Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. is buying Detour Gold Corp. in an all-stock deal worth $4.9-billion that sees one of the industry’s best-performing gold companies buy a turnaround play.
Toronto-based Kirkland is paying 0.4343 Kirkland shares for each Detour share, a 24-per-cent premium to Friday’s closing price. The transaction sees Kirkland, which already has mines in Ontario and Australia, add another major asset in a safe jurisdiction.
Thanks to the success of Kirkland Lake’s Fosterville mine in Australia, it has been the best-performing major gold stock in the world over the past few years.
Kirkland’s Achilles heel though has been its relatively low reserves, compared to other major miners, and some analysts had urged it to make an acquisition to address those concerns.
Detour Lake’s cornerstone mine in northern Ontario is low-grade but among the biggest producers in Canada, with yearly production of around 600,000 ounces a year. The Detour Lake acquisition adds about eight years to Kirkland Lake’s reserves.