(Bloomberg) — Chinese miners are buying up small Canadian gold producers as gold prices have rallied about 35% from the start of last year.
Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. agreed to buy Guyana Goldfields Inc. for cash on Friday, with a deal valuation of about C$323 million. This follows the May announcement by Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. to buy TMAC Resources Inc. for cash at an equity value of about $149 million.
Spot gold prices and gold miners have outperformed the global equity markets this year amid Covid-19 uncertainties and unprecedented global stimulus. That follows an 18% gain last year on broader global growth fears, which had helped drive a series of deals in recent months.
Zijin bought Guyana Goldfields after a hard fought battle with two other miners. The initial offer came from Silvercorp Metals Inc. on April 27 to buy Guyana for C$0.60 per share or a share exchange deal. However, within a couple of weeks, a rival bid from Gran Colombia Gold Corp. raised the offer to C$0.90 per share, subsequently prompting Silvercorp to raise its offer to C$1.30 per share. However, both offers were ultimately trumped by Zijin’s C$1.85 per share, more than three times the initial C$0.60 offer.
Zijin Mining has been on a buying spree since announcing in November last year that it planned to seek out M&A opportunities in gold mining projects that are currently in production or will commence production soon. In December, it had also bought another Canadian miner, Continental Gold Inc., for C$1.37 billion in cash.
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