Equinox Gold and Leagold merger approved, creating $1.75 billion company

The shareholders of Canadian miners Equinox Gold and Leagold Mining have approved the merger deal, creating an Americas-focused gold giant with a market capitalisation of around US$1.75 billion.

First announced in December, the deal will bring together Leagold’s four mines in Mexico and Brazil with Equinox’s two US operations plus one mine in Brazil.

The new entity will retain the name Equinox, with Leagold shareholders receiving 0.331 of an Equinox share for each share they own. Those Leagold shareholders will hold 45% of the company.

Equinox’s current chairman Ross Beaty will lead the new gold miner. “This merger will create one of the world’s largest gold companies operating entirely in the Americas,” said the mining veteran 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,” Beaty added.

Following the merger, Equinox aims to hit one million ounces of gold production by late 2021 – two years ahead of schedule.

The Equinox-Leagold merger closely followed confirmation of Kirkland Lake Gold’s US$3.35 billion takeover of rival Detour Gold Corp, in a sign that there will little slowdown in 2020 of the M&A activity that gripped the gold sector last year.