Orion sells minority stake in Capstone

Orion Resource Partners confirmed that it has sold its 8.3% stake in Americas-focused Capstone Copper for gross proceeds of approximately A$592.8 million (US$379 million).

Following the transaction, Orion will continue to remain one of the largest shareholders in Capstone, with a 12% stake. The successive stake sell-down transactions, reducing Orion’s stake from 32% in 2022 to 12% today, have enabled the diversification of Capstone’s shareholder base and introduced global, blue-chip institutional investors to its register.

“The transaction highlights Orion’s partnership with Capstone to create a leading copper producer in the Americas with a strong management team and high-quality assets,” Orion officials said.

Capstone has continued its successful transformation from a private company into a leading global copper player with strong sustainability credentials that is dual listed on the TSX and ASX. Working together, Orion and Capstone have completed the largest offering by a Canadian company in the Australian market on record, and the second largest block trade on the ASX in the last 10 years for a mining company. Since the merger in 2022, Capstone’s share price has increased 27%.

Orion’s partnership with Capstone Copper began when Orion backed the founding of Mantos Copper by John MacKenzie, a senior industry executive, in 2015 via the acquisition of two producing copper mines in Chile (Mantos Blancos and Mantoverde) with untapped and unrealized upside at a low point in the copper cycle.

Working closely with the Mantos Copper leadership team, Orion was able to successfully restructure operating costs, extend mine lives, and permit and fully finance development projects at both mines. In 2022, Capstone Mining and Mantos Copper merged to form Capstone Copper, with a market capitalization of c. $4 billion. Mantos Blancos and Mantoverde underpin Capstone’s strong asset portfolio today.

In addition, with Orion’s support, Capstone has implemented and driven significant sustainability initiatives, supporting the company’s commitment to the highest standards of sustainability. Capstone was awarded the Copper Mark last year at its Chilean operations, Mantoverde and Mantos Blancos.

Istvan Zollei, managing partner, Orion, said: “This successful cross-border transaction marks several significant milestones for Capstone and mining markets. We are delighted to have helped oversee the emergence of Capstone as a leading industry player. Today’s transaction further evidences the strength of Orion’s partnership as an investor of choice for the world’s premier metals producers.”

Capstone founder and CEO John MacKenzie added: “Orion has been a responsible and engaged investment partner to Capstone since the creation of the company in the public merger in 2022, and before that, when its funds were initially invested in Mantos Copper in 2015. We are excited to continue delivering transformational and sustainable growth with the support of our existing and new shareholders.”

Sources: Orion Resource Partners and Capstone Copper 

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