Hanking primed for Australian gold comeback

Hanking primed for Australian gold comeback

Mon, 09/04/2018 - 14:44

Primary's key asset is the Mount Bundy gold operation in the Northern Territory. Photo: Primary Gold

International mining company China Hanking has moved closer to restocking its portfolio with Australian gold assets, with its takeover bid for Primary Gold now unconditional after it acquired more than 55 per cent of the Western Australia-based exploration firm’s shares.

China Hanking’s Australian subsidiary announced the $37.5 million takeover bid in February, with Primary Gold poised to begin mining at its Coolgardie gold project in coming weeks.

The bid was subject to a range of conditions, including Foreign Investment Review Board approval and a minimum 50 per cent acceptance by Primary shareholders.

The 5.75 cents per share offer was made at a 47.4 per cent premium to Primary’s last share price of 3.9 cents.

Prior to the takeover bid, the Hong Kong-listed company was Primary’s largest shareholder, with an 8.4 per cent stake.

Hanking announced today it had acquired 55.9 per cent of the target’s shares.

Primary’s key asset is the Mt Bundy gold project near Darwin, which includes the Toms Gully underground mine and a 250,000 tonne per annum processing facility.

The Coolgardie project has a resource base of around 200,000 ounces, with the tenements including eight established open pits.

The takeover represents a comeback of sorts in Australia’s gold sector for Hanking, which had previously acquired the Southern Cross gold mine in 2013 for $19.7 million.

Hanking invested more than $164 million into the operation before offloading it to Shanghai-based Shandong Tianye Group in February last year for $330 million,

Shandong Tianye is a private subsidiary of Shanghai-listed Shandong Tyan Home, and is majority owned by Minjar Gold chairman Zhaoqin Zheng.

Hanking’s other assets in Australia include more than ¥21.7 million ($5.7 million) in equity interests in Australian miners, including cobalt and nickel hopeful Corazon Mining

Hanking today urged Primary Gold’s remaining shareholders to accept the offer, which is scheduled to close on April 17.

Hanking executives Yang Jiye and Tang Wenbing will join Primary’s board of directors, now that the offer has been declared unconditional.