US-focused gold miner i-80 Gold Corp (TSX: IAU) said on Tuesday it had inked a deal with Nevada Gold Mines that will help it create a major mining complex in the precious metals-rich state of Nevada.
Nevada Gold Mines (NGM), a partnership between Newmont and Barrick Gold, is buying from i-80 the remaining 40% interest in the South Arturo JV and a low-cost option to acquire the adjacent Rodeo Creek exploration property.
i-80, a relatively new company born from Equinox Gold’s (TSX, NYSE: EQX) acquisition of Premier, gets in exchange the Lone Tree and Buffalo Mountain properties, as well as related infrastructure, currently on care and maintenance.
The company also has also signed a definitive membership interest purchase to acquire Ruby Hill Mine from affiliates of Waterton Global Resource Management for $150 million in cash and shares.
Ruby Hill hosts multiple deposits that could collectively be one of the biggest gold and silver endowments in Nevada.
The deals, i-80 chief executive Ewan Downie said, would position the company as one of the biggest gold producers in the state of Nevada with the capacity to process refractory and oxide mineralization.
For NGM, it is an opportunity to consolidate production from its South Arturo open pit and the El Niño underground, capturing 100% of the longer-term upside on both orebodies. The agreement also provides NGM with a low-cost option to acquire 100% of the Rodeo Creek property comprised of exploration ground adjacent to South Arturo.
“This is a win-win transaction for both Nevada Gold Mines and i-80,” Greg Walker, managing director of NGM said in a separate statement.
“Through the acquisition of Lone Tree, an asset not being utilized by NGM has become a transformational asset for i-80. In return, NGM’s acquisition of i-80’s 40% of the South Arturo Joint Venture secures additional ounces with both open-pit and underground optionality for our Carlin operation,” Walker added.
I-80 is also advancing an underground development program for the 100%-owned McCoy-Cove property, south of Battle Mountain, and completing the acquisition of the Getchell Project.
The miner has said it would “aggressively pursue” the development of the Pinson underground and open pit opportunities.