Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Marifil Mines hires fertilizer exec Rennie to help spin out Argentine potash assets

Exploration-stage resource company Marifil Mines (CVE:MFM) said Tuesday it hired Robert J. Rennie to aide with the spin-out of its Argentine potash, sulfur and phosphate projects, under a consulting services agreement.

Rennie, who holds a PhD in soil microbiology from the University of Minnesota, is slated to become the president and chief executive of the Newco, or the new separate entity.

Marifil plans to find a suitable shell company or capital pool company, which will become the majority owner of its fertilizer-related claims in Argentina. The company will receive cash and shares in the Newco and also retain a net smelter royalty.

"We feel that the market is not giving Marifil credit for its potash, sulfur, and phosphate assets," said CEO John Hite in a statement.

"Spinning these assets out will not only create more value for our shareholders but will also allow us to focus on our base and precious metal assets."

Rennie has a strong 27-year background in working with and managing fertilizer companies.

Initially, he started his career as a research scientist for the United Nations, and Agriculture Canada. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of Spur Ventures (CVE:SVU), which has been developing two phosphate deposits in China.

Prior to this, Rennie spent 20 years working for Agrium (TSE:AGU) - one of the world’s largest fertilizer companies.
While at Agrium, he was chairman of the board of both Profertil S.A., a joint venture between Agrium and Repsol.

Argentina imports 100 percent of its phosphate fertilizers, while Brazil imports 90 percent of its potash and 60 percent of its phosphate.

The Newco will have important advantages in developing these markets, including lower transportation costs to the market as compared to other global suppliers, the company said.

Marifil is engaged in the acquisition and exploration of mineral resources. Its properties include the Las Aguilas, Amarillo and Davicino acreages, totalling more than 400,000-hectares within nine provinces in Argentina.

Shares of the company grew by 7.69 percent, climbing to 14 cents apiece in trade on Toronto’s venture exchange Tuesday.

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