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The Lundin Gold Inc. booth is pictured at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto on March 2, 2015.Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

Australia’s Newcrest Mining Ltd said on Friday it had raised its stake in Canadian miner Lundin Gold Inc to 32 per cent with an additional $79.6 million investment as it looks to increase its exposure in Ecuador.

Newcrest last year paid $250 million for a 27.1 per cent stake in Lundin, which owns a high-potential gold mine project in Ecuador.

Newcrest said it paid $7.25 per share to acquire a further 4.9 per cent stake in Lundin from Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corp.

“This was a great opportunity to increase our exposure to Fruta del Norte, a Tier 1 asset, which is expected to commence commercial production in the June 2020 quarter,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Biswas said in a statement.

Newcrest was, until last week, also the largest shareholder in Ecuador-focused SolGold Plc until BHP Group further upped its stake in the miner.

Newcrest shares rose as much as 0.7 per cent in early trade.