Delaware-based Bullfrog Gold on Tuesday announced a transaction to acquire rights in Nevada from gold major Barrick Gold, along with plans for a C$22-million financing to be completed through Augusta Investments.
Upon completion of the transaction, Barrick and Augusta would become new cornerstone shareholders, with the gold major holding a 15.9% shareholding and Richard Warke’s mining-sector focused management group holding 31.9% of the junior’s outstanding shares.
Augusta would also assume management, and Maryse Bélanger would become CEO, while the board of the company would be reconstituted.
Barrick would acquire all Barrick’s mining claims, historical resources, permits and water rights in the Bullfrog mine area, adding about 1 500 acres to its current position of 5 250 acres, allowing for the backfilling of nearly all mine waste in the south part of the Bullfrog pit upon receipt of required regulatory approval, thereby substantially reducing environmental impacts and mining costs.
Upon completion of the transaction, Bullfrog would be well funded to complete several exploration programmes and expedite development of the Bullfrog project. The company would also continue to pursue other acquisitions and opportunities in the precious metal sector.
Barrick president and CEO Mark Bristow said that the transaction would consolidate assets to create an “exciting new mining project, led by a skilled team and with strong financial backing”.
The transaction was also in line with Barrick’s strategy of bringing noncore assets to account. Bristow last month said that the group would continue with noncore disposals, having met its $1.5-billion disposal target set in 2018. Barrick recently announced that it is selling its stake in the Morila mine, in Mali.
“We are very excited to join forces with Barrick in this historic mining camp. With the substantial resource that management at Bullfrog has identified to date, along with our injection of capital and expertise that our CEO Maryse Bélanger brings to the company, we see a very exciting time ahead for Bullfrog and its shareholders,” commented Warke.
Besides Bélanger's appointment, Daniel Earle, Donald Taylor and a nominee of Barrick would joint the board. David Beling would resign as president and CEO, but would remain a director to provide continuity with Bélanger.