Rio2 Limited (“Rio2” or the “Company”) (TSX-V:RIO) announces today that the Company continues to strengthen its management team and provides an update on its activities.
Senior Management Appointments
Rio2 is pleased to announce the appointments of Kathryn Johnson as Executive Vice President – Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary and Luc English as Country Manager – Nicaragua. Both Kathryn and Luc will assume their new positions with the Company on 1 June 2017.
Kathryn Johnson is based in Vancouver and has over 10 years of experience in the mining industry, primarily in Latin America. Kathryn brings extensive experience in accounting and finance, including financings, mergers and acquisitions, project development, internal controls and financial reporting. Kathryn held various senior positions at Rio Alto Mining Limited until acquired in 2015. Her last position was Chief Financial Officer and prior to that Vice President, Corporate Controller and Corporate Reporting. While at Rio Alto Mining, Kathryn was a key member of the team that successfully completed the acquisition of Sulliden Gold and the Shahuindo Gold Project for $300 million in 2014 and the subsequent sale of Rio Alto to Tahoe Resources Inc. for $1.2Bn. Kathryn has also held the positions of Financial Reporting Contractor at Goldcorp, Director of Finance at Tahoe Resources. She holds a BA with a double major in History and Political Science from the University of British Columbia and is a CPA, CA who earned her chartered accountant designation while articling at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Vancouver.
Kathryn Johnson has been granted an aggregate of 100,000 Restricted Share Units and 250,000 options to purchase Rio2 common shares at the exercise price of $1.71 per share, all pursuant to Rio2’s Share Incentive Plan and Stock Option Plan. The grant of the RSUs and Options are subject to regulatory approval.
Kathryn replaces David D’Onofrio as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary. The Company wishes to thank David for his contributions during the Company’s transition over the past two months.
Luc English is based in Nicaragua and has over 20 years’ experience as an Exploration Geologist and Manager. He has spent the past 10 years in Nicaragua where he successfully led Condor Gold’s exploration team from concession acquisition, through exploration and resource development to a pre-feasibility mining study on the La India Gold Project. He also recently represented geological consultants CSA Global managing geotechnical drilling for a proposed interoceanic canal across Nicaragua. His training as an exploration geologist was gained in Australia, Eritrea and Gabon on gold and multi-commodity exploration projects. He has explored for a number of different commodities in a variety of different geological settings. He was the geologist responsible for the resource definition and bankable feasibility study of two satellite open pits on the Coyote Gold Mine in Central Australia, and prior to that for the resource definition of satellite open pits for the Jundee Gold Mine in Western Australia. He has also worked as a technical consultant for the oil and gas industry in the UK and Middle East. Luc holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Geology from the University of Bristol. He is a Chartered Geologist with the Geological Society of London and a European Geologist with the European Federation of Geologists, recognised as a “Competent Person” under JORC, PERC and a “Qualified Person” under NI 43-101.
Project Acquisition Update
The Company continues to review numerous precious metals projects and companies for potential acquisition. Management remains focused, disciplined and selective in its due diligence activities as projects must demonstrate the ability to be developed into high margin, strong free cash flowing mining operations which in turn generate significant value accretion for shareholders.
Gold Exploration Portfolio, Peru
As previously announced on April 10, 2017, Rio2 Limited, through its whole owned subsidiary Rio2 Exploraciones S.A.C. has entered into a mining assignment and option agreement with Compañia Minera Milpo S.A.A. pursuant to which it has the right and option to acquire all rights and interests in 7 gold exploration prospects totalling approximately 19,000 hectares in Peru.
Rio2 has recently completed site visits to each of the prospects and is in the process of planning and prioritizing a first phase exploration program for the coming months. Social and community fieldwork has commenced to facilitate the gaining of social license for the work programs the Company is planning.
The Company will provide updates to shareholders as it advances its activities on these properties.
Rio2 has recently applied for 10,000 hectares of exploration concessions in Nicaragua as the Company ranks the country highly as a destination to do business in the mining sector in Latin America. Recognizing the mining sector’s potential to boost the country’s gross domestic product and economic growth, the Nicaraguan government, through the Ministry of Energy and Mines, is actively promoting investments by having established a solid legal framework and facilitating the development of mining projects in the country.
Bordering Honduras to the north, and Costa Rica to the south, Nicaragua’s mining tradition dates back to the nineteenth century and has since become one of the country’s most dynamic economic sectors.
Rio2 understands that less than 10% of the country is currently under exploration and all current mining operations are taking place in three historical districts: the Golden Triangle (Bonanza, Siuna and Rosita), La Libertad/Santo Domingo, and El Limón/La India. The Company intends to leverage off of Country Manager, Luc English’s ten years of experience of exploring in the country, to acquire precious metals prospects that have the potential of being able to be developed into highly profitable mining ventures.
The Company will provide updates to shareholders as it advances its activities in Nicaragua.
The focus of Rio2 is to compile an attractive portfolio of precious metals assets that can be developed into mines and to assemble a highly experienced technical and corporate management team with a solid experience base of developing and building mines in South, Central and North America. Through its strategy of evaluating and acquiring precious metals projects and through a combination of organic exploration and development and strategic acquisitions, the management team intends to grow Rio2 and create long-term shareholder value through the development of high-margin, strong free cash flowing mining operations.
Forward-Looking Statements. This news release contains forward-looking statements. More particularly, this document contains statements regarding the Company’s acquisition and exploration strategy and plans. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "scheduled", "potential", or other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may", "should" or "could" occur. The forward-looking statements are based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by the Company, including expectations and assumptions concerning timing of receipt of required regulatory approval and general economic, operational and financing factors. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable by the Company at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information, which speaks only as of the date hereof. The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking information contained herein to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.