In one of the largest mining deals this year, the board of directors of Arizona Mining Corp., which is developing a zinc, lead and silver mine near the U.S.-Mexico border, agreed to a $1.8 billion buyout by Australia’s South32 Ltd.
The all-cash bid of $6.20 per share represents a roughly 50 per cent premium on Arizona’s Friday’s trading price — which has hovered around $4 for most of the year. The Vancouver-based company’s stock surged 48 per cent to $6.13 on the news in Toronto on Monday. South32 was down 1.6 per cent in Sydney.
The deal comes as the prices of zinc, silver and lead have been sliding, while trade tensions mount, casting doubt on global economic growth.
“It’s always a tough call,” said Richard Warke, executive chairman of Arizona Mining, about the decision to sell. “This project has grown and is going to be one of the top five base metal mines in the world, so it’s not an easy decision.”
He noted that there’s a lot of uncertainty about future zinc prices and economic growth, and the cash offer “is very compelling, with much less risk.”