B2Gold Corp.’s plan to acquire a project in Nunavut for $1.1-billion is blocking expansion plans at one of China’s largest gold producers, the latest in a series of Canadian setbacks for Chinese resources companies.
Vancouver-based B2Gold launched a friendly takeover bid for Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. on Monday aimed at winning control of properties 520 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife that contain some of the world’s highest-grade undeveloped gold projects. Sabina, also based in Vancouver, forecasts its first mine will open in 2025, at a cost of $750-million, and produce gold for 15 years.
If B2Gold’s offer is successful, and analysts predict it will be, the company will buy out Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. Ltd., one of Sabina’s largest shareholders with a 7.4-per-cent holding, and thwart the Chinese company’s global ambitions.
In 2017, Zhaojin bought an initial stake in Sabina for $66-million, buying stock at $2.65 per share. At the time, Zhaojin’s 25 mines and its smelting operations were located in China and company executives said their goal was to double production within a decade by making international acquisitions.
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