• Filing Date: 2020-06-12
  • Form Type: 10-Q
  • Description: Quarterly report
6 Months Ended
Apr. 30, 2020
Equity Method Investments and Joint Ventures [Abstract]  


On June 1, 2018, the Company and its subsidiaries Minera Metalin and Contratistas entered into an Earn-In Option Agreement (the “Option Agreement”) with South32 International Investment Holdings Pty Ltd (“South32”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of South32 Limited (ASX/JSE/LSE: S32), whereby South32 is able to obtain an option to purchase 70% of the shares of Minera Metalin and Contratistas (the “Option”). Minera Metalin owns the Sierra Mojada Property located in Coahuila, Mexico (the “Sierra Mojada Project”), and Contratistas supplies labor for the Sierra Mojada Project. Under the Option Agreement, South32 earns into the Option by funding a collaborative exploration program on the Sierra Mojada Project. Upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Option Agreement, in order for South32 to earn and maintain its four-year Option, South32 must have contributed to Minera Metalin for exploration of the Sierra Mojada Project at least $3 million by the end of Year 1, $6 million by the end of Year 2, $8 million by the end of Year 3 and $10 million by the end of Year 4 (the “Initial Funding”). Funding is made on a quarterly basis based on the subsequent quarter’s exploration budget. South32 may exercise the Option by contributing $100 million to Minera Metalin (the “Subscription Payment”), less the amount of Initial Funding previously contributed by South32. The issuance of shares upon notice of exercise of the Option by South32 is subject to antitrust approval by the Mexican government. If the full amount of the Subscription Payment is advanced by South32 and the Option becomes exercisable and is exercised, the Company and South32 will be obligated to contribute funding to Minera Metalin on a 30/70 pro rata basis. If South32 elects not to continue with the Option during the four-year option period, the Sierra Mojada Project will remain 100% owned by the Company. The exploration program will be initially managed by the Company, with South32 being able to approve the exploration program funded by it. The Company received funding of $3,144,163 from South32 for Year 1 of the Option Agreement. In April 2019, the Company received a notice from South32 to maintain the Option Agreement for Year 2 by providing cumulative funding of $6 million by the end of such period. The Company has received funding of $1,361,968 from South32 for Year 2 of the Option Agreement as of April 30, 2020. In June 2020, the Company received a payment of $52,734 for Year 2 of the Option Agreement from South32, which time period has been extended by an event of force majeure described in more detail below. If the Option Agreement is terminated by South32 without cause or if South32 is unable to obtain antitrust authorization from the Mexican government, the Company is under no obligation to reimburse South32 for amounts contributed under the Option Agreement.

Upon exercise of the Option, Minera Metalin and Contratistas are required to issue common shares to South32. Pursuant to the Option Agreement, following exercise and until a decision has been made by the board of directors of Minera Metalin to develop and construct a mine on the Sierra Mojada Project, each shareholder holding greater than or equal to 10% of the shares may withdraw as an owner in exchange for a 2% net smelter royalty on products produced and sold from the Sierra Mojada Project. Any shareholder whose holdings are reduced to less than 10% must surrender its interest in exchange for a 2% net smelter royalty.

The Company has determined that Minera Metalin and Contratistas are variable interest entities and that the Option Agreement has not resulted in the transfer of control of the Sierra Mojada Project to South32. The Company has also determined that the Option Agreement represents non-employee share-based compensation associated with the collaborative exploration program undertaken by the parties. The compensation cost is expensed when the associated exploration activity occurs. The share-based payments have been classified as equity instruments and valued based on the fair value of the cash consideration received, as it is more reliably measurable than the fair value of the equity interest. If the Option is exercised and shares are issued prior to a decision to develop a mine, such shares would be classified as temporary equity as they would be contingently redeemable in exchange for a net smelter royalty under circumstances that are not wholly in control of the Company or South32 and are not currently probable.

No portion of the equity value has been classified as temporary equity as the Option has no intrinsic value.


On October 11, 2019, the Company and its subsidiary Minera Metalin issued a notice of force majeure to South32 pursuant to the Option Agreement. Due to a blockade by a cooperative of local miners called Sociedad Cooperativa de Exploración Minera Mineros Norteños, S.C.L. (“Mineros Norteños”), the Company has temporarily halted all work on the Sierra Mojada Property. The notice of force majeure was issued because of the blockade’s impact on the ability of the Company and its subsidiary Minera Metalin to perform their obligations under the Option Agreement. Pursuant to the Option Agreement, any time period provided for in the Option Agreement will generally be extended by a period equal to the period of delay caused by the event of force majeure. As of June 12, 2020, the blockade by Mineros Norteños at, on and around the Sierra Mojada Property is ongoing.


The combined approximate carrying amount of the assets and liabilities of Contratistas and Minera Metalin (consolidated with their wholly-owned subsidiary) are as follows at April 30, 2020:



Assets:  Mexico
Cash and cash equivalents  $17,000 
Value-added tax receivable, net   216,000 
Other receivables   4,000 
Income tax receivable   1,000 
Prepaid expenses and deposits   100,000 
Office and mining equipment, net   208,000 
Property concessions   5,020,000 
Total assets  $5,566,000 



Accounts payable  $51,000 
Accrued liabilities and expenses   116,000 
Payable to Silver Bull Resources, Inc. to be converted to equity upon exercise of the Option   3,348,000 
Total liabilities  $3,515,000 
Net advances and investment in the Company’s Mexican subsidiaries  $2,051,000 


In addition, at April 30, 2020, Silver Bull Resources, Inc. held $49,000 of cash received from South32, which is to be contributed to the capital of the Mexican subsidiaries as required for exploration. Cash received from South32 is required to be used to further exploration at the Sierra Mojada Property.


The Company’s maximum exposure to loss at April 30, 2020 is $5,399,000, which includes the carrying value of the Mexican subsidiaries’ net assets excluding the payable to Silver Bull Resources, Inc.