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Former Equinox COO to lead Anacortes and advance Tres Cruces

New Oroperu Resources has announced an arrangement with capital pool company First Light Capital to combine and create Americas-focused gold explorer Anacortes Mining.
Former Equinox COO to lead Anacortes and advance Tres Cruces Former Equinox COO to lead Anacortes and advance Tres Cruces Former Equinox COO to lead Anacortes and advance Tres Cruces Former Equinox COO to lead Anacortes and advance Tres Cruces Former Equinox COO to lead Anacortes and advance Tres Cruces

The new Anacortes Mining plans to advance New Oroperu Resources’ Tres Cruces gold project in Peru

Ngaire McDiarmid

Reporter

Total consideration of the all-scrip deal was about C$76 million.

First Light would raise $20 million in a subscription receipt financing, and Anacortes would focus on advancing New Oroperu's flaghip Tres Cruces gold project in Peru, 10km from the former Barrick Gold mine Lagunas Norte, and seek "further growth opportunities in the Americas".

Barrick sold its mothballed Lagunas Norte operation in a US$81 million deal which closed this month to Singapore company Boroo, in a move which underlined the gold major's exit from the area.

Barrick previously had the option to earn 70% of Tres Cruces but New Oroperu said in January Barrick's right had expired unexercised.

Anacortes will be led by former Equinox Gold COO Jim Currie, First Light's CEO, who was at Equinox during its acquisition of Leagold and led the construction team building Equinox's Aurizona mine in Brazil.

"We look forward to seeing Tres Cruces advanced under the expertise of Jim and his team, and we are excited for the next chapter in a prolific gold camp that saw Barrick mine more than 10 million ounces at Lagunas Norte, approximately 10km away," New Oroperu president and CEO Wayne Livingstone said.

He was set to join Anacortes' board alongside First Light nominees including Luminex Resources' exploration VP Andy Carstensen.

Currie said the team had been aggressively pursuing a foundational asset for Anacortes and Tres Cruces met several of its investment criteria.

The project has an indicated, pit-constrained 2.47Moz gold resource.

"Tres Cruces could have operational synergies with any development or reopening of Barrick's Lagunas Norte mine next door," New Oroperu said in a presentation this month.

It said circa 17% owner Pan American Silver was in support of the Anacortes deal.

After the proposed transaction and private placement, it was expected First Light shareholders, New Oroperu shareholders and investors in the placement would own about 13%, 66% and 21% of Anacortes respectively.

New Oroperu shares (TSXV: ORO) closed up 2% to $2.03, valuing it at $56.6 million (US$45.4 million).

First Light shares (TSXV: XYZ.P) were in a halt on Friday and last traded at 47c, capitalising it at $14.4 million (US$11.5 million).