With deal-making in the gold sector heating up once again, attention is turning to which company might be swept up next. Some industry players wonder about Pretium Resources Inc.
In the past two weeks, three big gold deals have been unveiled. On Nov. 25, Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. reached a friendly agreement to acquire Detour Gold Corp. for $4.9-billion. This past week, China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. announced it was buying Canada’s Continental Gold Inc. for $1.4-billion, and Canada-listed Endeavour Mining Corp. made an unsolicited $2.5-billion proposal to acquire Centamin PLC.
If Detour disappears, Vancouver-based Pretium would be one of the last large single-asset gold companies left in Canada – making it a prime target. “Pretium is certainly the asset that sticks out now,” said Jon Case, precious metals portfolio manager with Sentry Investments Inc.
Given its size, and profitability, Pretium would be of interest to many senior gold mining companies as a potential acquisition, Mr. Case added.
Pretium operates the high-grade Brucejack mine in British Columbia. Last year, the company produced 376,000 ounces of gold, at an all-in sustaining cost of US$764 an ounce, making it among of North America’s lowest-cost and highest-margin producers.
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