Aeris Resources has signed a deal to acquire Australia-based Round Oak Minerals from investment firm Washington H Soul Pattinson (WHSP) for $167m (A$234m).

The acquisition of Round Oak, which owns copper and zinc assets in Australia, forms part of Aeris’ diversification strategy.

Round Oak’s assets include the Jaguar zinc/copper underground mine in Western Australia; the Mt Colin copper underground mine and the Barbara deposit, in Queensland; and the Stockman copper/zinc development project in Victoria.

It also owns exploration tenements in the Mt Isa region of Queensland.

As per the terms of the agreement, Aeris will pay $57.1m (A$80m) in cash to WHSP upon the closing of the transaction. Aeris will also issue more than 1.46 billion of its shares.

WHSP said that the deal combines two complementary businesses to create a mid-tier base and precious metals company.

Aeris executive chairman Andre Labuschagne said: “This transaction transforms Aeris into a mid-tier copper, gold and base metals producer with multiple operations and exceptional growth potential.

“The Round Oak asset portfolio is an excellent fit with Aeris’ stated strategy to acquire advanced copper, base metals and gold assets in Australia that are strongly cash flow generative with attractive exploration upside.

“The introduction of the Stockman Project provides us with a second long-life project, alongside Tritton, to underpin the group’s production into the next decade.”

Subject to completion of capital raise by Aeris and securing shareholder and other approvals, the transaction is scheduled for completion on 1 July 2022.

Upon completion of the deal, WHSP will become the largest shareholder of Aeris with a 30% stake. WHSP chairperson Robert Millner will join the Aeris board.