Metals And Mining
Aeris Resources has signed a arrangement to acquire Australian Round Oak Minerals from investment firm Washington H Soul Pattinson (WHSP) for $167 million.
The purchase of Round Oak, which owns zinc and copper assets in Australia, forms a part of Aeris’ diversification strategy.
The cash and stock deal would see WHSP become a 30 percent shareholder in Aeris. Robert Millner, the chairman of WHSP, would join Aeris’ board.
Round Oak’s assets include the Jaguar cooper/zinc underground mine in Western Australia: the Stockman zinc/copper development project in Victoria; and the Barbara deposit and Mt Colin copper underground mine in Queensland.
The mining firm also owns exploration tenements in the region around Mt Isa of Queensland.
Round Oak Minerals was in the IPO pipeline last year but couldn’t get a listing launched after fund managers struggled to pin down its assets’ mine life and, therefore, the valuation. WHSP was hoping for $193.6 to $236.6 million.
As per the deal terms, Aeris will pay $57.1 million in cash to WHSP upon finalizing the transaction. Aeris will also include over 1.46 billion of its stock in the deal.
Aeris Resources has always been ambitious about acquiring other companies. Initially a copper miner, the firm branched out into gold mining in 2020 via a $125 million acquisition of Evolution Mining’s Cracow gold mine in Queensland.