Evolution May Seek Gold M&A in China, PNG, Chairman Says

Evolution Mining Ltd., whose biggest shareholder is Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM), will seek to buy gold assets in nations including China, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea to lower production costs.

“We will be seeking to grow the quality of the portfolio and that means looking for lower-cost assets,” Jake Klein, executive chairman of the Perth-based company, said today in a phone interview.

Evolution Mining was created this year after Catalpa Resources Ltd. acquired Conquest Mining Ltd. and bought two mines in Australia from Newcrest, the world’s fourth-biggest gold producer. Gold has climbed 25 percent this year, heading for an 11th consecutive annual advance.

“What Australia offers is a high degree of geopolitical stability, but it has a higher cost structure,” said Klein, who sold Sino Gold Ltd. in 2009 for A$2 billion ($2.1 billion). “We have the financial strength and critical mass to be able to venture potentially offshore.”

Evolution, which has a market value of A$1 billion, halted its shares from trading pending the completion of the sale of A$152.5 million in shares to existing holders at A$1.45 each, 16 percent less than their closing price yesterday.

Production costs this year are expected at about A$800 an ounce to A$850 an ounce, Klein said. The company aims to boost gold output to between 410,000 ounces and 465,000 ounces from 300,000 ounces from its existing mines and projects, it said in a presentation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Gosman at kgosman@bloomberg.net

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