Minority Stake in Lakewood-based Sweetwater Royalties Sold

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Global investment firm, Orion Resource Partners LP (“Orion”), specializing in metals and materials has declared the sale of a minority interest in Sweetwater Royalties to a Canadian pension fund. This latest move involves selling an 8% stake for an estimated $100 million, a sale that corresponds to a rough business value of $1.9 billion for the entirety of Sweetwater Royalties. Following the transaction, Orion will continue to have a 67% majority share in the asset, in the prior year the company sold 25% to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for close to $220 million.

Sweetwater Royalties, a private industrial minerals royalty company, was founded in 2020 under Orion’s management. The firm manages the long-term cash flow stemming from its mineral estate in Wyoming, renowned for the world’s largest trona deposit of 10.5 billion tons. Trona is a valuable mineral, processed into soda ash, an extensively utilized substance in several industrial applications, notably glass manufacturing. Soda ash derived from natural trona, such as that produced by Sweetwater, has a significantly lower environmental footprint compared to its synthetic counterpart.

The company’s Land Grant includes over 4.5 million mineral acres spread across Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Michigan, delivering an extensive royalty platform including industrial minerals, base metals, and renewables. Since its inception, Sweetwater has amassed over $280 million in royalty payments. Its future growth prospects remain promising, owed to the development of new mines by WE Soda Ltd. and Sisecam Chemicals, the global dominance of the trona deposit, and the scalability of capacity from existing operations.

Ordering Orion’s stewardship, Sweetwater’s management team has initiated several value creation initiatives including, setting up joint ventures with companies to pursue renewable energy initiatives like large-scale wind and solar projects and identifying two new world-class soda ash projects.

“This is an outstanding investment for Orion. The sheer scale of the asset, which allows Sweetwater effective control of 90% of the world’s supply of trona resources, provides us significant advantages and has the potential to deliver exceptional, realizable growth over the long-term,” said Oskar Lewnowski, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Orion Resource Partners LP. “We bear this responsibility with care, and through our renewable initiatives we hope to create lasting positive impact for the environment and surrounding communities.”

Damon Barber, the Chief Executive Officer of Sweetwater, welcomes the new partner, expressing that the growing importance of sustainability will continue escalating the demand for soda ash with the lowest environmental impact. “We continue to build and hone our operations to ensure we can meet the ongoing demand for our assets,” said Barber.

Source: Press Release