Kinross Gold Corporation announced that it has entered into separate agreements with Teck Cominco Limited and certain subsidiaries of Anglo American plc pursuant to which Kinross will acquire a 100% interest in Minera Santa Rosa SCM for an aggregate purchase price of approximately US$250 million, plus a royalty. Minera owns 100% of the Lobo-Marte gold project located in the Maricunga district of northern Chile, roughly midway between Kinross’ Maricunga and La Coipa mines.
“This acquisition is directly on our strategy of strengthening Kinross’ presence in our core operating regions and adds another attractive deposit to our development portfolio, while giving us access to a further 30,000 hectares for exploration in a highly prospective, mining-friendly district,” said Kinross President and CEO Tye W. Burt.
Kinross has entered into a binding letter of intent with Teck to acquire its 60% interest in Minera for approximately 5.6 million common shares of Kinross, plus a net cash payment of approximately US$40 million, and a 1.75% net smelter returns royalty on 60% of future production, payable to Teck when the gold price is US$760 per ounce or more.
Kinross has also entered into a share purchase agreement with Anglo to purchase its 40% interest in Minera for a cash purchase price of US$140 million. Teck’s 60-day right of first refusal on Anglo’s interest expired on November 18, 2008.
“This acquisition adds approximately 5.9 million ounces of resources to the front of our development pipeline,” Mr. Burt said. Teck, as manager of Minera, reported Indicated Resources of 97,680,000 tonnes grading 1.72 g/t gold (approximately 5.4 million ounces of gold) and Inferred Resources of 9,250,000 tonnes grading 1.56 g/t gold (approximately 0.5 million ounces of gold) at Lobo-Marte on a 100% basis as at December 31, 2007 (see page 75 of Teck 2007 Annual Report).
“The acquisition allows Kinross to further consolidate its presence in the Maricunga district of Chile, and offers potential synergies using existing administration and operations to advance the Lobo-Marte project,” said Mr. Burt. “There is also the potential to leverage Kinross’ experience in cold-weather, heap leach mining at altitude, and to improve project economics through various processing options, including the use of the existing La Coipa mill for processing Lobo-Marte ore.”
Kinross has completed due diligence on the project and plans to begin a development program in early 2009. Part of this work will involve drilling, design, engineering, metallurgical testing, and upgrading the current resource base to an NI 43-101 compliant reserve.
Kinross’ obligation to complete the transactions is subject to the satisfaction of certain customary conditions, including receipt of necessary consents and regulatory approvals. Kinross expects that it will complete the acquisition in December, 2008.