OceanaGold has completed its acquisition of Pacific Rim, the Canadian gold mining company which has been stuck in years of litigation with the government of El Salvador over the country's moratorium on gold mining.
From the two companies' press release announcing the completion of the sale:
Mick Wilkes, Managing Director & CEO of OceanaGold commented, "I am very pleased to welcome Pacific Rim shareholders and employees to OceanaGold. I believe that our company strengths developed over the past twenty-three years in New Zealand and the Philippines provides for a strong platform to begin the successful journey with the many stakeholder groups in El Salvador. Our Company has a long and successful track record of operating gold mines in partnership with local communities in a safe and sustainable manner and we look forward to working with our key stakeholders in El Salvador to unlock the significant opportunity that exists at El Dorado for the people of El Salvador."
"On behalf of the entire Pacific Rim team, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pacific Rim shareholders for their tremendous support through the years, and for their near unanimous approval of the OceanaGold merger," adds Tom Shrake, President and CEO of Pacific Rim. "OceanaGold shares our vision of environmentally and socially responsible mining, and with its solid asset base, diversified growth profile and financial strength, has the ability to provide for a brilliant future. Most importantly, OcenanGold shares our high regard for the hard working people of El Salvador and is committed to working hand-in-hand with the government and citizens of El Salvador to help build an economy without sacrificing the ecosystems or the rich culture that defines El Salvador."
Pacific Rim's El Dorado Project adds an established high grade gold-silver resource to OceanaGold's portfolio. Along with El Dorado, Pacific Rim's stable of exciting exploration targets in El Salvador provides OceanaGold with a first-mover advantage into an underexplored but geologically highly prospective region.Here's what anti-mining activists were saying about the transaction:
The last-minute deal rescues a sinking Pacific Rim Mining, while promising to cost Salvadorans millions more in an unjust arbitration process and raising fears of political interference.A spokesman for OceanaGold who contacted me shortly after the deal was announced described what he called the Australian firm's commitment to the environment and that the firm would prefer to negotiate a solution with El Salvador rather than prevail through litigation.