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Battle North Gold a new Evolution

May 4, 2021

By Kevin Vincent
The two companies announced the takeover in mid-March and the deal is expected to close in mid-May when Battle North’s board is expected to approve the $343 million (CDN) transaction.  
“The all-cash offer is at a significant premium to market and reflects the extraordinary efforts of the Battle North team to create value at the Bateman Gold Project and ultimately deliver an outstanding outcome for Battle North’s shareholders,” said George Ogilvie, Battle North’s President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director.
“We believe that there are unique and undeniable merits to combining the Red Lake assets of Battle North and Evolution and this transaction reduces development and execution risk. Evolution is a highly regarded mining company with a demonstrated ability to successfully operate internationally. The Battle North team looks forward to working with Evolution to close the transaction and smoothly transition operations to the new team.”
The deal marks another chapter for the Red Lake operation. In 2020, the company changed its name from Rubicon Minerals to Battle North Gold. They also changed the name of the gold property from Phoenix to Bateman following a disappointing halt to production back in 2015.
In the summer of 2015, the Phoenix mine project was rushed into production without fully executed engineering work to what was clearly a ‘geologically challenging’ environment.
Shareholders of Rubicon at the time were stunned when the company revealed in January of 2016 that gold estimates had dropped from 3.3 million ounces to an estimated 413,000 ounces.
The company had already constructed a headframe and hoist along with on-site administration buildings when they were forced to halt underground development work and more than 300 miners and contractors were laid off.
The management team was removed and former Kirkland Lake Gold CEO, George Ogilvie was brought in to restore investor confidence and right the ship.
Less than one year later, enter Evolution Mining. The two companies announced March 14, 2021 that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement in which Evolution has agreed to acquire, for cash, all of the issued and outstanding shares of Battle North at a price of C$2.65 per common share.
The takeover offer represents a 46% premium over the closing price of the Battle North common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on March 12, 2021 and a 54% premium based on the volume-weighted average price of the Battle North common shares over the previous 20 trading days.
“Both Evolution and Battle North started the negotiation with a clear alignment that a consolidation of the properties would create value that would not be available if they were developed and operated separately,” Jake Klein, Evolution’s Executive Chairman said.
“George and his team have done a very good job at progressing the Bateman Gold Project to this point and recognise that this is an ideal window to consolidate the properties ahead of the construction of the Bateman Mine which is now in its early stages.”  
The acquisition provides Evolution with an opportunity to expand their footprint in the region and create value by leveraging the infrastructure of the two operations. “The additional processing capacity from the new Bateman mill will also accelerate our ability to achieve our objective of producing in excess of 300,000 ounces of gold per annum from Red Lake,” added Klein.
“In the 12 months that we have been operating at Red Lake we have demonstrated that we are a committed steward of the region. This expansion of our footprint will provide us with an opportunity to build on our track record as a safe and sustainable operator for the long-term benefit of a broad range of stakeholders including the local workforce, regional communities and our Wabauskang and Lac Seul First Nation Partners.”
All directors and officers of Battle North (representing approximately 0.60% of the currently outstanding Battle North common shares) have entered into voting support agreements with Evolution to vote their shares in favour of the transaction.
The transaction has the full endorsement of Evolution’s Board of Directors and will be funded from Evolution’s current cash balance and available credit facilities. No vote will be required by Evolution shareholders.
Subject to statutory conditions being met, the transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2021.
The Bateman Gold project includes a 28,000 hectare land package, an 1800 ton per day mill, a feasibility study, and a mine life of approximately 8 years with annual production of 74,000 ounces and all-in sustaining costs of US$865/oz.  
Evolution Mining is a leading, growth-focused Australian gold miner. Evolution operates five wholly-owned mines – Cowal in New South Wales, Mt Carlton and Mt Rawdon in Queensland, Mungari in Western Australia, and Red Lake in Ontario. In addition, Evolution holds an economic interest in the Ernest Henry copper gold mine in Queensland.


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