In 2003, Northern Orion Resources Inc. bought from Rio Algom an indirect 12.5 per cent interest in the Alumbrera mine in Argentina. At the time, Wheaton River also bought an additional 12.5 per cent interest from Rio Algom. The consideration for the combined 25 per cent interest was US$180 million. In Northern Orion’s case, US$30 million was deferred by way of a secured loan from Rio Algom.
The transaction at hand involved the refinancing of this vendor loan on March 1, 2004 pursuant to a new secured term facility in the principal amount of US$24.5 million provided by Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG. The new lender was also provided with warrants of Northern Orion.
On the credit facility and related warrants, Northern Orion was represented by Stikeman Elliott in Vancouver, with a team that included Michael Allen and Neville McClure. Respecting certain corporate matters, Northern Orion was represented by Sargent Berner and Mary Collyer of DuMoulin Black.
Rio Algom was represented by Thomas Meagher of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin in Toronto.
Wheaton River was represented by Paul Stein and Ann Watterworth of Cassels Brock & Blackwell in Toronto.
Philip Paschalides and David Collins of Walkers acted for all parties with respect to matters of Cayman law.
Counsel to the lender were Ian Coles and Morgan Carroll of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw in London, assisted by Blake, Cassels & Graydon, with a team that included Aimee Yee in Toronto and Simon Finch and Neal Wang in Vancouver.