LionGold in talks to buy Peruvian miner IRL
SINGAPORE/LIMA (Reuters) - Singapore-listed LionGold Corp (LION.SI) is in advanced discussions to buy small Latin American gold miner IRL (IRL.LM) (IRL.TO) (MIRL.L), IRL confirmed on Friday.
IRL's shares in Toronto and Lima were temporarily suspended on Friday amid heavy trading and market speculation about a potential acquisition.
"IRL ... confirms that it is in discussions with LionGold Corp Ltd, which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company," the firm said in a statement.
LionGold was one of three firms whose shares were suspended on the Singapore Exchange earlier on Friday on concerns that the market was not fully informed about their falling share prices.
LionGold said in an earlier statement that a company it was discussing acquiring a stake in - then unnamed - was concerned about its suspended shares in Singapore.
Lima-based IRL has one operating gold mine in Peru and has been seeking financing to develop another, Ollachea. Last week it won environmental approvals from the government for its Ollachea project.
IRL secured financing for its Don Nicolas project in Argentina last month. The company has said it aims to use its new mines to become a mid-tier gold producer with annual output of 150,000 to 200,000 ounces.
Before the suspension in Lima's bourse, IRL's share price had jumped 25 percent, valuing the firm at around $52 million.
IRL is also listed in London and under UK takeover rules, LionGold has until November 1 to either make a firm offer for IRL or walk away.
The company's London-listed shares closed up 30 percent.
(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata, Additional reporting by Mitra Taj and Ursula Scollo in Lima; Editing by Rachel Armstrong, Bernard Orr)
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