|Sandstorm Gold Acquires NSR Royalty from Solitario and Ely Gold for US$10.0 Million|
DENVER, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp. ("Solitario;") (NYSE MKT: XPL) (TSX: SLR) and Ely Gold & Minerals ("Ely Gold;") (TSX.V: ELY) are pleased to announce that Sandstorm Gold ("Sandstorm") has purchased a 2.4% net smelter returns royalty ("NSR") on the Mt. Hamilton gold project ("Mt. Hamilton") for US$10.0 million. The Mt. Hamilton gold project, located in Nevada, U.S.A., is held by Mt. Hamilton LLC ("MH-LLC") that is 80%-owned by Solitario and 20%-owned by Ely. MH-LLC received an upfront payment of US$6.0 million upon signing the agreement and will receive a future cash remittance of US$4.0 million on January 15, 2013.
As part of the agreement, MH-LLC will have the option, for a period of 30 months, to repurchase up to 100% of the NSR for US$12 million, provided that Solitario enters into a gold stream agreement with Sandstorm that has an upfront deposit of no less than US$30 million. In addition, MH-LLC has provided Sandstorm with a right of first refusal on any future royalty or gold stream financing for the Mt. Hamilton project.
Chris Herald, President and CEO of Solitario, stated: "Annually, Sandstorm evaluates a significant number of projects for funding participation, we are very pleased that they have elected to participate in the funding of Mt. Hamilton's development. Sandstorm's purchase of this royalty confirms our belief that the Mt. Hamilton gold project displays robust economics and outstanding resource growth potential. We are currently focused on permitting and engineering activities, with drilling on the horizon." Ely's President and CEO, Trey Wasser, said: "This funding enables the joint venture to drill test the historic Seligman deposit where we hope to add significant economic ounces to the current mine plan."
About Mount Hamilton
Solitario released a feasibility study on the Centennial gold-silver deposit in February 2012 showing favorable economics for an open pit operation with heap leach extraction. Once in operation, the mine is expected to produce 48,000 ounces of gold and 330,000 ounces of silver for an average gold-equivalent production (at a 55:1 silver to gold ratio) of 54,000 ounces per year over an eight-year period, with excellent potential to add additional resources and extend the mine life.
Mineral Reserve Statement, Centennial Gold-Silver Deposit
Reported silver grade is cyanide soluble.
Mineral Resource* Statement, Centennial Gold-Silver Deposit
Measured and Indicated
*Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Walter Hunt, Chief Operating Officer of Solitario, B.Sc.-Geology, M.S. Geologic Engineering, is the Qualified Person under NI 43-101 responsible for reviewing and approving the technical information contained in this news release.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors concerning estimates of Resources: This section uses the terms "Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources." The Company advises U.S. investors that while these terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the SEC does not recognize the terms. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources will ever be converted into Reserves. Inferred Resources have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, except in rare cases. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of a Measured, Indicated or Inferred Resource exists, or is economically or legally minable.
Solitario is a gold, silver, platinum-palladium, and base metal exploration and royalty company actively exploring in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. Solitario has significant business relationships with Votorantim Metais on its high-grade Bongara zinc project in Peru and Anglo Platinum on its Pedra Branca platinum-palladium project in Brazil. Solitario is traded on the NYSE MKT ("XPL") and on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("SLR"). Additional information about Solitario is available online at www.solitarioxr.com
About Ely Gold
Ely Gold is focused on the acquisition and development of gold resources in North America. Besides its interest in the Mt. Hamilton project, Ely Gold has entered into a series of transactions to acquire a portfolio of assets in the Abitibi Gold Camp in Quebec. Ely Gold is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange ("ELY"). Additional information about Ely Gold is available online at www.elygoldandminerals.com
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