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Evolution seals $475m deal for iconic Northparkes mine

Jake Klein says the acquisition of Northparkes is an unique opportunity for Evolution.

Jake Klein says the acquisition of Northparkes is an unique opportunity for Evolution.

5th December 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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Gold mining company Evolution Mining on Tuesday announced it would buy an 80% interest in the Northparkes copper/gold mine, in New South Wales, from CMOC Group.

The deal, valued at $475-million, solidifies Evolution’s commitment to expanding its portfolio, said chairperson Jake Klein, describing the acquisition as a “unique opportunity” for the company.

“Northparkes is a day one cashflow producing asset with a 30-year mine life, considerable upside and a well-established team that has a great track record and technical experience at the operation,” he said.

Located about 27 km from Parkes, in the central west of New South Wales, the mine has been in operation since 1994 and was the first mine to use the block cave mining method in Australia.

The asset’s underground mining operations are highly automated with E48 block cave achieving 100% mining automation in 2015. Mining production is currently sourced from the E48 block cave (which is nearing completion), the E26 lift 1 block cave and the E26 sub level cave supplemented by stockpile ore feed, and openpit mining.

The onsite processing plant at Northparkes produces a copper/gold/silver concentrate that is trucked and railed to the Port of Newcastle before being shipped to international clients.

“Positioned in the Lachlan Fold Belt, one of Australia’s most prospective copper/gold belts, Northparkes has a long history of ore reserve replenishment and growth, increasing reserves by 49% since 1994, with a current ore reserve of 101-million tonnes. In addition, the asset is favourably located close to well-capitalised infrastructure, featuring concentrated mining options with five deposits situated within a two-kilometre radius,” said MD and CEO Lawrie Conway.

Once the transaction is completed, Northparkes will add about 19 000 oz of gold and 12 500 t of copper to Evolution’s 2024 financial year guidance of 789 000 oz of gold and 62 500 t of copper.

Following a long period of ownership, CMOC has decided to exit the asset in pursuit of other strategic initiatives that are more aligned with its objectives. CMOC acquired an 80% stake in Northparkes from Rio Tinto in November 2013.

Evolution will acquire all the shares in CMOC’s Australian subsidiary, CMOC Mining, for $400-million in upfront cash and a contingent consideration of up to $74-million.

Sumitomo Metal and Mining and Sumitomo Corporation will retain their 20% interest in the Northparkes joint venture.

The transaction will be funded by a newly announced A$525-million fully underwritten institutional placement and a new A$200-million, five-year term debt facility. In addition, Evolution will also undertake a nonunderwritten share purchase plan for eligible retail shareholders.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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