Rupert Resources offers to buy B2Gold’s 70% interest in Finland JV

Aurion Resources (TSXV: AU; OTCQX: AIRRF) has been notified by joint venture partner B2Gold (TSX: BTO) that an offer has been made […]
Northern Finland where Rupert Resources is testing gold deposits. Credit: Rupert Resources

Aurion Resources (TSXV: AU; OTCQX: AIRRF) has been notified by joint venture partner B2Gold (TSX: BTO) that an offer has been made to acquire B2Gold's 70% interest in the JV, which focuses on gold exploration along the Central Lapland greenstone belt of northern Finland.

The offer was made by Rupert Resources (TSX: RUP), which is also exploring the Central Lapland belt. Its primary focus is the 100%-owned Rupert Lapland project, which contains the the multi-million-ounce Ikkari discovery, located 50 km southeast of Agnico’s Kittila gold mine, and the Pahtavaara mine and mill.

The offer states that Rupert will issue approximately 28.6 million shares to B2Gold, for an implied total value of $102.8 million based upon the market price of its shares as of March 8, 2024. The stock was down 1.1% to $3.55 by 11:30 a.m. ET on Monday, for a market capitalization of $723.8 million.

In a separate release Monday, the Toronto-based Rupert confirmed that preliminary discussions are underway with B2Gold to acquire its 70% interest in the JV company.

The acquisition would bolster Rupert's portfolio, adding several exploration targets covering 293 km2 of the Sirkka shear zone. This includes the Helmi discovery located 1.5 km west of Ikkari and the Kutuvuoma prospect discovered in 1990 by state-backed miner Outokumpu.

Under a 2019 shareholders agreement between the JV partners, Aurion holds a right of first refusal with respect to the proposed sale by B2Gold of its interest in the JV. It will have until May 9, 2024, to decide whether to exercise this right.

The transaction is also conditional upon execution of a definitive agreement and investor rights agreement, completion of mutual due diligence, as well as applicable regulatory approvals.

Shares of Aurion surged as much as 11.5% to $0.58 apiece on Monday, capitalizing the company at $76.8 million. The stock traded between $0.39 and $0.82 over the past 52 weeks.

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MINING.COM

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