Pilar Gold is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Definitive Agreement whereby Pilar Gold will acquire all of the shares of Otso Gold Oy for a consideration of US$1.5m in cash, a 2.5% royalty on future Laiva production, 30 million common shares in Pilar Gold at a deemed price of C$1.00 per share and 10 million Pilar Gold warrants at C$1.50. Concurrent with the transaction, a major global institutional investor has agreed to invest approximately C$3.1 million in cash into Pilar Gold by way of an equity investment.
Otso Gold owns the fully developed and permitted Laiva gold mine in Western Finland. The Laiva mine consists of two open pits and a 6,000 tonne-per-day processing plant with full infrastructure which was built in 2010 for approximately €240 million. The state-of-the-art mill and processing plant include crushers, autogenous and pebble grinding mills, flash flotation concentrator, gravity circuit with centrifugal and spiral concentrators, and high-and low-grade CIL leach circuits.
Total resources of the Laiva mine are currently estimated at 821,000 ounces at ~1.1g/t, with significant potential for orebody extensions laterally and at depth. An estimated 3 million tonne low grade stockpile is also situated close to the mill and will provide an important source of feed to help achieve consistent name plate capacity.
Along with Pilar Gold’s acquisition of its flagship Pilar gold mine in Brazil last year, the acquisition of Otso Gold marks a major milestone in Pilar Gold’s growth strategy, while diversifying its currency exposure and geographical footprint. Finland is one of the safest mining jurisdictions and Europe’s leading gold producing country. For the first time in 20 years, the gold price in € is now stronger than the US dollar gold price. With a medium-term production target of 80,000 oz Au per annum, the Laiva mine has the potential to more than double Pilar Gold’s current annual production. The transaction, is highly accretive for Pilar Gold shareholders, representing a share value of US$23.5 million or 12.3% new Pilar Gold shares.
Pilar Gold is acquiring Otso Gold OY from its Swedish parent company Otso Gold AB, following a court-mandated restructuring conducted by the Finnish Administrator Castren and Snellman. Once the Finnish court has approved the restructuring, which is expected to occur by early November, Otso Gold will have a clean balance sheet free of any liabilities, liens or encumbrances, except for certain surviving security elements in connection with an existing net smelter royalty, which Pilar Gold has agreed to keep in place as part of the Transaction.
The Laiva mine was placed under care & maintenance by the creditors in connection with a newly elected board of directors in February 2022. Pilar Gold intends to restart operations in the spring of 2023 after spending the winter preparing a mining plan and implementing small operational improvements to the mill. Technical work on site at Laiva was led by our Head of Operations Richard Crew with the help of our Head Geologist Paulo Aguirre and our mill expert Francisco Barbosa. The transaction is expected to close by early to mid November.
We are very excited by Laiva’s potential to become a large gold producer in Europe. Its world class infrastructure and ability to restart with minimal capex makes it a fast payback proposition in one of the best mining jurisdictions in the industry. While we remain fully focused on further growth in Brazil, the acquisition of the Laiva mine fast tracks our ambitions to reach 200,000 ounces per year of production. Our team in Brazil will provide strong support to our Finnish team during commissioning, and we look forward to Laiva unlocking significant value for Pilar Gold shareholders.
Pilar Gold is focused on growing through acquisition and will continue to look for more value accretive transactions for our shareholders. Our longer term goal is to become a 500,000 ounce producer.
Jeremy Gray | CEO
Richard Crew | Head of Operations
Charles Chebry | President
Edward Balme | Head of Investor Relations