Asante is pleased to announce that it has entered into a share purchase agreement with Kinross Gold Corporation (“Kinross”) to acquire Kinross’ 90% interest in the Chirano Gold Mine (“Chirano”) for a total consideration of US$225 million (the “Chirano Acquisition”). The Ghanaian government retains a 10% carried interest in Chirano.
The upfront consideration for the Chirano Acquisition will be comprised of US$115 million in cash and US$50 million in common shares of Asante (“Asante Shares”) based on the 30-day volume-weighted average price of the Asante Shares prior to closing of the Chirano Acquisition (“Closing”) and provided the issuance of the Asante Shares will not result in Kinross exceeding a 9.9% share ownership in Asante.
Kinross will also receive a total deferred payment of US$60 million in cash, with 50% payable on the first anniversary of Closing and the balance payable on the second anniversary of Closing. If the 9.9% share ownership limit is reached, the remainder of the US$50 million in share consideration will be paid by increasing the deferred cash payments in equal portions. Kinross has agreed that it will hold its Asante Shares for at least 12 months following the Closing.
The transaction is expected to be completed on or around May 31, 2022. The Government of Ghana has issued a Letter of No Objection to the change of control of Chirano and the transaction is not subject to a financing condition.
Dave Anthony, President and CEO of Asante, stated: “We are excited to add the Chirano operation to our base of gold production in Ghana. It presents an excellent opportunity for synergy with our other Ghanaian assets and represents “the next step” for our vision to build a leading gold mining company in Ghana and West Africa.
Asante has deep ties to Ghana and is committed to sharing the benefits of its activities with the local community and Ghana. Chirano is a well-run operation and our intention is to retain its employees, to ensure a smooth transition of ownership, with uninterrupted production.”
Douglas MacQuarrie, Non-Executive Chairman, stated: “The Bibiani and Chirano assets combined under one ownership will cover an entire district scale gold trend exceeding 53km in length. Total gold production from the mines to date exceeds 8 million ounces. With two modern process plants located 20km apart, exploration success anywhere along the gold trend can be efficiently accessed. Our recent exploration success at Bibiani-South Russel is indicative of the discovery potential that remains along the trend.”
Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Durose Asset Management Inc. are acting as financial advisors to Asante, with Bennett Jones LLP acting as legal advisor, for the transaction.