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International gold producer Newmont Corp. says it has struck a deal to take over the junior Canadian miner developing the Tatogga gold-copper discoveries in the Golden Triangle region of northwest B.C.

The Denver-based miner says it has agreed to buy the 85.1 per cent of the shares in GT Gold Corp. it doesn’t already own for $3.25 each or about $393-million.

Shares in GT Gold rose to nearly match the offer price, jumping by as much as 60 per cent to $3.22 from Tuesday’s close of $2.01 on the TSX Venture Exchange.

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Newmont chief executive officer Tom Palmer says the company is committed to maintaining relationships with the Tahltan Nation, including with the nearby community of Iskut, as it explores the 47,500-hectare Tatogga property.

He adds the company concedes that Tahltan consent is necessary to advance the project and that the nation will be a partner “at all levels.”

National Bank analyst Mike Parkin says the project is suited to Newmont’s skill set in developing and operating large-scale mines but the early stage means no major capital spending is expected for several years.

“Newmont is a major international mining company who already has an established relationship with the Tahltan Nation as Newmont owns 50 per cent of the Galore Creek Mining Corp., whose project is in Tahltan territory,” said Tahltan central government president Chad Norman Day in a news release.

“TCG understands the sensitivities of all mining projects and has communicated with Newmont that Tahltan consent is a requirement for the advancement of any project in Tahltan territory.”

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