Hecla CEO says confident of Aurizon deal going through

Wed Mar 6, 2013 6:09pm EST
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* Don't think Alamos can block deal: CEO

* Hecla not planning to raise offer

By Garima Goel and Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay

March 6 (Reuters) - U.S. silver miner Hecla Mining Co said it was confident that its deal with Aurizon Mines Ltd would go through, a day after rival bidder Alamos Gold Inc said it was close to blocking Hecla's bid.

Hecla and Alamos, Aurizon's largest shareholder, are slugging it out for control of the Casa Berardi mine in Quebec. Aurizon's Casa Berardi mine has been on Hecla's radar since 2006.

"We are very confident because we have the highest priced offer," Hecla Chief Executive Phillips Baker told Reuters.

Hecla, which is looking to ramp up its gold production, said the only way Alamos could block its deal was if more than one-third of the shareholders accepted Alamos's inferior bid.

"I just don't think that is going to happen," Baker said.

Aurizon in January rejected an unsolicited takeover offer of C$4.65 per share from Alamos, which has extended its tender offer deadline to March 19.   Continued...