The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that flush with cash, Australian mining companies are buying Canadian gold mines. The Globe's Niall McGee writes that last week, Melbourne-based St. Barbara Ltd. reached a friendly agreement to buy Vancouver's Atlantic Gold for $722-million. The revival of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the junior and intermediate Canadian gold sector comes not long after the world's two biggest gold companies -- Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining -- struck multibillion-dollar transactions of their own. After years of cost-cutting, the balance sheets of many miners have improved, meaning M&A is once again a viable strategic growth option. Earlier this year, Australia's biggest gold company, Newcrest Mining Corp., paid $806-million (U.S.) for a majority stake in Red Chris, one of Imperial Metals' prized gold and copper mines. Newcrest chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas also made it clear that the company is ready to pounce again if the right opportunity presents itself. With many Canadian gold companies trading at depressed valuations, the list of potential targets is long. New Gold, Pretium Resources, TMAC Resources and Wesdome are seen as possible takeover candidates.
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