Chinese-backed Hanking Australia has announced the sale of its Southern Cross Gold Operations to a company owned by the chairman of Super Pit suitors Minjar Gold for $330 million.
Successful bidder Shandong Tianye Group is majority owned by Minjar Gold chairman, Zhaoqin Zheng, and is a private subsidiary of Shanghai-listed Shandong Tyan Home, which is believed to be restructuring in the wake of Minjar’s massive bid for half of Kalgoorlie’s Super Pit.
And in a development that augurs well for Minjar’s reported $US1.3 billion bid for Barrick Gold’s half of Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines, Shandong Tianye has already secured Foreign Investment Review Board approval for the transaction.
Shandong Tianye has paid a $16 million deposit to Hanking Australia, with the transaction waiting on the finalisation of financing, Chinese regulatory approvals and shareholder approval from Hanking’s Hong Kong-listed parent company, China Hanking Holdings.
Hanking said that since it acquired Southern Cross from St Barbara for $22.5 million in 2013 it has sunk $165 million into the operations, doubling its resource to 4.6 million ounces of gold and hitting an annualised production rate of 130,000 ounces a year since restarting in February 2015.
Hanking Australia managing director Mark Qiu said Shandong Tianye had “long-term belief in the gold sector”.
“We are delighted with this outcome, and are proud to have been able to create significant value for our shareholders and make important contributions to the local economy in the form of employment, rents, rates, royalties and taxes,” he said.
“We are also pleased that the Southern Cross Operations will continue to flourish under the new owners who have a long term belief in the gold sector and the ongoing prospectivity of the Southern Cross region.”