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Western Copper and Gold announces strategic investment by Mitsubishi Materials

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(Kitco News) - Western Copper and Gold (TSX: WRN; NYSE: WRN) today announced a strategic equity investment by Mitsubishi Materials to further advance the company's copper-gold Casino project in the Yukon.

According to a company press release, Mitsubishi Materials has agreed to acquire that number of common shares of the company that will represent approximately 5.0% of Western's issued and outstanding shares, on an undiluted basis, following completion of the investment, at a price of C$2.63 per share.

The company added that the exact number of shares to be issued, and proceeds to be received, by the company will depend on whether Rio Tinto Canada elects to exercise its pre-existing right to participate on a pro rata basis in equity financings by the company to maintain its current ownership interest, which based on public filings is approximately 7.84%.

"Assuming Rio Tinto elects to exercise its participation right in full, then it is expected that 8,091,390 shares will be issued to Mitsubishi Materials for aggregate gross proceeds of C$21.3 million and 878,809 shares will be issued to Rio Tinto for aggregate gross proceeds of C$2.3 million," the company said.

"We are pleased to welcome Mitsubishi Materials as a strategic investor in the company," said Paul West-Sells, President and CEO. "The investment by Mitsubishi Materials is a strong endorsement of the Casino project. We look forward to working with Mitsubishi Materials to advance Casino."

Western noted it remains the sole owner of the Casino project and will continue to be the operator, adding that the company will use the proceeds of the strategic investment to "advance the project and to fund specific areas of study," developed with input from Mitsubishi Materials, with the aim of "progressing to a development phase" for the Casino project.

Western Copper and Gold Corporation is developing the Casino project, Canada's premier copper-gold mine in the Yukon Territory and one of the most economic greenfield copper-gold mining projects in the world.

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, founded in 1871, is a Japan-based company principally engaged in the processing and manufacturing of non-ferrous metals and products. The group operates businesses in over 30 countries across the world and employs around 23,000 people. Its extensive scope of operations ranges from mining, smelting/refining and recycling, to high-performance processed products, providing solutions for a sustainable society.

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