Canadian multinational miner Wheaton Precious Metals has entered into a definitive agreement with NYSE-listed silver producer Hecla Mining Company to terminate its silver stream on fellow-listed Alexco Resource Corporation’s Keno Hill silver district, in Yukon, Canada, for $135-million.
"The termination of the Keno Hill stream further demonstrates our ability to strategically identify opportunities both inside and outside of our portfolio that create value for our shareholders and position Wheaton to continue having one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry,” comments Wheaton president and CEO Randy Smallwood.
While Wheaton firmly believes that Keno Hill is a high-quality district with significant exploration potential, the ability to obtain an immediate return on the termination of the stream was too compelling to ignore.
Smallwood believes Hecla is well positioned to effectively mine Keno Hill and maximise its full potential.
On July 5, Hecla announced its intention to acquire Alexco through a definitive arrangement agreement, which remains subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.
The termination of the Keno Hill silver stream is conditional upon Hecla completing its announced proposed acquisition of Alexco, together with other customary approvals.
As consideration for the termination of the Keno Hill silver stream, Hecla will issue to Wheaton $135-million of Hecla common shares.
Subsequent to the closing of the termination of the Keno Hill silver stream, Wheaton will own about 5.6% of Hecla's issued and outstanding common shares.
Hecla is the largest primary silver producer in the US. In addition to operating mines in Alaska and Idaho, as well as Québec, Canada, the company owns a number of exploration projects in world-class silver and gold mining districts throughout North America.