Equinox Gold plans to transfer all of its copper assets into a newly incorporated company named Solaris Copper Inc. Solaris Copper will be a non-listed, multi-asset exploration company focused on copper projects in the Americas. Equinox Gold shareholders will vote on the proposed arrangement at the AGM on July 26.
Equinox Gold Corp. plans to spin-out its copper assets to form a separate, non-listed, copper-focused company named Solaris Copper Inc. Equinox Gold will continue to focus on advancing the Aurizona Gold Mine and the Castle Mountain Gold Mine to production while Solaris Copper explores and develops the copper projects to unlock the value of the copper portfolio. Sixty percent of the shares of Solaris Copper will be distributed to Equinox Gold shareholders with the remainder held by Equinox Gold.
“Solaris Copper will control a portfolio of very promising exploration-stage projects located in world-class copper districts,” said Ross Beaty, Chairman of Equinox Gold. “Creating a standalone copper-focused company should give these projects the visibility and attention they deserve. With large copper deposits already identified, exceptional exploration upside and optionality from multiple properties, Solaris Copper represents an exciting growth-focused copper story.”
“Creating Solaris Copper to hold and advance Equinox Gold’s copper assets achieves another milestone in the business strategy we communicated to shareholders when we created Equinox Gold last year,” said Christian Milau, CEO and a Director of Equinox Gold. “We are creating value for Equinox Gold shareholders on two fronts now, with Solaris Copper providing exposure to rising copper prices while Equinox Gold offers substantial leverage to gold as we advance Aurizona and Castle Mountain to production.”
Separating the gold and the copper assets will allow Equinox Gold and Solaris Copper to pursue independent growth and capital allocation strategies and stay focused on the long-term plan that suits their portfolio of assets. Equinox Gold believes that the spin-out will provide shareholders with a number of benefits including:
- enhancing value by creating independent investment opportunities in a gold-focused company and a copper-focused company;
- unlocking the value of the copper assets, which are not fairly valued in the Equinox Gold portfolio;
- protecting the value of the copper assets by keeping Solaris Copper private in the near-term, which reduces costs and allows the company to advance the properties and unlock the latent value of the assets before bringing them back to public markets;
- enabling investors, analysts and other stakeholders to more accurately evaluate each company and compare the assets to appropriate gold and copper peers;
- providing shareholders with 100% ownership of Equinox Gold and 60% ownership of Solaris Copper (with the remaining 40% held by Equinox Gold) to ensure that existing Equinox Gold shareholders retain upside potential as the copper assets are advanced;
- providing current Equinox Gold shareholders with a direct interest in the copper assets that will not be diluted in the future as Equinox Gold grows through organic and merger and acquisition opportunities;
- providing each company with a sharper business focus, enabling them to pursue independent business and financing strategies best suited to their respective business plans;
- enabling each company to pursue independent growth and capital allocation strategies; and
- allowing each company to be led by experienced executives and directors who have experience exploring resource properties and building and operating mines.
Equinox Gold’s shareholders will vote on the proposed arrangement at the annual and special meeting of its shareholders on July 26, 2018. Additional information will be outlined in the information circular that will be mailed to shareholders and available for download in the last week of June, and Equinox Gold has prepared answers to anticipated questions in this Q&A. If you have additional questions regarding the arrangement, the assets, or the long-term strategy for Equinox Gold or Solaris Copper, please do not hesitate to contact us at +1 604.558.0560 or by email at email@example.com