September 19, 2012 / 11:29 AM / 5 years ago

B2Gold enters Philippines with C$1.1 billion CGA Mining buy

(Reuters) - Canadian miner B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) said it will buy CGA Mining Ltd CGA.TO CGX.AX for C$1.1 billion ($1.13 billion) to gain access to CGA's flagship Masbate gold mine in the Philippines.

The Masbate mine, the largest operating gold project in the Philippines, is expected to produce 200,000 ounces over the 12 month period ending June 30, 2013, the companies said.

The Philippines is said to have the world's fifth largest reserves of gold, copper, iron, chromite, manganese, silver, platinum, zinc, and nickel, with a total value of $850 billion based on latest government estimates.

B2Gold, which operates the La Libertad and Limon mines in Nicaragua, said total production after the deal will be about 350,000 ounces of gold this year from three operating mines.

The companies added that based on current assumptions they expect production of more than 700,000 ounces by 2016 from five operating mines.

The price of gold has more than quintupled in the last decade, from about $300 an ounce in 2002 to about $1,720 an ounce, a stratospheric rise that has pushed gold miners to seek growth at any cost.

B2Gold, founded in 2007, has other exploration assets in Colombia, Namibia and Uruguay. CGA is based in Perth and its shares are listed on Australian and Toronto stock exchanges.

The Masbate project, located on the island of Masbate about 350 kilometers south of the state capital Manila, was acquired by CGA in March 2007.

PREMIUM OFFER

The offer of C$3.18 per share represents a premium of 20 percent to CGA's Tuesday closing price on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

CGA shareholders will receive 0.74 shares of B2Gold for each share they hold, the companies said.

Genuity Canaccord Corp was the adviser for B2Gold, while BMO Capital Markets and Haywood Securities Inc advised CGA.

The CGA board recommend a vote in favor of the proposed deal, in the absence of a superior proposal. The deal agreement also includes no shop and no talk provisions.

Shares of Vancouver-based B2Gold, which has a market value of C$1.69 billion, closed at C$4.30 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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