Kinross Gold announces $1.42 billion deal for explorer Great Bear Resources

Kinross Gold Corp will acquire Ontario-focused exploration firm Great Bear Resources, after announcing a deal worth US$1.42 billion that will give it access to the coveted Dixie gold project.

The property, which is considered one of the most important Canadian gold discoveries in modern history, consists of 9,140 hectares of contiguous claims extending over 22 km in Northwestern Ontario.

TSXV-listed Great Bear has completed more than 340,000 metres of drilling in 794 drill holes and has identified five high-grade gold discoveries to date.

“The Dixie project represents an exciting opportunity to develop a potentially top-tier deposit into a large, long-life mine complex,” Kinross CEO Paul Rollinson said.

Meanwhile, Great Bear CEO Chris Taylor said: “Dixie’s closest geological analog, the large Hemlo gold mine, was historically operated by three separate companies prior to its consolidation and has produced over 20 million ounces of gold in more than 30 continuous years of operation.

“Great Bear shareholders will now be in a unique position to benefit from the potential of the top-tier Dixie project under one company and will maintain strong exposure to the project through their Kinross shares.”

At about C$29 per share, the Kinross offer represents a 26.5% premium to Great Bear’s close last Wednesday. The acquisition comes amid speculation of Barrick Gold’s interest in the explorer, after Mark Bristow’s firm struck agreements with two juniors over holdings to the West and North of Dixie.