Equinox-Leagold merger creates US$1.75B gold miner

Leagold’s Los Filos gold mine in Guerrero state, 230 km south of Mexico City. Credit: Leagold Mining.Leagold’s Los Filos gold mine in Guerrero state, 230 km south of Mexico City. Credit: Leagold Mining.

Equinox Gold (TSX: EQX) and Leagold Mining (TSX: LMC) said on Wednesday that shareholders of both companies have approved their merger, creating an America-focused gold miner with a market capitalization of about US$1.75 billion.

The deal, announced in December, adds Leagold’s four mines in Mexico and Brazil to Equinox’s portfolio, which consists of two mines in California and one in Brazil.

As part of the $769.3-million transaction (US$584 million), Leagold shareholders will receive 0.331 of an Equinox share for each share they own, and will hold 45% of the combined entity, which will keep the Equinox name.

The new gold miner will be led by mining veteran Ross Beaty, chairman of Equinox and Pan American Silver (TSX: PAAS; NASDAQ: PAAS), who believes the merged company will have better liquidity and risk diversification.

“This merger will create one of the world’s largest gold companies operating entirely in the Americas,” Beaty said in December. “Our large scale will provide improved liquidity, greater asset and country diversification and a lower risk profile for all shareholders. This is the kind of gold company investors want today.”

Thanks to the business combination, Equinox will be able to hit one million ounces of gold production by late 2021 — two years ahead of schedule.

The Vancouver-based company moved from developer to producer status in July, when it kicked off commercial production at its second gold mine, Aurizona, in northeastern Brazil.

Equinox is also advancing construction at the previously-mined Castle Mountain project, located 320 km north of its Mesquite operation, with the target of pouring first gold in the second half of 2020.

The announcement comes on the heels of another gold merger. Kirkland Lake Gold’s (TSX: KL; NYSE: KL) $4.4 billion (US$3.35 billion) takeover bid for Detour Gold (TSX: DGC) won shareholders’ support on Tuesday at both companies.

This article first appeared in our sister publication, MINING.com. 


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