US Gold (NASDAQ: USAU) is adding a new exploration project to its portfolio through its acquisition of Northern Panther Resource Corporation, which holds the Challis gold project in Idaho.
US Gold is currently focused on developing the advanced-stage Copper King project in Wyoming and the Keystone project in the Cortez Gold Trend of Nevada.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, US Gold has issued 581,053 restricted common shares to shareholders of Northern Panther as well as 106,894 shares of newly created preferred stock, each potentially convertible into 10 common shares of US Gold.
Concurrently with the merger, Northern Panther shareholders have led a financing in which US Gold received subscriptions for shares of its preferred stock and warrants up to $5.5 million. Counting the $2.5 million cash already held by Northern Panther, this would bring a total of up to $8 million in additional capital to the company.
The Challis property is located approximately 75 kilometers southwest of Salmon, Idaho, within the tertiary challis volcanic field. The project has an NI 43-101 (not current) resource of approximately 313,825 ounces of gold at 1.22 g/t.
Northern Panther is a newly formed Nevada company whose shareholders include George Bee, former president and CEO of Andina Minerals, which was acquired by Hochschild Mining in 2012.
Bee was also involved in the development of the Fruta del Norte project in Ecuador while working as chief operating officer of Aurelian Resources Prior to that, Bee had a 16-year career at Barrick, where he was part of the team that developed Goldstrike in Nevada.
“We are acquiring not only an additional high-potential exploration project, but a significant cash balance and some of the industry’s leading shareholders, who plan to be very hands-on going forward,” US Gold president and CEO Edward Karr said in a media statement.
Shares of US Gold surged 12.8% on the NASDAQ by 1:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday. The US-focused gold explorer has a market capitalization of $31.1 million.