Ramelius Resources (ASX: RMS), one of a handful of mid-cap Australian gold miners, has increased its cash-scrip offer for Apollo Consolidated (ASX: AOP) by nearly 11% to A62 cents, trumping Gold Road Resources’ (ASX: GOR) all-cash A56c per share bid.
The sweetened bid implies a total equity value for Apollo of about A$181 million and, unlike its original offer, is unconditional.
The company said Apollo directors had unanimously recommended the new offer, in the absence of a superior one.
Ramelius and Gold Road have their eyes on Apollo’s flagship Lake Rebecca gold project, which is a 1.1 million ounce discovery located about 150km east of Kalgoorlie and billed as “one of the few genuinely new development opportunities in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields”.
Apollo is also advancing greenfield gold projects at Yindi and Larkin, and the Louisa nickel-copper sulphide project in the Kimberley region.
The battle over the gold explorer is part of a new global wave of merger and acquisitions in the sector has reached Western Australia’s goldfields. The trend, led by cashed-up mid-cap players looking to grab smaller neighbours has recently seen St Barbara moving on junior Kin Mining and Westgold Resources is trying to swallow Gascoyne.