La Fortuna (formerly El Morro) is a large, copper-gold project located within the Municipality of Alto del Carmen, Province of Huasco, in the Copiapó Region (Region III) of northern Chile, approximately 80 kilometers east of Vallenar. In August 2015, Teck Resources Ltd. and Newmont Corporation announced an agreement to combine their respective Relincho and La Fortuna projects, located approximately 40 kilometers apart, into a single project, a 50/50 joint venture, named NuevaUnión.
NuevaUnión is one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold projects in the Americas. Based on the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), the initial stage of development of NuevaUnión contemplates a conveyor to transport ore from the La Fortuna site to a single-line mill and concentrator facility at the Relincho site. The initial capacity of the processing plant would range from 90,000 to 110,000 tonnes per day and produce an average of approximately 190,000 tonnes of copper and 315,000 ounces of gold per year over the first 10 years of operation. The phased development approach contemplated in the PEA would allow for future expansions to be funded from project cash flows, thus significantly reducing the initial funding requirement.
Royal Gold holds a 1.4% net smelter return (NSR) royalty on gold and copper on La Fortuna.
On August 7, 2013, Royal Gold acquired a 70% interest in a 2.0% NSR royalty on certain portions of La Fortuna, from Xstrata Copper Chile S.A., for $35 million. Royal Gold estimates that the royalty covers approximately 30% of this deposit.
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