Canadian government invokes national security to block Chinese takeover of Nunavut gold mine – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – December 23, 2020)

Shandong Gold Mining had proposed to pay about $230 million not including debt to purchase TMAC Resources

Canada has blocked a Chinese state-owned mining company from purchasing a gold mine in Nunavut on national security grounds, signalling a new escalation of already high tensions between the two countries.

Under the now terminated deal, Shanghai-listed Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. had proposed to pay about $230 million not including debt to purchase Toronto-based TMAC Resources Inc., which in 2018 developed a gold mine in Hope Bay, Nunavut.

A spokesperson for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada declined to answer questions about why the deal was blocked, but provided a statement noting that all foreign investments are subject to review under the Investment Canada Act.

“Reviews are conducted on a case-by-case basis as part of a rigorous and evidence-based process,” the statement read. “Due to the confidentiality provisions of the Investment Canada Act, the government cannot comment further.”

TMAC, which had been searching for a buyer who could invest hundreds of millions of dollars to overcome amid operational challenges, and is carrying growing debt, now faces an uncertain future.

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