NEWS-UPDATE AFTER BELOW ARTICLE: Emerita announced its intention to close a $3 million strategic investment by Eric Sprott (see details about him here, here, here, here). Emerita´s CEO, David Gower, commented: “We are very gratified to welcome a strategic investment from such a strong and knowledgeable partner as Mr. Sprott. This support will be invaluable as we move forward in the development of our strong Spanish projects.”
Emerita Resources Corp. (TSX.V: EMO; Frankfurt: LLJA) traded about 6.2 million shares on the TSX Venture Exchange on Monday and Tuesday. Today, the company provided an update on the Aznalcollar legal proceedings in Spain:
"Spanish media are reporting that there has been an important ruling in the legal proceedings pertaining to the Aznalcóllar public tender. The Company has not received official documentation from the courts to review with its Spanish counsel at this point and it will provide a full update as soon as that is completed. Major Spanish media outlets are reporting that related investigations are concluded and the case is to be sent for trial. The judge who carried out the investigation has concluded that there are enough evidences to demonstrate that prevarication took place in the Aznalcóllar Tender. There are nine individuals accused of crimes of prevarication, two were senior politicians, five were government employees and two who were principals of the competing company. According to media reports, the crime of prevarication has been proven, the next phase of the trial is to determine the level of responsibility of the individuals and assess the individual penalties accordingly as required under the law. The significance according to Emerita’s Spanish counsel is that under Spanish law governing the public tender process, if a crime is committed in awarding a tender that bid must be disqualified and the tender must be awarded to the next qualified bidder. Emerita is the only qualified bidder in the tender process. The above is based on reports published in major Spanish media outlets. The Company will provide a more fulsome update as soon as the official documents can be reviewed by the Company and its legal counsel."
Below some recent media articles found in the public domain:
El Pais (February 9, 2021): "La juez del ‘caso Aznalcóllar’ procesa al expresidente de la SEPI tras dos archivos previos" (Google translation: "The judge in the ´Aznalcóllar case´ prosecutes the former president of SEPI after two previous files")
20minutos (February 9, 2021): "Tribunales - La juez de la mina de Aznalcóllar procesa a nueve personas por presunta prevaricación" (Google translation: "Courts - The judge of the Aznalcóllar mine processes nine people for alleged prevarication")
LaRazon (February 9, 2021): "Procesan al ex presidente de la SEPI por prevaricación en la causa de la mina de Aznalcóllar" (Google translation: "The former president of SEPI is prosecuted for prevarication in the Aznalcóllar mine case")
EuropaPress (February 9, 2021): "La juez del caso de la mina de Aznalcóllar (Sevilla) procesa a nueve personas por presunta prevaricación administrativa" (Google translation: "The judge in the case of the Aznalcóllar mine (Seville) prosecutes nine people for alleged administrative misconduct")
ABCdesevilla (February 9, 2021): "Caso Aznalcóllar: El juez procesa por prevaricación al expresidente de la SEPI y a los dueños de Magtel" (Google translation: "Aznalcóllar case: The judge prosecutes the former president of SEPI and the owners of Magtel for prevarication")
CincoDias (February 9, 2021): "La juez de la mina de Aznalcóllar procesa al expresidente de la SEPI y dos antiguos cargos de la Junta" (Google translation: "The Aznalcóllar mine judge prosecutes the former president of SEPI and two former positions of the Board")
El Confidencial (February 10, 2021): "Aznalcóllar: procesadas nueve personas por prevaricación en la concesión de la mina" (Google translation: "Aznalcóllar: nine people prosecuted for prevarication in the mine concession")
EuropaPress (February 10, 2021): "Vox exige a Montero aclarar si el expresidente de la SEPI sigue mandando pese a dimitir por el ´caso Aznalcóllar´" (Google translation: "Vox demands Montero to clarify if the former president of the SEPI continues to command despite resigning due to the ´Aznalcóllar case´")
LibertadDigital (February 10, 2021): "Día negro de la corrupción andaluza: Isofotón y Aznalcóllar empapan al Gobierno de Pedro Sánchez´" (Google translation: "Black day of Andalusian corruption: Isofotón and Aznalcóllar soak the Government of Pedro Sánchez")
The key for Emerita: Under Spanish law, if there is a commission of a crime in awarding a tender, then that bid must be disqualified and the tender awarded to the next qualified bidder. Emerita appears to be the only qualified bidder in this process. The company has spent approximately $1 million on engineering studies including a water management plan and other documentation (almost 10,000 pages) in regards of the project tender. Following the recent closing of a $5.17 million CAD financing, Emerita is in great shape to fast track the Aznalcollar project towards feasibility.
Aznalcollar must be an attractive, possibly lucrative mining project if there were crimes associated with its public tender process. So let´s take a brief look at the Aznalcollar deposit in Spain to find out what might be hiding in the ground:
The Aznalcóllar Zinc-Lead-Silver Project is a past producing zinc-lead-silver mine that operated in the 1990s for only about 18 months and was closed due to a combination of low metal prices and a severe tailings failure. The government subsequently rehabilitated the site and, due to the demands of the community for employment, initiated a public tender to re-develop the mine – the tender was unanimously supported by all political parties.
In late 2014, Emerita participated in the tender process, which was run in 2 stages; the first was a financial qualifying round after which Emerita and a Minorbis were the only companies qualified for the second round, which required a detailed technical plan for the development of the project. Emerita completed a full mine plan, environmental management plan, water management plan (which the Federal Water Authorities endorsed), and public hearings in the community. Minorbis had a significantly inferior proposal. In 2015, the tender was awarded and there was complete shock when, by a very slim margin, Minorbis’ bid was chosen as the winner. Upon examining the details, Emerita challenged the decision and filed charges of corruption against the panel. As per Spanish law, if there is a commission of a crime in a public tender process, the award must be negated and the tender goes to the next qualified bidder. In this case, Emerita is the only other qualified bidder and the company hopes to be on the verge of being officially awarded the project.
About Aznalcóllar & Los Frailes
• There exist 2 discontinued open-pit mines on the property: Aznalcóllar and Los Frailes (see picture above; source).
• Los Frailes was operated by the Swedish mining giant Boliden in the late 1990s for approximately 18 months until it had a tailings failure (see picture below; source) at a time of low zinc prices, which resulted in closure of the operation.
• Boliden ultimately left Spain and the Spanish government took over and rehabilitated the site.
• Most of the deposit remains in the ground due to the short time it was operating.
• Boliden’s mine plan included a low-grade but large open-pit with a historic resource estimate:
71 million tons @ 3.8% zinc, 2.18% lead, 0.34% copper + 60 ppm silver
• Reports by the operation’s mine department and a review of the diamond drilling data for the mine indicate the existence of a higher grade portion of the resource that was historically estimated by the previous operator to contain:
20 million tons @ 6.66% zinc, 3.87% lead, 0.29% copper + 84 ppm silver
• In its documentation filed for the public tender process, Emerita proposed to first mine the higher grade portion of the deposit with underground methods. Benefits:
No huge waste rock piles,
Tailings go back underground as paste fill,
Lower capital exoenditures,
Smaller mill, etc.
Full size / Deposit locations at the Aznalcóllar Project. The Los Frailes deposit is the mineralized zone in the center of the model and comprises the historical resources referred to herein.
Previous Rockstone Reports
Emerita Resources Corp.
Suite 800 – 65 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON, Canada, M5H 2M5
Phone: +1 416 566-8179
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 122,021,581
Canadian Symbol (TSX.V): EMO
Current Price: $0.285 CAD (02/09/2021)
Market Capitalization: $35 Million CAD
German Symbol / WKN (Frankfurt): LLJA / A2PKVQ
Current Price: €0.18 EUR (02/10/2021)
Market Capitalization: €22 Million EUR
Stephan Bogner (Dipl. Kfm.)
8260 Stein am Rhein, Switzerland
Disclaimer: This report contains forward-looking information or forward-looking statements (collectively "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information is typically identified by words such as: "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "estimate", "potentially" and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. Rockstone Research, Emerita Resources Corp. and Zimtu Capital Corp. caution investors that any forward-looking information provided herein is not a guarantee of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking information as a result of various factors. The reader is referred to Emerita Resources Corp.´s public filings for a more complete discussion of such risk factors and their potential effects which may be accessed through its profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Please read the full disclaimer within the full research reports as a PDF (here, here and here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist. The author, Stephan Bogner, holds any equity position in Emerita Resources Corp., as well as in Zimtu Capital Corp., and is being paid by Zimtu Capital Corp. for the preparation, publication and distribution of this report, whereas Zimtu Capital Corp. also holds a long position in Emerita Resources Corp. Note that Emerita Resources Corp. pays Zimtu Capital Corp. to provide this report and other investor awareness services. Emerita Resources Corp. may have one or more common directors with Zimtu Capital Corp.