the tender must be awarded to the next qualified bidder. In the Aznalcóllar tender, we believe that Emerita is the only qualified bidder. The Company welcomes the Court´s review of all matters related to the Aznalcóllar tender process."
David Gower, Emerita´s Chairman, stated: "Emerita remains committed to developing the Aznalcóllar project. Emerita´s proposal was prepared by more than 70 professionals and comprised over 10,000 pages and 300 maps, plans and sections, covering all aspects of the proposed project development. This included a strong emphasis on environmental and water management and community involvement. We look forward to working with the community and the government agencies to develop Aznalcóllar into a modern, safe and environmentally responsible operation."
About the Aznalcóllar Project
The key focus of the Aznalcóllar project, as proposed by Emerita, would be the development of the Los Frailes deposit as an underground mining operation. The deposit thickness ranges between 30 and 90 metres. The thickest section of the ore body lies below 150 metres depth from surface. The Los Frailes and the previously mined Aznalcóllar deposits are both open for further expansion by drilling at depth, as historical drilling was primarily constrained to depths accessible by open pit mining.
The historical Los Frailes open pit mineral resource, as calculated by the previous operator of the mine, was estimated to be 71 million tonnes grading 3.86% zinc, 2.18% lead, 0.34% copper and 60 ppm silver. A review of the historical drilling data indicates the potential existence of a higher grade portion of the resource that is estimated to contain 20 million tonnes grading 6.65% zinc, 3.87% lead, 0.29% copper and 84 ppm silver. This higher grade resource has been modeled by Emerita and would be the focus for the underground mining operation (see Figure 1).
A qualified person, as defined in National Instrument 43-101, has not done sufficient work on behalf of Emerita to classify the historical estimate as a current mineral resource and Emerita is not treating the historical estimate as a current mineral resource or mineral reserve. The resource estimate is a historical estimate and should not be relied upon. A summary of the historical resource estimate is available on the Government of Andalucia´s website in a report prepared by the prior operator of the Aznalcóllar Project entitled "Proyecto de Explotacion Yacimiento Los Frailes, Memoria Andaluza de Piritas, Boliden- Apirsa, Octubre 1994" (Los Frailes Development Project Report, Boliden-Apirsa, October 1994) along with subsequent resource estimate updates, the latest being from 2000.
About the Ruling on the Aznalcóllar Appeal
The appeal was heard by four judges of the Court who ruled unanimously in a 59 page judgement to overturn the lower court´s finding that there was not sufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges. The judges´ decision was based on: (i) Minorbis-Grupo Mexico failing to submit the necessary documentation as required by the tender process; (ii) a failure by the Panel to award the Aznalcóllar project based on the parameters and criteria of the tender process; and (iii) granting the mining rights to the Aznalcóllar project to Los Frailes Mining, a company that did not participate in the tender process, contravened applicable laws governing public tenders in Spain.
The judges found that there was evidence of gross negligence and misconduct and indicated that there may be evidence of possible corruption and prevarication. As such, the Court has ordered the criminal case to be reopened against the Panel.
About Emerita Resources Corp.
Emerita is a natural resource company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties in Europe, with a primary focus on exploring in Spain and Brazil. The Company´s corporate office and technical team are based in Sevilla, Spain with an administrative office in Toronto, Canada.
Emerita Resources Corp.
+34 (628) 1754 66 (Spain)
+1 416 309 4293 (Toronto)
Emerita on the case to get awarded the Aznalcollar Zinc-Lead-Silver Project in Spain
Rockstone Report #1 (October 28, 2016)
Emerita Resources Corp. is a resource company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties, with a primary focus on Spain and Brazil. The company’s corporate office and technical team are based in Sevilla, Spain, with an administrative office in Toronto, Canada.
Emerita owns 100% of the Las Morras Gold Project in the Extremadura Region of western Spain.
On June 13, 2016, Emerita entered into option agreement to acquire the Falcon Litio MG Lithium Project in Brazil, adjacent to Brazil’s only lithium mining operation owned by Companhia Brasileira de Lítio.
Management & Board of Directors
Joaquín Merino-Márquez (President & CEO)
Mr. Merino-Márquez is a professional geologist with 18 years of experience in the mining industry. He was previously Vice President, Exploration for Primero Mining Corp. (TSX: P; current market capitalization: $358 million CAD) and before that Vice President Exploration for Apogee Minerals Ltd. From 2003-2006, he was the Exploration Manager for Placer Dome at Porgera Mine and prior to that Chief Mine Geologist at Hecla Mining’s La Camorra mine. Joaquin has extensive international experience in South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. Joaquin holds a Master degree in Sciences from Queens University (Ontario), and a Bachelor degree in Geology from University of Seville (Spain). He is a member of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario.
Marilia Bento (Director)
Ms. Bento has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry and Canadian capital markets. Currently Ms. Bento is Vice President of Corporate Development for the South American Resource Group at Forbes & Manhattan, a premier merchant bank focused on building resource companies. Some of Ms. Bento’s previous positions include, Managing Director and Head of Equity Capital Markets Canada at Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd. (formerly Orion Securities Inc.) and Vice President of Corporate Development for Apogee Silver Ltd. Marilia was on the Board of Directors of Orion Securities Inc. and has been a board member of junior mining companies.
David Gower (Director)
Mr. Gower has over 20 years of experience in exploration with Falconbridge, Noranda (now X-strata) most recently as Director of Global Nickel and PGM exploration. He was a member of the Senior Operating Team responsible for mining projects with Falconbridge. He has led exploration teams which were responsible for brownfields discoveries at Raglan and Sudbury, Matagami, Falcondo – DR, and greenfield discoveries at Araguaia in Brazil, Kabanga in Tanzania and significant increases in known resources at Kabanga in Tanzania and El Pilar in Mexico.
Catherine Stretch (Director)
Catherine Stretch has been CEO of DT Plantations Ltd., a 40,000 hectare palm oil plantation under development in southern Philippines since mid-2012. Previously, Catherine was a partner and the Chief Operating Officer of a Canadian investment firm which had $1 billion in assets under management and focused on managing resource oriented investment funds. In this role Catherine helped research, develop and structure early stage investments and investment vehicles in Canada and overseas working with legal teams, securities regulators and local partners as well as overseeing day-to-day operations and financial reporting requirements of the company. Catherine has a BA in Economics from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA in International Business from the Schulich School of Business at York University.
David Patterson (Director)
Mr. Patterson has been involved with exploration companies for over 2 decades. He has an MBA from Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University. Mr. Patterson has an extensive European and North American network which has enabled him to raise in excess of $100 million CAD for mineral exploration companies, including Donner Metals Ltd.
Colin Watt (Director)
Mr. Watt (B.Com.) has 15 years of public resource company management experience. He is President of Squall Capital Corp., a private Canadian based company specialized in financing, restructuring and providing management services to early stage public companies.
Greg Duras (CFO)
Mr. Duras has over 10 years of corporate and project finance experience in the resource sector. Some of his previous positions include, Vice President of Finance and Administration at S.C. Rosia Montana Gold Corporation S.A. (RMGC), a mineral exploration and mining development company based in Romania and a number of senior finance roles, including Controller of TSX-listed Gabriel Resources Ltd. and High River Gold Mines Ltd. He is a Certified General Accountant and a Certified Professional Accountant, and holds a Bachelor of Administration from Lakehead University.
Damian Lopez (Corporate Secretary)
Mr. Lopez is a corporate securities lawyer who works as a legal consultant to various TSX and TSX Venture listed companies. He previously worked as a securities and merger & acquisitions lawyer at a large Toronto corporate legal firm, where he worked on a variety of corporate and commercial transactions. Mr. Lopez obtained a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall and he received a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Economics from Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto. He is also a director of the Canadian Hispanic Bar Association.
Emerita Resources Corp.
Suite 800 – 65 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2M5 Canada
Phone: +1 416 309 4293 (Toronto)
Phone: +34 628 1754 66 (Spain)
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 83,597,829
Canadian Symbol (TSX.V): EMO
Current Price: $0.10 CAD (11/09/2016)
Market Capitalization: $10 million CAD
German Symbol / WKN (Frankfurt): LLJ / A2AL6D
Current Price: €0.061 EUR (11/09/2016)
Market Capitalization: €5 million EUR
Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.