Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater (JSE: SSW)(NYSE: SBSW) has launched an off-market takeover offer for Australia’s New Century Resources (ASX: NCZ) that will pay $83 million for the shares it doesn’t already own.
The South African company, which already owns a 19.9% stake in New Century, said it planned to acquire another 10.92% of the zinc producer on market at or below the A$1.10 per share (76 cents) offer price.
The unsolicited takeover bid values New Century at A$144.1 million ($99.54 million).
“The proposed takeover is in line with our strategy to invest in the circular economy and be a global leader in tailings retreatment and recycling,” Sibanye, South Africa’s largest gold producer and the world’s third-largest producer of palladium and platinum, said in the statement.
According to Sibanye, New Century’s balance sheet is under strain due to amortization requirements of an environmental bond facility for the Century zinc mine and potential funding needs for growth projects. These include the Silver King lead-zinc-silver deposit in Queensland and the Mt Lyell copper mine in Tasmania.
The Century zinc operations were placed on care and maintenance in 2016, following depletion of the original open pit reserves after producing and processing on average 475ktpa zinc and 50ktpa lead concentrate for 16 years.
New Century converted existing processing infrastructure to enable re-processing of legacy tailings waste dumps. The update was completed in August 2018 and the operations have been re-processing tailings since.
The Century zinc mine is expected to run out of ore in 2027, with indicated and inferred resources holding an opportunity to extend operations beyond 2030.
On December 31 2021, it contained an attributable Mineral Resource of 1,106.3Mlb of zinc (at 3.5%) and an attributable Mineral Reserve of 710.9Mlb of zinc (at 3.1%).
Shares in the Melbourne-based zinc miner soared on the news, closing 42.2% higher at A$1.10 each. Year-to-date, the stock has gained 28.82%.