May 30, 2018 / 7:43 PM / a year ago

Canada's Bear Creek prepares IPO in Peru to finance silver mine

LIMA (Reuters) - Canadian miner Bear Creek Mining Corp (BCM.V) will likely make a public offering for its Peruvian unit on the bourse in Lima to help finance its $550 million Corani silver project, the company’s chief financial officer said on Wednesday.

Bear Creek would also consider selling a stake in the Corani project in southern Peru to help pay for the project, said Paul Tweddle.

“Everything’s on the table,” Tweddle said on the sidelines of the International Gold & Silver Symposium in Peru.

“This is the first step before future rounds of financing for the project,” Tweddle said of the upcoming IPO.

Tweddle estimated Bear Creek would issue its shares on the bourse within three months and declined to estimate how much it might raise.

Corani is expected to produce 11 million to 12 million ounces of silver once fully operational. If construction begins in 2018 as scheduled, production would kick off in 2022, Tweddle said.

Bear Creek had initially planned to finance Corani with earnings form its proposed silver project Santa Ana, also in southern Peru. But a previous presidential administration revoked Bear Creek’s right to build Santa Ana in 2011 after deadly protests against the proposed mine.

Late last year, Bear Creek won the right to develop Santa Ana after suing Peru. The current government of President Martin Vizcarra must now pay the company $31 million.

Tweddle said Bear Creek was waiting to talk with the current government about Santa Ana before taking any next steps on the project. “Right now Santa Ana is still in our portfolio as a concession,” Tweddle said.

Reporting by Mitra Taj and Marco Aquino; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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