Hecla Mining to buy Canadian gold miner Aurizon Mines for $774.36 mn

Hecla Mining Co, the second largest silver miner in the US, today agreed to buy  Canadian gold miner Aurizon Mines Ltd  for C$796 million ($774.36 million), which had rejected a bid Alamos Gold Inc a month back.
Hecla Mining is offering to payC$4.75 per share, a premium of 9 per cent to Aurizon's Friday closing price of C$4.35.

In early January, Canadian junior gold miner Alamos, which already owns a 16-per cent stake in Aurizon, launched a C$4.65 per share stock and cash bid, with an eye on the Vancouver, British Columbia-based rival's operational Casa Berardi gold mine. (See: Canadian junior gold miner Alamos Gold to buy Aurizon Mines for $792.96 mn)

Aurizon rejected the offer, saying that the proposal was financially inadequate and opportunistic, and adopted a shareholder rights plan valid until 4 March, to ward off Alamos.

Aurizon's board has recommended Hecla Mining's offer to shareholders and all the directors and senior executives have agreed to tender their shares to the deal.

''We are pleased Aurizon's board recommends support of Hecla's transaction,'' said Hecla's president and CEO, Phillips Baker, Jr.

Aurizon is a gold producer developing its existing projects in the Abitibi region of north-western Quebec, Canada. It has 8 properties in Quebec, which include Casa Berardi, an operating gold mine and the advanced stage gold development property of the Heva and Hosco West Extension areas.

Idaho-based Hecla Mining is a low-cost US silver producer with operating mines in Alaska and Idaho, exploration and pre-development properties in four silver mining districts in the US and Mexico, and investments in early-stage silver exploration projects in Canada.