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Goldcorp Inc. says it has received Australian court approval to buy outstanding shares of Andean Resources Ltd. for $3.6-billion.

The Vancouver-based company said Wednesday that the federal court issued the approval and that a copy has been filed with the Australian Securities Commission.

In September, Goldcorp signed the agreement to buy the U.S. gold miner, owner of the Cerro Negro gold project in Argentina, which contains an estimated 3.1 million ounces of gold and 25 million ounces of silver.

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The deal is scheduled to close at the end of the month, and first production at the mine is planned for 2013.

Goldcorp shares were down $1.01 in early morning trading at $46.35 on the Toronto Stock Exchange following the announcement. Andean shares were down 14 cents at $6.50.

"The opportunity remains very favourable for significant continued growth of gold resources through expansion of existing deposits (in Cerro Negro) and the discovery of additional zones along the strike of the veins" said Chuck Jeannes, Goldcorp's president and chief executive officer.

Goldcorp also has projects in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Guatemala.

Earlier this year, it bought a controlling interest in the El Morro gold-copper project in Chile in a deal with junior miner New Gold Inc. , shutting out giant Barrick Gold Corp. .

Andean shares will be suspended from trading once the markets close on Thursday.

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