Mr. Smith co-founded Western Pacific in 2009, not long before junior mining markets took a turn for the worse in 2011.
Smith was resolved to make something out of Western Pacific in the dark years of the commodities downturn. He went looking for a project that was financeable, with near term production potential and low startup costs.
On February 26, 2013, Western Pacific announced intentions to acquire the past producing Deer Trail gold, silver, lead and zinc mine in Piute County, Utah.
Deer Trail had extensive underground development and a modern mill facility, and Smith tied it up for $7.5 million out of bankruptcy proceedings.
Smith then recruited a management team with extensive mine building and shareholder wealth creation experience.
Arthur Brown, who was Chairman and CEO of Hecla, the largest silver producer in the US, became Chairman of Western Pacific. Michael Callahan, a former vice president with Hecla and President of Silvermex Resources until it was acquired by First Majestic Silver, also joined as President.
Smith then found financing for his company via the Quintana Capital Group of Houston, Texas. Quintana are a private equity investor in coal, oil, shipping and other sectors. They were introduced to Western Pacific by Lawrence Roulston, publisher of Resource Opportunities, who now sits on Western Pacific’s board.
Back in December, Roulston told us Quintana sees Western Pacific as a vehicle to build a multi asset production company to take advantage of the current weakness in the mining markets, starting with the Deer Trail project.
Yesterday Western Pacific announced the closing of the Deer Trail Mine acquisition, and the closing of the first $3.5 million in convertible notes sold to Quintana. Quintana have agreed to provide up to $10 million via convertible notes and $8.5 million via metals streaming to Western Pacific, subject to certain milestones.
The news release also announced a few management and board changes, with the notable replacement of Warwick Smith as CEO by the veteran miner Michael Callahan. Callahan congratulated Smith for his “outstanding contribution” to the company over the years in helping to secure its people, projects and capital.
Smith says he will now take a couple of months off to get married and looks forward to future endeavours.
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