VANCOUVER – Empress Royalty Corp [EMPR-TSXV, EMPYF-OTCQB] said Thursday the first gold pour has occurred at the Manica gold mine in Mozambique. Empress owns a 3.375% gold royalty on the Manica gold mine which is operated by Mutapa Mining and Processing LDA (MMP).
Empress Royalty shares advanced on the news, rising 4.6% or $0.01 to 22.5 cents. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 38.5 cents and 15.5 cents.
“The first gold pour at Manica is very exciting and a further example of Empress delivering on our strategy as another asset reaches production within 15 months of investment,’’ said Alexandra Woodyer Sherron, President and CEO at Empress.
Manica is located in the Odzi-Mutare-Manica Greenstone Belt in Mozambique and consists of several deposits on Xtract’s Resources PLC mining concession licence 3990C, which includes four deposits named Fair Bride, Guy Fawkes, Boa Esperanza, and Dots Luck.
MMP and Xtract have entered into a collaboration and profit-sharing arrangement whereby MMP will build, finance and operate a carbon-in-leach (CIL) plant to process ore mined from Xtract’s concession.
Empress said it has been advised that MMP expects to reach full commercial production by the end of 2022.
Empress executed a royalty and purchase agreement for the creation of a royalty on gold sales from Manica for an investment of US$3.0 million. Payments to Empress under the royalty are based on 3.325% of the revenue generated from the sale of gold from the project until a total of 95,000 ounces of gold has been sold.
Thereafter, the percentage drops to 1.125% and will continue in perpetuity. The royalty is secured by a first ranking security interest in certain assets of MMP.
Empress is a royalty and streaming creation company with interests in gold and silver assets. Since December, 2020, Empress has built a portfolio of 17 precious metal investments and is actively investing in mining companies with development and production stage projects who require additional non-dilutive capital.
The portfolio includes a 4.5% stream on the Sierra Antapite gold mine in Peru where production is being expanded to 1,000 tonnes per day from 750 tonnes. It also holds a 100% stream on the Tahuehueto silver mine in Mexico, where full production is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2022.
Back in April, 2001, Empress executed a US$5 million silver stream agreement to purchase 100% of the payable silver production from Tahuehueto for the first 1.25 million payable silver ounces. Thereafter, the percentage falls to 20% of the payable silver production to a maximum of 10 years. Empress has pledged to purchase the silver at 20% of the spot price.
The rest of the assets in the portfolio are currently in the exploration stage.
The company has said its portfolio is expected to generate revenue of US$28 million over the next three years.