Newcrest eyes options for 13.6% stake in SolGold
Australia’s Newcrest (ASX: NCM) has hired investment bank RBC Capital Markets to explore options for its 13.6% stake in Ecuador-focused gold and copper producer SolGold (LON, TSX: SOLG) after it contested SolGold’s latest fundraising initiative, sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
In May, SolGold secured up to $150 million from streaming company Franco Nevada (TSX, NYSE: FNV), to develop its Alpala copper-gold project at its flagship Cascabel asset. The company, which says its Ecuador project is one of the largest copper-gold porphyry systems ever discovered, expects to start production in 2025.
The move with Franco-Nevada defied Newcrest, which had urged it to raise funds via equity.
SolGold said at the time the net smelter return (NSR) agreement includes an initial $100 million. Franco-Nevada, which provides natural resource companies with upfront cash in exchange for future production, will receive a perpetual 1% NSR.
Newcrest, Australia’s biggest listed gold producer, is seeking advice on its options for the stake it holds in SolGold, but no conclusion has been reached on whether to sell or buy more, two sources close to the matter said on condition of anonymity.
Gold has seen deals worth nearly $40 billion since the start of 2019, data from Refinitiv shows.
The gold price is at its highest in around eight years.
(With files from Reuters)