(Adds background on Newcrest and gold industry, deal)
March 11 (Reuters) - Australian gold miner Newcrest Mining Ltd said on Monday it had agreed to acquire a copper and gold mine in Canada for $806.5 million, just a few weeks after its chief executive indicated he had asset purchases on his mind.
Newcrest said in a statement it would acquire a 70 percent joint-venture interest in, and operatorship of, the Red Chris mine and surrounding tenements in British Columbia from Toronto-listed Imperial Metals Corp.
Red Chris is a copper and gold porphyry with an operating open-pit mine and mineral resources of 20 million ounces of gold and 13 billion pounds of copper. The property comprises 23,142 hectares (57,200 acres) of land with 77 mineral tenures, Newcrest said.
Last month, Newcrest’s CEO, Sandeep Biswas, said his company would pursue a potential acquisition only if it were the right value for investors, adding that he would prefer to buy assets rather than whole companies.
Newcrest said it would fund the acquisition through a mix of cash and undrawn bank facilities.
The move comes amid talks of consolidation in the gold industry, after Barrick Gold Corp’s $18 billion takeover offer for rival Newmont Mining Corp. Several media reports had also indicated that Newcrest was interested in buying Newmont’s Australian assets, as part of the deal. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Peter Cooney)