Perseus increases stake in OreCorp ahead of vote on takeover by Silvercorp

Drilling at the Nyanzaga gold project in Tanzania. Credit: OreCorp

Perseus Mining (ASX, TSX: PRU) announced Monday it has increased its interest in Tanzanian gold miner OreCorp (ASX: ORR) from 15.03% to 19.9%.

The miner said it is not currently in active discussions with OreCorp and does not intend to submit a change of control transaction in competition to the current scheme that Silvercorp Metals (TSX, NYSE: SVM) has offered to OreCorp shareholders.

Silvercorp surprised the market last week by increasing its cash offer for OreCorp by A$20 million ($13 million).

The improved offer follows rumours that influential shareholders in the takeover target — which include major Western Australian mining actors — were growing unhappy increasingly dissatisfied with the proposed buyout deal.

Silvercorp’s revised bid values OreCorp at A$260 million ($170 million), and the higher A$0.543 per share offer represents a 12% premium on last Tuesday’s closing price.

OreCorp believes that Silvercorp has the balance sheet strength to fund construction and exploration of the Nyanzaga gold project in Tanzania.

A definitive feasibility study for the asset, announced in August 2022, estimated that the mine could deliver 242,000 ounces of gold per annum over the first 10 years of operations, peaking at 295,000 ounces per year, at life-of-mine of 10.7 years minimum.

Perseus intends to vote against the Silvercorp scheme at an upcoming meeting scheduled for December 8, 2023.

Shares of Perseus rose 2% by 1:24 p.m. EDT. The company has a market capitalization of A$2.37 billion ($1.56 billion). OreCorp retreated 10.4%. The company has a market capitalization of A$249 million ($164 million).