Evolution Mining Ltd. is offering $343-million to buy Battle North Gold Corp. in a friendly transaction that would see the Australian miner double down on Ontario’s Red Lake gold district.
Melbourne-based Evolution is offering $2.65 a share in cash for Battle North, a 45-per-cent premium to Friday’s close. Battle North is urging its investors to vote for the deal in a coming shareholder vote, saying the acquisition reduces the execution risk of getting its Bateman gold mine into production.
Toronto-based Battle North has spent the past few years resurrecting an underground gold project with a notorious past. About five years ago, a previous iteration of the company, Rubicon Minerals Corp., rushed the project into production, with only a preliminary engineering study in hand.
When Rubicon tried to mine the deposit, the gold wasn’t there and about a billion dollars of shareholder money went up in smoke.
Eventually, a new management team led by veteran mining turnaround executive George Ogilvie took over Rubicon while it was in creditor protection. This time around, Battle North has done far more due diligence, including conducting a full feasibility study, confirming both the presence and location of the gold in the ground.
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