The Red Chris open pit mine in northwest B.C., operated by Australian giant Newcrest Mining. In a $3.5 billion deal, Newcrest acquired Pretivm Resources, parent company of Brucejack. (Newcrest mining photo)

The Red Chris open pit mine in northwest B.C., operated by Australian giant Newcrest Mining. In a $3.5 billion deal, Newcrest acquired Pretivm Resources, parent company of Brucejack. (Newcrest mining photo)

Newcrest acquires Brucejack Mine’s parent company Pretivm in a $3.5 billion deal

The Australian mining giant now a major player in B.C.’s Golden Triangle operating Red Chris and Brucejack

In a deal costing $3.5 billion, Australian mining giant Newcrest Mining acquired Vancouver-based Pretivm Resources Inc. that operates northwest B.C.’s Brucejack Mine.

The deal announced on Monday (Nov. 8) evening, will see Newcrest buying the Canadian company for $18.50 per share, subject to proration. Pretivm’s shareholders can opt to accept the offer in cash or as 0.8084 of a Newcrest share for each share held, said Pretium in a news release.

The Board of Directors of Pretivm have unanimously recommended that Pretivm shareholders vote in favour of the transaction and have entered into voting support agreements with respect to all of the Pretivm shares they own or control.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter (March) of 2022.

Newcrest already operates the Red Chris mine, located on Tahltan territory in northwest B.C., which it acquired (70 per cent) from Imperial Metals Corp. in 2017.

The latest deal with Pretivm makes Newcrest the major player in B.C.’s Golden Triangle as its Brucejack Mine is regarded as one of the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world. Brucejack is located approximately 140 km from Red Chris.

Based on Pretivm’s reports from last year, Brucejack’s estimated gold production is at of 311 koz per annum at an all-in sustaining cost of $743 per ounce of gold over a projected 13-year mine life

Acquiring Pretivm would mean adding a Tier 1 large-scale, long-life, low-cost mine to Newcrest’s portfolio of Tier 1 assets.

“Following this transaction, Newcrest will have exposure to six Tier 1 orebodies and a portfolio of organic growth options of unrivalled quality,” said Sandeep Biswas, Newcrest’s managing director and chief executive officer.

“The combination of Newcrest and Pretivm will create the leading gold miner in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle, operating both the Brucejack and Red Chris mines,” he added.

Newcrest said its concurrent operation of both Red Chris and Brucejack mines will provide enhanced opportunities for both workforces, allow for aligned and optimal engagement with the First Nations and the broader community, and will provide the foundation of ongoing future investment in the region.

Meanwhile Pretivm’s president and chief executive officer, Jacques Perron said Newcrest has the financial means and the intention of maximizing the long-term potential of the Brucejack Mine.

“We believe our employees, First Nations partners and community partners will be very well-positioned to succeed and develop under Newcrest’s world-class stewardship,” said Perron.

Black Press Media has reached out to the Tahltan Central Government, which has a strong partnership with Newcrest at Red Chris, for comment.

Tahltan Nation members also make up a significant portion of the Brucejack workforce.