Australian gold miners on the hunt for Canadian assets – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 21, 2019)

Here come the Aussies. Flush with cash, Australian mining companies are buying Canadian gold mines and more are expected to join the fray.

Last week, Melbourne-based St. Barbara Ltd. reached a friendly agreement to buy Vancouver’s Atlantic Gold Corp. for $722-million. Atlantic owns and operates a very profitable gold mine in Nova Scotia with a long reserve life.

Earlier this year, Australia’s biggest gold company, Newcrest Mining Corp., paid US$806-million for a majority stake in Red Chris, one of Imperial Metal Corp.’s prized gold and copper mines.

A mini-renaissance in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the junior and intermediate Canadian gold sector comes not long after the world’s two biggest gold companies − Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. − struck multibillion-dollar transactions of their own.

After years of cost cutting, the balance sheets of many mining companies have improved, meaning M&A is once again a viable strategic growth option. Superior-performing Australian companies are among the best positioned of any global companies to be the buyers and beaten-down Canadian companies are seen as the most vulnerable targets.

For the rest of this article: