New majority shareholder takes over CQ mine
A new copper mining and exploration company has bought out 100 per cent of the shares to move into a Banana Shire mine.
Evolution Mining Limited has entered into a binding agreement with Aeris Resources Limited to sell the Cracow gold mine for a total consideration of up to $125 million.
Aeris executive chairman Andre Labuschagne said his company was always looking at assets and for those which would be a good fit, and Cracow was one of those.
"Aeris' growth strategy included looking at extended the life of its current operations at Tritton in New South Wales and looking for acquisitions of assets in either the copper or gold space," Mr Labuschagne said.
"For its entire life of more than 10 years so far, Cracow has only ever had a mine life of two to four years and it just kept being extended.
"Aeris is confident that with an increase in exploration expenditure to $13 million over the first two years, that these life of mine extensions will continue.
"All the work done to date shows that there is no reason why this wouldn't be expected to continue."
Evolution executive chairman Jake Klein commented on the transaction in the ASX announcement.
"Cracow was acquired in 2011 as part of the formation of Evolution and has been a reliable asset within the portfolio," Mr Klein said.
"We thank everyone at Cracow for their contribution to Evolution.
"One of our sustainability commitments is to leave a lasting positive legacy in the communities in which we operate and we are confident that our relationships within the broader community around Cracow, including the traditional custodians of the land, the Wulli Wulli People, reflect this.
"We also believe that Aeris will prove to be a great partner for the community
Mr Labuschagne said the mine's 220 full-time employees would be welcome to stay on and added that the main goal was to build on the good already done by Evolution and significantly increase exploration spend at Cracow.
The transaction with Evolution Mining will close at the end of June.
"Cracow is a great fit as it has been well-managed, it's the right size for Aeris and it's close to the company's headquarters in Brisbane," Mr Labuschagne said.
"It allows Aeris to expand its east-coast footprint.
"Aeris has always been a very big part of the local community surrounding its copper operations at Tritton in New South Wales, supporting projects in the areas of health, education, sport and recreation, community and social, and environment.
"The company is looking forward to continuing the good work Evolution has already done in the community as well as forging new partnerships."
Aeris Resources had been a part of the bid process for Cracow, which was suspended when isolation practices related to COVID-19 put a stop to travelling, however the company approached Evolution and asked that the bid process be allowed to continue. After a couple of months of discussion Aeris was announced as the winning bidder.
In the 2018-19 financial year, the underground mine produced more than 80,000 ounces of gold, with a full-year net mine cashflow of $36.1 million.