Kinross Gold to buy Great Bear for $1.42 billion

The Dixie gold project owned by Great Bear Resources lies between the Whirlwind Jack and Red Lake properties of Red Lake Gold and Dixie Gold, respectively. Credit: Great Bear Resources.

Kinross Gold (TSX: K) (NYSE: KGC)  announced on Wednesday it will buy gold explorer Great Bear Resources for about $1.42 billion.

The Canadian miner will pay Great Bear shareholders an equivalent of about C$29 per share on a fully diluted basis. They have the option to receive that in cash or as 3.8564 Kinross shares.

The deal represents a premium of 26.5% to Great Bear’s last close on Wednesday.

Great Bear’s Dixie project in the Red Lake gold camp in northwestern Ontario consists of 9,140 hectares of contiguous claims extending over 22 kilometres (14 miles), accessible year-round by highway and is close to significant infrastructure, including paved roads, electricity and a natural gas pipeline provided by the town of Red Lake, about 25 km (15 miles) to the northwest.

To date, Great Bear has completed more than 340,000 meters of drilling in 794 drill holes and has identified five high-grade gold discoveries.

Read more: Great Bear’s Dixie project poised to make magic happen

“The Dixie project represents an exciting opportunity to develop a potentially top-tier deposit into a large, long-life mine complex,” Kinross CEO Paul Rollinson said in the media statement.

“Dixie’s closest geological analog, the large Hemlo gold mine, was historically operated by three separate companies prior to its consolidation and has produced over 20 million ounces of gold in more than 30 continuous years of operation,” said Great Bear CEO Chris Taylor. “Great Bear shareholders will now be in a unique position to benefit from the potential of the top-tier Dixie project under one company and will maintain strong exposure to the project through their Kinross shares.”

Kinross stock fell 10% on the TSX while Great Bear’s shares jumped 24.3% on the news.