Last week, we announced an agreement to acquire Great Bear Resources Ltd. and its flagship Dixie project located in the renowned Red Lake mining district, in Northern Ontario, Canada.
In addition to the prospect of developing a quality, high-grade, open-pit mine, a significant portion of the asset’s value is its longer-term potential, which includes the view of a potential sizeable underground operation. We believe Kinross’ strong technical expertise and experience can successfully advance the project from exploration to development and unlock considerable value for our shareholders.
“This acquisition adds to our exciting future, reinforcing our Company’s excellent position to deliver value. We have a clear vision to develop this top tier asset into a large, long-life and multi-deposit mine complex with substantial exploration upside potential,” said J. Paul Rollinson, President & CEO. “The Dixie project will become a centerpiece in our global development portfolio of exciting projects and further strengthen our robust long-term outlook.”
Kinross has been involved in the Dixie project since 2018 and has closely monitored the gold discoveries and developments at the project since then. Our extensive due diligence reinforced the scarcity of an asset of this quality and value.
Leveraging our liquidity and financial flexibility for the acquisition
Our balance sheet is strong and we are in a good position to move forward with this important investment for our future. The transaction involves:
- Up-front consideration of approximately $1.4 billion
- Great Bear shareholders can elect to be paid in cash and shares, subject to pro-ration, with maximums of 75% cash and 40% Kinross shares
- Conditional future payment of approximately $46.0 million of Kinross shares, payable in connection with commercial production at Dixie and at least 8.5 million ounces of measured and indicated mineral resources are disclosed.
We expect to finance the acquisition with existing liquidity. In 2022, we expect to enhance the total return of capital to shareholders from our current quarterly dividend and ongoing share buyback program.
Developing a top-tier deposit with long-term potential
Upon completion of the acquisition, we plan to undertake a comprehensive exploration and development program at Dixie. The 91 square kilometre property has significant exploration upside potential, with 80% of the property unexplored. The project hosts a prolific gold system and has high-potential mineralized zones, with multiple avenues to unlock potential.
Our three-pronged plan to demonstrate the project’s longer-term potential and value includes:
- Rapidly advancing exploration activities at the LP Fault zone, the project’s most significant discovery to date, including 200,000 metres of planned infill drilling next year.
- In parallel, continuing exploration outside the Central area of the LP Fault zone, which remains open along strike and at depth. We plan to continue to test the depth extent of the LP Fault zone to understand its potential to support a sizeable and long-life underground operation.
- At the same time, opportunistically explore the high-potential satellite deposits, including definition drilling at the Limb, Hinge and Midwest high-grade targets, along with high-potential new discoveries.
Ideally located in highly-attractive jurisdiction
Adding a high-quality Canadian asset further bolsters and diversifies our global portfolio, as Dixie is ideally located in Northern Ontario, a highly-attractive, mining-friendly jurisdiction, situated close to infrastructure and skilled labour.
Power supply sources in the region are from a low-carbon energy grid, which supports our goal of being a net-zero GHG emissions company by 2050. Further, we will plan to incorporate energy efficient initiatives as we develop the project, including evaluating electric and hydrogen fuel fleets.
As well, Ontario offers a favourable tax regime that allows us to use our significant tax pools that we expect to apply to the future operation.
We look forward to building strong relationships with the Wabauskang and Lac Seul First Nations who have traditional territorial claims in the area and will work with them to ensure that the project delivers sustainable benefits to their communities and respects their way of life.