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SSR Mining commits to extending Seabee mine life with acquisition of Taiga Gold

Fisher exploration camp. Credit: Taiga Gold

SSR Mining (NASDAQ, TSX: SSRM) announced Thursday it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding common shares of Taiga Gold (CSE: TGC), in a move that would greatly expand its presence in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

SSR is currently only gold producer in the province, operating the Seabee underground mine about 125 km northeast of the town of La Ronge. The company is also exploring for gold at the Amisk property located on the Flin Flon greenstone belt.

By acquiring Taiga, SSR would add five new properties (total of 34,569 hectares) to its Saskatchewan project portfolio, providing new exploration targets stretching south from the Seabee mine to the Amisk property.

The deal would also consolidate a 100% interest in the Fisher property contiguous to the Seabee mine, currently operated under a joint venture between SSR (80%) and Taiga (20%).

Under the agreement, Taiga shareholders would receive cash consideration of C$0.265 per common share, representing a 36% premium to the stock’s closing price on Wednesday. This implies an equity value of approximately C$27 million ($21 million) on a fully diluted basis.

The transaction would also eliminate a 2.5% net smelter return (NSR) royalty covering the majority of the Fisher property, thus unencumbering the asset from future payments.

According to SSR, the Fisher property is able to provide potential ore sources to extend the operating life of the Seabee mine in the future, particularly given the excess capacity at the Seabee mill and the recently completed tailings facility expansion, which provides capacity through 2031 at current production levels.

Recent (September 2021) exploration results announced by SSR at Fisher included 22.99 g/t Au over 1.46m at the Mac North target and 10.03 g/t Au over 2.5m at the Yin target.

“The acquisition of Taiga Gold reiterates our commitment to the Seabee gold mine and ongoing investment for future resource discoveries as we aim to extend Seabee’s mine life into the next decade,” Rod Antal, SSR Mining’s president and CEO, said in a news release.

“Additionally, the acquisition of new greenfields exploration properties across the province of Saskatchewan should allow SSR Mining to build upon our regional expertise in a region we consider exceptionally prospective geologically and underexplored,” he added.

Shares of SSR Mining dropped 2.2% by 12:20 p.m. ET following the latest acquisition news, giving the intermediate gold company a market capitalization of C$4.7 billion ($3.6bn).