ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Nov. 6, 2012) - Altius Minerals Corporation (ALS.TO) ("Altius") is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Zeus Capital Inc. ("Zeus") of Santiago, Chile to establish a new venture that will focus on investment in the generation of new early stage mineral exploration opportunities in Chile. Altius, Zeus and its investors will contribute a total of $7.1 million at various milestones over a 4 year period. Altius will own a 49% equity stake and a retained royalty interest in all projects generated by the venture. In addition to its portion of equity funding, Zeus has arranged up to $14 million in financing from the Chilean Government's Fenix Program initiative that is designed to support and nurture a domestic junior exploration sector in Chile.
The primary objective of the initiative is to generate new prospects and seek earn-in/joint venture agreements with third parties or the creation of special purpose "spin out" companies. Under the agreement, Altius will direct all technical matters pertaining to the venture and be responsible for the structuring of third party agreements. A South American based technical team with a strong collective discovery record within the Andes has been assembled to lead exploration work in conjunction with existing Altius personnel.
Altius' President and CEO, Brian Dalton commented, "We believe this partnership with Zeus is an excellent opportunity to expand our proven exploration business strategy beyond eastern Canada into other world class jurisdictions. Our technical expertise, combined with the business, finance, and socio-political expertise being provided by Zeus and its principal, Rodrigo Musalem, in Chile will help us ensure the continued success of the prospect generation business. In addition, we are exceptionally fortunate to have secured a proven and well experienced geological team. Early stage prospecting and compilation work in multiple regions has commenced."
Altius is focused on the mining and resources sector through prospect generation and the creation and acquisition of royalties and investments. Altius has a strong financial position with total assets of approximately $287 million, including $162 million in cash and marketable securities. It has also built a portfolio of directly and indirectly held junior resource investments, including 32.9 million shares of Alderon Iron Ore Corp. (ADV.TO).
Altius owns a 3% gross sales royalty on the Kami iron ore project of Alderon, an effective 0.3% net smelter return royalty on the producing Voisey's Bay nickel-copper-cobalt mine, a 2% gross sales royalty on uranium in the Central Mineral Belt project of Paladin Energy Limited, and several earlier stage resource project royalties. Its growing project generation pipeline consists of a diversified portfolio of exploration projects, many of which have attracted joint venture funding partners.
Altius is a member of the S&P/TSX Global Mining Index and currently has 28,424,464 shares outstanding.