Gold miner Yukon-Nevada Corp. said it has initiated a strategic review of its operations, which may include a sale of the company, sending its shares up as much as 21 per cent.
Yukon-Nevada, which has a market value of $258.3-million, may also look into a business combination, joint venture, merger or other alternatives, it said in a statement.
"The company thinks they have solved all the technical problems for Jerrit Canyon, but they haven't actually. This is more like a distress sale," said analyst Christopher Ecclestone of Hallgarten & Company.
The Jerrit Canyon property in Nevada, the company's primary asset operated by its subsidiary Queenstake Resources USA, also has two mills – a dry roasting and a wet mill for processing oxide ore.
Mr. Ecclestone named Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. as likely contenders.
Both have large stockpiles of unprocessed ore and Jerrit Canyon can boost their production, he said.
"Yukon-Nevada processes a lot of ore for Newmont. If it doesn't step up now and make a bid for Yukon-Nevada and if the mill goes to someone else, then that wouldn't be in Newmont's favour," Mr. Ecclestone said.
Yukon-Nevada received a letter from the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration last December, saying the mill was found to be in violation of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, 1977.
In March, the MSHA removed the mill from the violator's list.
Yukon-Nevada, which also owns silver, zinc and copper assets in Yukon and British Columbia, has hired Deutsche Bank Securities and RBC Capital Markets as financial advisers.