MAC: Mines and Communities

Canada's public takes on the public over proposed massive mine

Published by MAC on 2009-09-29

A Canadian public workers' pension fund manager is providing loans to a project that threatens to be the largest open-pit mine in Quebec.

Many public voices have already been raised against the planned project. See:

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board backs mining project

By Robert Gibbens, The Gazette

25 September 2009

MONTREAL - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the country's second biggest public pension fund manager, is helping Quebec's Osisko Mining Corp. finance the $1 billion Malartic gold mining project in Northwestern Quebec.

Osisko said Friday it has signed an agreement with a CPPIB financing unit providing it with access to $150 million in loans.

A first tranche of $75 million can be drawn on Oct. 31 next in exchange for 7 million Osisko warrants exercisable before Sept. 24, 2014, at $10.75 each - - a 30 per cent premium over Osisko's 15-day average stock trading price. The funds will be for Malartic.

The second $75 million tranche can be drawn on March 31, 2010, at  Osisko's discretion and used for general corporate purposes. If drawn, CPPIB would receive 5.5 million more warrants on similar terms to the first tranche.

The loan carries an annual interest rate of 7.5 per cent and is secured against the company's assets. Osisko has the right of first refusal if CPPIB wants to sell the warrants prior to exercise or can accelerate the exercise if its shares trade at a 50-per cent premium to the exercise price for 15 days.

"This financial package allows us to fulfill the terms of a previous financing with the Societe generale de financement du Quebec and completes Malartic's funding needs," said Osisko's CEO Sean Roosen. It will also help the company provide capital for another Quebec mining project, he added.

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