Eskay Mining, P2 Gold agree on merger

Eskay’s flagship property is located in BC’s Golden Triangle. Credit: Eskay Mining

Gold explorers Eskay Mining (TSXV: ESK) and P2 Gold (TSXV: PGLD) agreed this week on a merger which would see an experienced team brought on board to advance Eskay’s projects in the Golden Triangle of British Columbia.

Under the agreement, P2 shareholders will receive 0.2778 of an Eskay common stock. This would result in existing Eskay shareholders owning approximately 80% of the combined company, while P2 shareholders are expected to hold the other 20%.

The combined company will be managed by the team that discovered and developed the Brucejack mine, now owned by Newmont. Joe Ovsenek, currently CEO of P2 Gold, will head the company, while Eskay’s CEO Mac Balkam will serve as board chair.

“With this transaction, Eskay has taken a significant step toward finding the next major resource in the Golden Triangle. The P2 Team, led by Joe Ovsenek, is second to none in producing results in the area,” Balkam said in a news release.

The initial exploration focus will be the Eskay-Corey property, which Balkam says is “the most prospective ground in the Golden Triangle without a major discovery to date.” According to Eskay, it has been shown to host several VMS (volcanogenic massive sulphide) targets, as well as the potential for nickel-copper sulphides.

The project will now be complemented by P2’s Gabbs gold-copper project in Nevada, which has an indicated resource of 1.16 million oz. in gold-equivalent (49.8 million tonnes grading 0.45 g/t gold, 1.36 g/t silver and 0.27% copper).

P2 recently released a preliminary economic assessment for Gabbs, showing an after-tax net present value (5% discount rate) of $949.2 million and internal rate of return of 33.5% calculated at spot prices. Production over a 14-year life is projected at 1.47 million oz. of gold, 2.06 million oz. of silver and 190,000 tonnes of copper.

Shares of P2 Gold traded 4.8% lower by 2:30 p.m. ET Wednesday for a market capitalization of C$11.3 million. Eskay Mining’s shares also fell 5.0%, capitalizing the company at C$69.9 million.