Newmont (NYSE: NEM) (TSX: NGT), the world’s No. 1 gold miner, completed on Monday the acquisition of GT Gold, after it grabbed the remaining 85.1% of common shares of the Canadian explorer it did not already own.
The C$393 million ($325m) cash deal, first announced in March, gives the US-based gold giant the Tatogga gold-copper project, located in the Traditional Territory of the Tahltan Nation.
“With the acquisition of GT Gold and the Tatogga project in the highly sought-after Golden Triangle district of British Columbia, Canada, Newmont continues to strengthen our world-class portfolio,” Newmont president and CEO Tom Palmer said in the statement.
Tatogga is just about 14km west of Imperial Metal’s Red Chris copper-gold mine in northwest British Columbia.
The copper-gold project, which includes the primary Saddle North asset, has the potential to contribute significant gold and copper annual production to Newmont’s overall output.
Its acquisition adds to the company’s existing interest in area through the company’s 50% ownership in the Galore Creek project.
“We will partner with the Tahltan Nation at all levels, and with the Government of B.C. to ensure a shared path forward as the company understands and acknowledges that Tahltan consent is necessary for advancing the Tatogga project,” Palmer added.
With gold prices bouncing back and a dearth of shovel-ready development projects in the pipeline, experts have said that 2021 could see a lot of merger-and-acquisition (M&A) activity in B.C.’s mining sector, especially in gold.
The last six months have been a fairly busy one for mining M&As, with many of those deals involving Vancouver-headquartered companies.
New Gold (TSX, NYSE:NGD) completed in 2020 the sale of its Blackwater property, south of Prince George, to Artemis Gold (TSX-V:ARTG) for $190 million.
Seabridge Gold Inc. (TSX: SEA) bought in December the Snowfield project from Pretium Resources (TSX:PVG) for $100 million in cash, a 1.5% net smelter royalty related to all production and a $20 million future contingent payment.
Early this year 2021, Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD)(NYSE:EGO) acquired QMX Gold Corp. (TSX-V:QMX) for $132 million in a friendly acquisition.
Rick Rule, president and CEO of Sprott US Holdings, believes there has been such an underinvestment in new discoveries that BC projects in more advanced stages of development could be prime targets.
“The industry is sorely lacking high-quality exploration projects or development projects,” Rule said in February. “The consequence of that is, when somebody makes a good discovery, they can be taken at absolutely eye-popping multiples.”
Newmont noted the acquisition of GT Gold opened further exploration opportunities beyond the known deposits at Saddle North.