Osisko Mining Corp.'s chief executive said that, now that Goldcorp Inc.'s rivals have had time to look at the miner's only gold mine, the company has alternatives to Goldcorp's $3-billion hostile bid.
"It's safe to say that everyone is interested," Sean Roosen said in an interview, after Osisko released updated plans for its Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec.
"Certainly anybody who is trying to reduce their foreign risk exposure has to look at this one… We have considerable amount of options to work with," he said.
Mr. Roosen, who has allowed multiple miners to comb through Osisko's confidential data, said the company has more choices than it did in February, a month after Goldcorp made its unsolicited bid.
By suing Goldcorp for allegedly breaching a confidentiality agreement, Osisko was able to buy more time to find a white knight.
The companies have since settled the dispute, with Osisko agreeing to give Goldcorp access to its data by April 1, and Goldcorp agreeing not to take up any Osisko shares until April 15.
Although Goldcorp says it sees no reason to increase the offer, the company may reconsider once it can conduct more due diligence on Canadian Malartic. Analysts have said Goldcorp needs to raise its bid.
Osisko has consistently traded above Goldcorp's cash and stock offer, which is currently valued at $6.64 per share. That is 13 per cent below Osisko's share price of $7.59.
It is unclear whether Osisko will be able to rouse another player to compete against Goldcorp, whose balance sheet is stronger than those of many other gold companies.
Canadian Malartic is now on track to produce an average of 597,000 ounces of bullion annually over 14 years. Under the company's previous plan, the mine was expected to produce an average of 574,000 ounces annually over a 16 year period.
The company also said it would cost about $717 to produce an ounce of the precious metal, a much lower figure than those quoted by other gold producers.
Some analysts praised the company for boosting production. But an Osisko shareholder said it was not a game changer.
"It's the same deposit with same amount of gold," said Chris Mancini, an analyst with the Gabelli Gold Fund which owns both Osisko and Goldcorp shares. Mr. Mancini said he is not intending to accept the current Goldcorp offer.
The bid for the Montreal-based Osisko comes as Quebecers head to the polls April 7.
Mr. Roosen said he has been in contact with all the political parties in the province, and said no one wants to lose another Quebec-based company, similar to when Montreal-based miner Alcan was acquired by Anglo-Australian mining titan Rio Tinto Plc in 2007.
He dismissed Vancouver-based Goldcorp's suggestions that it would establish a strong presence in Montreal if it succeeded in acquiring Osisko.
"There is no incentive for a guy in Vancouver to hire a Quebec-based company," said Mr. Roosen.
"That's the same rhetoric that Alcan used and look how that worked out. I think everybody in Quebec has seen that movie. Everybody has tried it, and every time, it never works."