Highwood stock sold
Deal worth $6.1 million

Doug Ashbury
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 20/99) - Receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers has approved the sale of Royal Oak Mines' stake in Highwood Resources, it was announced earlier this week.

This is the first Royal Oak asset sale to get the go ahead. Court approvals are pending.

Richmond Hill, Ontario-based Dynatec, which provides services to mining and refining companies, will pay $6.1 million for Royal Oak's 35 per cent share of Highwood.

Highwood is best known to Northerners for its plans to bulk sample beryllium ore at Thor Lake about 100 kilometres east of Yellowknife. The proposal sparked stiff opposition. Critics of the plan cited potential health, environmental and economic concerns.

"We welcome Dynatec as both a major and an active shareholder to Highwood. We look forward to resulting synergies occurring between Dynatec and Highwood which would ultimately benefit the shareholders of both companies," Highwood President and CFO Garry Lynkowski said.

Highwood mines, processes and markets industrial minerals and is involved with the development of rare earth and specialty metal properties. The company markets talc, barite, silica, gypsum, limestone and zeolite.

"We can bring Dynatec's skills in metallurgy, mining, and drilling as well as specialized equipment to complement Highwood's industrial minerals capabilities and to help achieve its development and expansion objectives," Dynatec President and CEO Robert Dengler said in a release.

"None of the Royal Oak directors are involved (with Highwood) any more," he said Tuesday. If the deal gets court approval, Dynatec would appoint new directors.

This is Dynatec's first move to take an equity position in a resource company.

But Dynatec has operated Inco's Shebandowan nickel-copper mine near Thunder Bay, Ont. and the Euro Nevada-Franco Nevada Ken Snyder gold mine in Nevada.

Dynatec also has a metallurgy technical unit operating out of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.

Metallurgy is the science associated with the production, purification and properties of metals.

It remains to be seen if Dynatec's mining services and metallurgical arms could be attached in a deal linked to Royal Oak's Giant mine.

Giant, with its arsenic trioxide liability, remains up for sale.