Canadian miner buys WA gold project with NRF’s advice

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Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) advised RNC Minerals on its acquisition of the Higginsville gold operations in Western Australia.

RNC bought the operations from Westgold Resources for $50m. RNC is expected to integrate the project with a mine it already owns in the area, the Beta Hunt gold mine, where a significant high-grade gold discovery called the “Father’s Day Vein” was recently made.

NRF has been involved in the Beta Hunt mine since 2013, when it advised RNC on the acquisition of the mine. “As its second acquisition in the region, the Higginsville gold operations is a strategic purchase for RNC Minerals that puts the company on track to deliver a fully integrated Beta Hunt – Higginsville operation,” NRF said.

Partner Jeremy Wickens, based in the global firm’s Melbourne office, headed the deal team, which advised on all Australian aspects of the acquisition. The team handled matters that included assisting with sale negotiations and documentation, financing, securing Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval, and due diligence in corporate, environment and planning, tenements, and native title and material contracts, NRF said.

“Having worked with RNC for many years, I’ve been tremendously excited about their success with Beta Hunt. The Father’s Day Vein, including one of the world’s largest existing gold nugget, is the sort of discovery that really lifts the spirits of the WA mining industry,” Wickens said. “It catches the attention and the imagination and shows there are big finds out there left to be discovered. RNC are now capitalising on that success through the Higginsville acquisition, a large-scale transaction that included the acquisition of a producing gold mine and a huge 197 mining/exploration tenement package.”

Wickens was supported by graduate Ellen Laughton. Also providing expert advice were Brisbane-based partners Rebecca Hoare and Gavin Scott, special counsel Troy McKelvie and Robert Murphy, and associates Emily Davies and Ellen Vincent.