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Shandong Gold eyes turnaround for struggling Canada Arctic mine: executive

TORONTO (Reuters) - Shandong Gold Mining's 600547.SS1787.HK bid to acquire a gold mine in the Canadian Arctic should be approved for economic reasons, the new head of its Canadian unit told Reuters.

Shandong Gold in May offered C$230 million ($165 million) for struggling TMAC Resources TMR.TO.

TMAC shareholders approved the deal in June but it still requires Canadian government signoff.

TMAC operates the Hope Bay mine in Canada’s northern territory of Nunavut, a region of growing strategic importance as climate change makes shipping lanes and resources more accessible.

For that reason Canada could block the acquisition, lawyers and security analysts have said.

Shandong Gold is keen to revitalize Hope Bay, which has underperformed expectations, said Mark Wall, chief executive of Shandong unit Streamers Gold Mining Corp.

“The net benefit to Canada will be an international company focused on ... continuing to drive and expand Canadian employment and the broader spend from Canadian suppliers,” he said on Tuesday.

The one-time Barrick Gold ABX.TO executive said he was not "directly engaged" with the Canadian government review of the transaction.

Canada’s department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, which oversees foreign investment, declined to comment on the status of the review.

Canada-China relations froze in late 2018, when Canadian police detained Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's HWT.UL chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on a U.S. arrest warrant.

Hope Bay started production in 2017 and had proven and probable mineral reserves totaling around 3.54 million ounces of gold at the end of 2019, according to the company’s website.

Reporting by Jeff Lewis; Editing by Richard Chang

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