24/09/2013 - 09:18

Metals X acquires Alacer's mines

24/09/2013 - 09:18

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Toronto-based gold miner Alacer Gold has agreed to sell its Australian operations to a subsidiary of Perth-based explorer Metals X for $40 million.

Metals X acquires Alacer's mines
Alacer's Higginsville operation near Kambalda.

Toronto-based gold miner Alacer Gold has agreed to sell its Australian operations to a subsidiary of Perth-based explorer Metals X for $40 million.

Metals X subsidiary Westgold Resources will take ownership of Alacer Gold and its wholly owned entities as of the beginning of next month, with the transaction contingent only on approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board if required.

Alacer placed its Australian operations into care and maintenance last month as it looked to find a buyer for its local assets.

The company had earlier announced a $412 million writedown on its Australian mines, which include the Higginsville and South Kalgoorlie operations in the Goldfields.

Metals X chief executive Peter Cook said the acquisition was a significant step in the growth of the company’s gold division.

“Our gold division now has a total resource inventory of over 12.5 million ounces of gold within four key projects,” Mr Cook said.

“Our strong balance sheet has allowed the company to act swiftly in securing the assets under favorable terms in accordance with the production growth and diversification strategy that is in place.”

Metals X is Australia's largest tin producer through its 50 per cent share in the Renison tin project off the west coast of Tasmania, held as part of a joint venture with Chinese corporation Yunnan Tin Group.  

The company is hoping to bring its Wingella nickel project in the north-east of Western Australia to production but earlier this year suspended work on a definitive feasibility study for the project, citing pessimistic economic conditions and a cyclical low in nickel prices.  

Alacer chief executive Rodney Antal said the sale of the Australian assets would allow the company to focus on its Turkish operations.

“We are pleased to have negotiated a sale to a Western Australian company that is familiar with our Australian assets,” Mr Antal said.

Shares in Metal X were up 8.3 per cent to 13 cents at 9:15AM WST. 

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