* Don't think Alamos can block deal: CEO
* Hecla not planning to raise offer
By Garima Goel and Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay
March 6 U.S. silver miner Hecla Mining Co
said it was confident that its deal with Aurizon Mines Ltd
would go through, a day after rival bidder
Alamos Gold Inc said it was close to blocking Hecla's
Hecla and Alamos, Aurizon's largest shareholder, are
slugging it out for control of the Casa Berardi mine in Quebec.
Aurizon's Casa Berardi mine has been on Hecla's radar since
"We are very confident because we have the highest priced
offer," Hecla Chief Executive Phillips Baker told Reuters.
Hecla, which is looking to ramp up its gold production, said
the only way Alamos could block its deal was if more than
one-third of the shareholders accepted Alamos's inferior bid.
"I just don't think that is going to happen," Baker said.
Aurizon in January rejected an unsolicited takeover offer of
C$4.65 per share from Alamos, which has extended its tender
offer deadline to March 19.
Hecla offered to acquire Aurizon for C$4.75 per share.
Alamos Gold Chief Executive John McCluskey told Reuters on
Tuesday that it had the support of other "large shareholders"
and had 29.5 percent Aurizon shares as on Tuesday afternoon.
"At the end of the day, them blocking the bid or blocking
the deal from Hecla suggests that they are forcing some
shareholders of Aurizon to take on a lower price," Hecla's CEO
Hecla, the second-largest U.S. silver miner by output, has
been producing gold for more than 30 years. It operates two
silver mines -- Greens Creek mine in Alaska and Lucky Friday
mine in Idaho -- and has exploration and pre-development
properties in the United States and Mexico.
Baker added that Hecla was not planning to raise its offer.
"We have entered into an agreement with Aurizon, it has been
negotiated with the board. We think it is a fair and full offer
and it's what we are willing to pay."
Baker said Hecla would use more cash for buying the assets
rather than equity, making it a more secure bid for Aurizon
Aurizon shares, which have gained 26 percent since the
Alamos offer in January, closed at C$4.28 on Wednesday on the
Toronto Stock Exchange.