Westgold takes ‘prize’ Beta Hunt mine in $1B Karora takeover in Australia

Australia’s Westgold Resources (ASX: WGX; US-OTC: WTGRF) has agreed to buy Karora Resources (TSX: KRR; US-OTC: KRRGF) in a $1 billion (A$1.23 […]
Beta Hunt garnered global attention in 2018 when teams discovered two of the largest gold specimens ever found. Credit: RNC Minerals

Australia’s Westgold Resources (ASX: WGX; US-OTC: WTGRF) has agreed to buy Karora Resources (TSX: KRR; US-OTC: KRRGF) in a $1 billion (A$1.23 billion) cash-and-shares deal to control the jewel in the country’s gold sector.

The merger brings Beta Hunt together with Big Bell, the emerging Bluebird and the historical Great Fingall mine under one Australian management team. Beta Hunt garnered global attention in 2018 when teams discovered two of the largest gold specimens ever found, weighing about 95 kg and 63 kg, with an estimated gold content of 2,440 oz. and 1,620 oz., respectively.

“The prize here is Beta Hunt’s gold potential,” Westgold managing director and CEO Wayne Bramwell said on April 8. “Rarely do you find a gold asset of the quality and potential of Beta Hunt hiding in a nickel belt and drilling is expected to further unlock value at this mine.”

The deal will save the combined operations $438 million in operating costs and position the new company as a mid-tier gold producer globally  and top-five Australian with 400,000 oz. in annual output.. It will have combined ore reserves of 3.2 million oz. gold and resources of 13 million oz. metal, and a market capitalization of about A$2.2 billion.

Karora shareholders are set to receive a blend of 2.524 shares of Westgold, A$0.68 in cash, and 0.3 share of a new entity to be created from Karora. This new company will include Karora's investments in the lithium exploration company Kali Metals and a 1% lithium royalty on specific mining properties.

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