Chinese miners are buying up small Canadian gold producers as gold prices have rallied about 35 per cent 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 $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 US$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 per cent 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 $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 $0.90 per share, subsequently prompting Silvercorp to raise its offer to $1.30 per share.
However, both offers were ultimately trumped by Zijin’s $1.85 per share, more than three times the initial $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 $1.37 billion in cash.