Spitfire Materials and Aphrodite Gold have announced they will merge to create a diversified Australian gold company with a project portfolio in Western Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory.
The agreement will see Spitfire acquire all of the shares in Aphrodite it does not already own. Spitfire currently holds a 10.38 per cent stake in Aphrodite.
According to Spitfire, the deal will create a gold exploration and development company with a diverse asset base, including the Alice River prospect in Queensland, and the Mulwarrie and Aphrodite projects in WA.
The merged entity will have a JORC 2012 compliant indicated and inferred mineral resource inventory of 13.1 million tonnes (Mt) at 2.99 grams per tonne gold for 1.26 million ounces at the Aphrodite project.
Spitfire managing director John Young said the transaction provided a platform to fast-track the growth of a significantly enhanced ASX-listed company with a strong pipeline of growth assets.
“The combination of our WA assets at Aphrodite and Mulwarrie gives us the critical mass to pursue a near-term development strategy based on the potential establishment of a new production hub near the world-class mining centre of Kalgoorlie,” Young said.
“The large resource inventory at Aphrodite has exceptional exploration upside and growth potential, and offers significant synergies with our emerging discovery at Mulwarrie.”
Young will become MD of the merged company, while Aphrodite executive chairman Peter Buttigieg will take the position of non-executive chairman.
Buttigieg said the deal represented a great outcome for Aphrodite, with the company’s shareholders gaining exposure to Spitfire’s exploration portfolio and high-calibre management team.
“This transaction will realise a view held by the Aphrodite board for some time that there was potential and merit in a consolidation of projects around Kalgoorlie,” Buttigieg said.