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Kinross Gold wades into Red Lake with proposed Great Bear Resources acquisition

Toronto gold producer believes Dixie Project can be "top tier" open pit and underground mine
Great Bear Resources Red Lake skyline
The Red Lake skyline above Great Bear Resources' Dixie Gold Project (Great Bear Resources photo)

Great Bear Resources, the exploration poster boys for everything golden in the Red Lake camp, has met its long-awaited new owner.

Toronto-based Kinross Gold, a top-tier international gold miner, is acquiring the Vancouver junior miner in a $1.8-billion deal, representing $29.00 per Great Bear common share.

The main target on Great Bear's Red Lake property is its Dixie Project, 25 kilometres southeast of the town of Red Lake, where Great Bear has made multiple, large, high-grade gold discoveries near the surface.

Great Bear picked up the property from Newmont Mining in 2017.

In a news release, Kinross said it has all technical, development, operating and financial muscle to develop Dixie into a high-grade, open-pit mine in its initial stages of development with later underground potential.

Despite a staggering amount of exploration drilling, at more than 340,000 metres, Great Bear Resources has never released a resource calculation.

The company said an Ni 43-101 gold resource was being queued up for release in early 2022.

Evidently, Kinross couldn't wait.

In a statement, Kinross president-CEO J. Paul Rollinson said Dixie "represents an exciting opportunity to develop a potentially top tier deposit into a large, long-life mine complex.

"In addition to the prospect of developing a quality, high-grade open pit mine, we also believe that a significant portion of the asset's value is its longer-term potential, which includes the view of a sizable underground operation."

After doing their due diligence, Rollinson said Dixie possesses "multiple high-potential mineralized zones which remain open along strike and at depth, and we are confident that the asset has strong untapped upside with numerous avenues for growth."

Great Bear president-CEO Chris Taylor called the Kinross acquisition "an outstanding opportunity for our shareholders, partners at Wabauskang and Lac Seul First Nations, and the local communities of Northern Ontario."

"The transaction delivers a compelling premium for Great Bear's shareholders, reflecting the top tier nature of the Dixie project, while offering beneficial exposure as Kinross shareholders to a high-quality operating portfolio and growing production base.

"Kinross' Canadian identity and headquarters in Ontario will facilitate close ties between the Company and the Dixie project's local communities, which will help to maximize benefits to the area, including employment and training.

Founded in 1993, Kinross Gold has mines and exploration projects in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Mauritania, and Russia, employing approximately 9,000 people worldwide.