AmCham Macedonia Summer 2016 (issue 50) - Page 20

INTERVIEW Summer 2016 / Issue 50 Interview With Chris James, CEO of Lynx Resources Ltd, Which Acquired the SASA Mine in Makedonska Kamenica in November 2015 New Owners of SASA Mine Pleased to Join Macedonian Business Community ACM: Lynx Resources was established by its shareholders Fusion Capital AG and Orion Mine Finance Group to acquire the SASA mine. What led to this decision? James: Both Fusion Capital and Orion Mine Finance are strong believers in the fundamentals for zinc and lead, and the quality of the SASA mine – which is one of the most competitive lead/zinc/ silver mines globally, with a track record of stable production (around 30,000 tons of lead, 22,000 tons of zinc and 400,000 ounces of silver in concentrates each year), and a long resource life of approximately 20 years. We conducted extensive due diligence on the operation before establishing Lynx Resources to acquire the mine, culminating in one of the largest private acquisitions in Macedonia, and in the zinc/ lead industry recently. 20 AMCHAM MAGAZINE Our company, Fusion Capital, is a management team focused on the acquisition and management of mining operations, and my partners and I are now the full time management team and co-owners of Lynx Resources. Our largest investor is Orion Mine Finance, one of the world’s leading mining-focused investment businesses, headquartered in the United States, with approximately $1.8 billion under management. We actually named our new company after the Balkan Lynx, an endangered animal in the region and one of the national symbols of Macedonia as depicted on the 5 Denar coin, to underscore our Chris James respect for the region and its natural heritage. ACM: SASA mine has a long mining history. How useful is the existing infrastructure? What improvements are planned/ needed? James: The previous owners invested in new plant and equipment when they acquired the assets out of bankruptcy in 2005, and ramped up the mine to its production levels of today (approximately 770,000 tons per annum of ore). Our ongoing investments