TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 26, 2012) - The Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued its ruling today with respect to the El Morro mining project, finding against the position of Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX).
Barrick continues to believe that New Gold Inc. improperly exercised its right of first refusal, unlawfully interfering with the company's right to acquire a 70 percent interest in the El Morro mining project from Xstrata Copper Chile S.A. Barrick will review the Court's ruling in detail and will consider its options, including a possible appeal in this case.
In October 2009, Xstrata Copper announced that it had entered into a Sale Agreement to transfer all of Xstrata Copper's rights and interests (70 percent) in the El Morro mining project in Chile to Barrick for US$465 million. In January 2010, New Gold announced that it had given Xstrata Copper notice of its desire to purchase such rights and interests pursuant to a right of first refusal arising under the Shareholders Agreement between Xstrata Copper and New Gold. Simultaneously with the New Gold announcement, Goldcorp announced an agreement with New Gold to acquire Xstrata Copper's 70 percent interest in the El Morro mining project, following which Xstrata Copper terminated the Sale Agreement with Barrick. As a result, Barrick filed an action in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice against New Gold, Goldcorp and Xstrata Copper asserting that the attempted exercise of the right of first refusal was invalid and unenforceable and improperly interfered with Barrick's right to acquire the interest in El Morro from Xstrata Copper.