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A truck drives along a hill of Pueblo Viejo mine in the Sanchez Ramirez province.Manuel Diaz/The Associated Press

The billion-dollar offering of Tahoe Resources Inc. shares is suffering from weak demand, another sign that mining investors remain cautious about the industry.

Late on Monday, Goldcorp Inc. announced plans to sell its remaining 26-per-cent stake in Tahoe for $998-million by way of a bought deal. Because the underwriters, led by GMP Securities and BMO Nesbitt Burns, purchased the Tahoe shares from the miner, Goldcorp has already received the full proceeds.

The financing initially looked like a big win for the lead dealers, particularly GMP, which has seen muted deal flow in recent quarters. However, the underwriting syndicate, which is rather large and includes global banks as well as boutique mining shops, is now responsible for selling the Tahoe shares to investors, and that process is struggling, according to people familiar with the deal.

The total number of shares sold falls anywhere between 25 per cent and 50 per cent of the total size, according to these people. The institutional order book is said to be between 20 per cent and 25 per cent, and it is unclear how many shares have been snapped up by retail investors. Tahoe's stock closed at $16.78, which is below the $17.20 issue price and means investors can buy the shares cheaper in the market.

Although the underwriters have plenty of time to sell the deal, the early weakness proves mining investors remain picky. If the Tahoe shares are not sold when the deal closes, the underwriters will be liable for those that are outstanding. Big, bank-owned investment banks are more than capable of handling large liabilities, but GMP, which did not return a request for comment, is much smaller, meaning it will feel more of a pinch.

Earlier this year, Silver Wheaton Corp. launched its own $1-billion offering to finance an acquisition, and Bay Street collectively lost millions on the deal.

Barrick Gold Corp. announced a $3-billion (U.S.) bought deal in 2013, another deal in which GMP served as a co-lead underwriter, and that offering also had weak demand. However, people close to the transaction say the end result was not horrific for the underwriters because some hedged their positions. The most common way to do so is to "short" the commodity, because the underwriters are "long," or own, the gold miner's shares.

Tahoe, a precious metals miner with assets in the Americas, had a $348-million IPO in 2010, priced at $6 per share. From the outset, the company was focused on silver, and got its start by acquiring the Escobal project from Goldcorp for $505-million in cash and shares.

For its first five years as a public company, Tahoe was run by Kevin McArthur, the former chief executive of Glamis Gold Ltd. and Goldcorp. Those roles not only provided experience running a precious metals miner, but also involved overseeing a project in Guatemala, where Escobal is based.

Earlier this year, Tahoe merged with Rio Alto Mining Ltd., which added the La Arena gold mine in Peru. Through the combination, Mr. McArthur became executive chairman, and Alex Black, who ran Rio Alto, took control of the combined company.

The news that Goldcorp is selling its stake in Tahoe did not surprise the mining community, according to an adviser, because many major miners are under the gun to sell assets to shore up their balance sheets. They have also been suspending projects since bullion prices started to plunge in 2011. The precious metal has traded at about $1,200 an ounce for most of this year, forcing miners to look for ways to strengthen their balance sheet.

Goldcorp, which is highly regarded by investors, is one of many miners selling non-core assets to conserve cash. Barrick, the world's biggest gold producer, has sold gold mines and is talking to potential buyers about its most profitable copper mine.

Miners outside of the gold industry are also trying to sell mines to reduce their debt to stay viable in the fourth year of the commodity downturn.