The $3.5-billion acquisition of Pretium Resources Inc. by Australia’s Newcrest Mining Ltd. appears likely to get the nod from investors later this week, with two proxy advisory firms approving the deal, despite earlier grumblings from the Canadian miner’s biggest shareholder.
In November, Pretium agreed to be acquired by Melbourne-based Newcrest in a cash-and-stock deal. Proponents of the transaction point to the sizable 22.5-per-cent premium that Newcrest has on the table, as well as its prowess in underground mining that may allow Pretium to tame what has been a difficult deposit to mine.
Vancouver-based Pretium operates the Brucejack underground gold mine high up in the mountains of British Columbia. While prized for its high-grade gold, Brucejack’s geology has been erratic, with Pretium encountering significant grade and production shortfalls over the years.
While problems with the orebody have stabilized under new management, the stock has continued to be volatile, and the average mining grade has been incrementally revised downward at Brucejack.
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