Minera Andes Inc., a Canadian mining exploration company that has maintained its headquarters in Spokane since its inception about 15 years ago, says it plans to move its executive offices to Toronto by the end of September.
The office here, at 111 E. Magnesium Road, recently employed only about six people, and once the company's main headquarters moves to Toronto, Minera Andes plans to open an exploration office somewhere in Spokane Valley that likely will house just a couple of employees, says company spokesman Art Johnson. He says the company hasn't made final decisions about staffing changes that will occur here as a result of the move.
The planned move will follow a change in control in executive management that occurred in June, after Toronto businessman and prominent Canadian mining executive Robert McEwen, already a large investor in Minera Andes, injected another $40 million (Cdn.) into the company, giving him a 37 percent stake. The transaction included provisions that allowed McEwen to put his own management in place. At the company's annual meeting June 18, McEwen was named interim president and CEO of Minera Andes, succeeding longtime CEO Allen Ambrose, who then was re-elected to the company's board and retained as a consultant.
Minera Andes is a gold, silver, and copper exploration company working solely in Argentina, and has a 49 percent interest in the operating San Jose silver and gold mine in southern Argentina. Silver and gold sales from the San Jose totaled about $41 million in the second quarter, and Minera Andes' share of the net income from the mine amounted to $2.6 million in the quarter.
Minera Andes reported second-quarter net income of $994,000, or 0 cents per share, compared with $9.4 million, or 4 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. For the first six months of 2009, the company reported a net loss of $3.3 million, or 1 cent a share, compared with net income of $8.3 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.
Separately, Minera Andes announced recently that it had completed an offering that raised $23 million (Cdn.), which will be used to fund ongoing exploration and development activities. Johnson says the money will help the company to bolster its exploration program.
The company currently holds mineral rights and applications for rights covering about 304,000 acres in Argentina. Its stock is traded both on the Toronto Stock Exchange and over the counter in the U.S.
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