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Newcrest to acquire Pretium, Brucejack mine for $3.5 billion

Australian miner to add another B.C. mine to its stable, the second in recent years
The Brucejack gold mine is located about 65 kilometres north of Stewart, B.C. | Submitted

Australia-based Newcrest Mining Ltd. will buy B.C.'s Pretium Resources for $3.5 billion.

Pretium, which also calls itself Pretivm, developed the Brucejack gold mine.

Bruejack is located approximately 65 kilometers north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. near the Alaska border.

It will be the second B.C. mine Newcrest has acquired in recent years. It previously acquired a majority share of the Imperial Metals Red Chris copper-gold mine in 2019.

The company announced November 6 that it will acquire all Pretium shares that it doesn't already own, with Pretium shareholders having the option of receiving $18.50 per Pretium share in cash or 0.8084 Newcrest shares per Pretium share.

"It's really zeroing in on the Golden Triangle, which is a highly prospective gold and copper region in British Columbia," Newcrest CEO Sandeep Biswas said in a press conference Monday. "Together, with our Red Chris asset, this will make us the biggest gold producer in British Columbia."

Pretium's current market cap is $2.8 billion. The Newwcrest offer represents a premium of 23 per cent to 29 per cent on a 20-day average share value as of November 8, Newcrest said in a press release.

While Pretium has struggled to produce the high grades and volumes that had been expected at Brucejack, Biswas said there is great potential in the area for new discoveries.

"The really exciting thing particularly is the exploration potential," Biswas said. "We beleive there's a lot more gold there than what currently people believe exists."

The acquisition has received unanimous support from Pretiuum's board of directors.

“The acquisition of Pretivm by Newcrest is an outstanding opportunity for the company and its shareholders, employees, First Nations partners and the local communities in northwest British Columbia,” Pretium CEO Jacques Perron said in a press release.

“The transaction delivers an immediate and compelling premium for Pretivm shareholders that reflects the excellent work of our employees and contractors in developing and operating the Brucejack gold mine, while also offering an opportunity to benefit from potential upside as Newcrest shareholders.”