WINNEMUCCA, Nev. — Vancouver, B.C.-based Equinox Gold Corp. and Ontario-based Premier Gold Mines Ltd. announced Dec. 16 they’ve entered into a definitive agreement in which Equinox will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Premier.
As part of the agreement, Premier will form a new U.S.-focused gold production and development company in Northern Nevada to be called I-80 Gold Corp, to be led by Ewan Downie.
The new company will own the South-Arturo and McCoy-Cove properties and will complete Premier’s previously announced acquisition of the Getchell Project.
The Getchell Project is located south of Nevada Gold Mines’ Twin Creek and Turquoise Ridge mines near the Pinson Mine in Humboldt County. The McCoy-Cove properties are south of Nevada Gold Mines’ Phoenix Mine in Lander County. South Arturo is northwest of Carlin, located in Elko County.
“This transaction is exactly the kind of accretive Americas-focused growth we promised shareholders when we started Equinox Gold at the beginning of 2018,” Ross Beaty, chairman of Equinox Gold, said in a Dec. 16 press release outlining details of the merger.
Once the agreement is finalized and approved by respective regulatory agencies — expected in the first quarter of 2021 — existing Equinox and Premier shareholders will own approximately 84% and 16% of Equinox, while Equinox and existing shareholders of Premier will own 30% and 70% of I-80 Gold, respectively, on an issued share basis.
Equinox will retain Premier’s interest in projects in Canada and Mexico.
In connection with a planned public listing prior to or concurrent with closing of the transaction, I-80 Gold intends to conduct a financing of up to $75 million.
According to the agreement, Equinox has committed to subscribe for 30% of the aggregate amount of the financing up to a max amount of $22.5 million.
Pursuant to the transaction, it is expected that I-80 Gold’s initial working capital will include approximately $15 million in cash, pre-financing.