Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. has reached a friendly agreement to buy TMAC Resources Inc. for $289-million mere weeks after the Canadian government rejected Chinese state-controlled Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd.’s attempts to buy the struggling Arctic miner.
Toronto-based TMAC operates the Doris gold mine in Hope Bay, Nunavut, near tidewater in the Northwest Passage, a highly strategic shipping route connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.
The attempted takeover of the firm by Shandong generated a national debate about sovereignty in Canada’s Far North and whether China should be allowed to gain an economic foothold in the High Arctic.
In late December, the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development turned down Shandong’s $207-million offer on national security grounds.
TMAC was already in bad financial shape before the Shandong proposal was tabled in May; the evaporation of the Chinese offer put the company’s long-term future in jeopardy.