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In this photograph taken on July 24, 2010 an Indonesian traditional gold miner shows a small piece of gold extracted by panning the rocks and sand at a river in Pidie district in Aceh province. (SUPARTA)
In this photograph taken on July 24, 2010 an Indonesian traditional gold miner shows a small piece of gold extracted by panning the rocks and sand at a river in Pidie district in Aceh province. (SUPARTA)

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AuRico Gold Inc. is paying the cheapest valuation for a takeover of a North American gold producer in seven years even as bullion trades at a record, according to Bloomberg. The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based company that mines the precious metal in Mexico agreed yesterday to buy Northgate Minerals Corp. of Vancouver for $1.28-billion in stock to add production in Canada and Australia.

Including net cash, AuRico's acquisition valued Northgate at 14.7 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the lowest since 2004 for a North American deal worth more than $1-billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. AuRico is paying about 64 per cent less per dollar of earnings than Canadian rival Kinross Gold Corp. did for Red Back Mining Inc. a year ago, even after gold surged to a high of $1,913.50 (U.S.) an ounce last week, it said.

Hathor Exploration Limited soared to new year highs early Tuesday after Cameco announced that it has commenced its offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Hathor for cash consideration of $3.75 per share in a transaction which values the fully diluted share capital of Hathor at approximately $520-million. Cameco said the offer is “compelling” for Hathor shareholders.

Neo Material Technologies Inc. announced today that it has acquired an 80 per cent interest in Gallium Compounds, LLC and plans to expand the Gallium Compounds business of gallium tri-chloride production into South Korea. The purchase price for Gallium Compounds was $6.5-million (U.S.), subject to working capital adjustments, plus a potential earn out payment which is dependent upon the performance of the Gallium Compounds' business from the date of closing to the period ending Dec. 31, 2014.

“The acquisition of Gallium Compounds and the expansion into South Korea significantly strengthens our position in value-added gallium products and is an important step in our overall rare metals strategy”, Geoff Bedford, executive vice president and COO, said in a statement.

New Flyer Industries Inc. , a manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the United States, has moved off a year low 59 cents after last night announcing the adoption by its board of directors of a shareholder rights plan. It said the SRP is effective immediately, and will be submitted for ratification by NFI's shareholders at the previously announced special meeting to be held on Sept. 30, 2011. If the SRP is not ratified by NFI's shareholders, the SRP will terminate. The company said it is not aware of any pending or threatened take-over bid for its common shares.

“The board has adopted the SRP after determining that its implementation is in the best interests of the company, its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders,” Brian Tobin, the company's chair of the board said in a statement. “The board believes that if an unsolicited take-over bid is made, the SRP would be invaluable in providing the board with sufficient time to explore and evaluate value maximizing alternatives.”

Aeterna Zentaris Inc. jumped as much as 10 per cent in early trading after announcing favourable top-line results of its completed Phase 3 study with AEZS-130 as the first oral diagnostic test for Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD). The company is currently proceeding with further detailed analyses of the data and preparing for a pre-New Drug Application (NDA) meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the upcoming months, which would be followed by the filing of a NDA for the registration of AEZS-130 in the United States.

The Churchill Corporation today reported that Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd., its general contracting segment, has been awarded two significant new contracts worth a total of $158-million by private and public sector clients In British Columbia and Manitoba.

El Nino Ventures Inc. , which had been trading close to a year low 3.5 cents, is the most active stock on the TSXV early Tuesday after announcing “significant” diamond drill results of the 2011, 15 hole drill program on the Murray Brook Massive-Sulfide Deposit located in the Bathurst Mining camp in New Brunswick.

Sprott Resource Corp said on Tuesday it plans over the next year to repurchase up to nine million of its common shares, representing approximately 9.87 per cent of the unrestricted public float of SRC and approximately 7.96 per cent of the total number of issued and outstanding shares.

“SRC believes that its shares have been trading in a price range that does not adequately reflect the value of the shares in relation to SRC's assets and future prospects. As a result, SRC believes that, at appropriate times, repurchases through the bid can enhance shareholder value and represents an attractive investment and an appropriate use of SRC's financial resources,” the company said in a statement.

Marathon Gold Corporation announced the results of in-fill drilling at the Leprechaun Gold Deposit. It said each of the 10 drill holes intersected significant zones of gold mineralization and confirmed the continuity of the mineralized zones along strike between adjacent sections within the Leprechaun Gold Deposit. A total of 111 drill holes totaling 18,098m (72 per cent) of Marathon's planned 25,000m 2011 drilling campaign have been completed to date. It is expected remaining drilling will be completed during the fourth quarter, with summarized results to follow shortly thereafter.

All grades in this release are uncut, and all thicknesses are estimated true thicknesses. The Valentine Lake Project, including the Leprechaun Gold Deposit, is a 50/50 joint venture between Marathon Gold Corporation and Mountain Lake Resources. Both companies are equal contributors to the 25,000m drilling program now under way where Marathon is the operator.

Phil Walford, Marathon president and CEO said, “Our 2011 drilling program at Leprechaun continues to provide good results. These in-fill drill holes show our expected continuity of mineralization along strike both in and between sections in the Deposit, and advance our expectation for increased resources. The 2011 drill program remains on schedule for completion during October, which should enable us to keep our target of the first open pit NI 43-101 compliant resource at the Leprechaun Gold Deposit by year end.”

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