Scully Mine operator Tacora Resources files for IPO

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By Ted Liu

Tacora Resources Inc., a portfolio company of Proterra Investment Partners LP, has filed for initial public offering (IPO) with terms to be announced.

BMO Capital Markets and Jefferies Securities, Inc. act as lead underwriters for the offering. Stikeman Elliott LLP and Torys LLP are acting as legal counsel to Tacora Resources and the underwriters respectively.

Tacora Resources intends to apply to list its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

Tacora Resources was formed for the purpose of acquiring substantially all of the assets associated with the Scully Mine, an iron ore mine and processing facility located north of the Town of Wabush in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, together with the Wabush Lake Railway.

Tacora Resources is currently preparing for a re-start of iron ore mining and production activities at the Scully Mine.

Tacora Resources Inc., a British Columbia company, is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Tacora Resources is controlled by Proterra M&M MGCA B.V. and MagGlobal LLC. Proterra M&M MGCA B.V. is managed by Proterra Investment Partners LP, an independent investment firm spun off from Cargill in January 2016. MagGlobal is an entity controlled by Larry Lehtinen, Tacora’s Executive Chairman & CEO.

The Scully Mine was operated by Pickands, a subsidiary of Moore-McCormack Resources, from 1965 to 1986 when Pickands was acquired by Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF) who operated it from 1986 until being put on care and maintenance in February 2014.

For most of its life, the Scully Mine was a joint venture owned by Stelco (37.9%), Dofasco (24.3%), Inland Steel (15.1%), Acme Steel (15.1%) and Cliffs (7.7%), but after various mergers and acquisitions in the North American steel industry, the ownership of the Scully Mine was consolidated between Cliffs, ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel Canada whereby each partner held joint venture ownerships of 26.8%, 28.6% and 44.6% respectively. Cliffs exercised a right of first refusal in February 2010 to acquire 100% ownership of the property for approximately US $88 million.

On May 20, 2015, Cliffs commenced restructuring proceedings under the CCAA, ultimately selling the Scully Mine and other Eastern Canadian assets.

On July 18, 2017, Tacora acquired Scully Mine for an aggregate purchase price of CDN $9.8 million. In addition, Tacora agreed to assume all liabilities associated with the purchased assets arising from and after closing as well as all liabilities under assigned contracts, permits and licenses arising from and after or taking effect on or after the closing.

Upon completion of the offering and the concurrent debt financing, Tacora will have fully funded CDN $205 million of start-up capital costs. Tacora has secured favourable infrastructure and labour agreements, a six year offtake agreement with Cargill International Trading Pte Ltd. for 100% of expected iron ore production, and developed a new operational approach and processing plan to unlock additional value from the Scully Mine.

photo credit: Tacora Resources