Hecla Mining Co. and Klondex Mines Ltd. announced Monday that Hecla will acquire all the outstanding shares of Klondex, a high-grade Nevada underground gold producer with its Fire Creek, Midas and Hollister mines, through a plan of arrangement. Klondex’s Canadian assets will be spun out to its existing shareholders.
Klondex shares jumped 52 percent to 2.20 in Monday trading.
Under the Transaction, Hecla will acquire Klondex for consideration of $462 million with a mix of cash and shares of Hecla common stock and the newly formed company (Klondex Canada). Klondex’s shareholders will receive $2.47 per share in cash or shares of Hecla, which represents a 59 percent premium to Klondex’s 30-day volume-weighted average price, as at March 16, on the NYSE American.
“Opportunities to acquire significant land packages along Nevada’s prolific gold trends are very rare. Rarer still are for these land packages to have the highest grade mines in the U.S. and this transaction is consistent with Hecla’s strategy of owning large prospective land packages with mines where we can improve costs, grow reserves and expand production,” said Phillips S. Baker, Jr., Hecla’s president and CEO. “We structured the deal to use our excess cash balances so our shareholders can benefit from the approximately 162,000 gold equivalent ounces a year of production while minimizing dilution.”
Baker continued, “One of our core strengths is operating high-grade, narrow-vein underground mines, and Klondex’s three operating mines – Fire Creek, Midas and Hollister – are some of the highest-grade gold mines in the world. After extensive due diligence, we see significant opportunity to improve costs, throughput and recoveries over time with our expertise. The combined approximately 110 square mile land position offers the opportunity to make discoveries and grow the reserve base as we improve our knowledge of the geology, something we have done at our other operations. We expect this transaction to be accretive on many important financial and credit metrics, with potentially significant synergies. We are pleased that two significant Klondex shareholders have committed to support this transaction, and look forward to welcoming other Klondex shareholders to our company.”
“This transaction is an excellent outcome for Klondex and our shareholders, delivering premium value and a clear pathway to develop and optimize the Nevada mining assets and create further value in the future,” said Paul Huet, Klondex’s president and CEO. “Hecla has a proven track record of developing and optimizing mining assets such as ours, and has a strong balance sheet that should help Fire Creek and our other properties reach their full potential. Hecla operates a diverse portfolio of some of the highest-grade mines in the world, and the addition of our assets strengthens the portfolio further. We are delighted to enter into this agreement and the Klondex board unanimously recommends that Klondex shareholders vote in favor of this transaction.”