Canadian gold mining company Agnico Eagle Mines has signed an agreement to acquire rival Kirkland Lake Gold in a deal worth $10.68bn (C$13.5bn).

According to the deal, Kirkland Lake Gold shareholders will receive 0.7935 of an Agnico Eagle Mines common share for each share held.

Upon deal completion, Agnico Eagle Mines’ existing shareholders will have a 54% stake in the combined company, which will operate as Agnico Eagle Mines.

The remaining 46% will be held by Kirkland Lake Gold’s shareholders.

With the transaction, Agnico Eagle Mines will have a mineral reserve base of 48 million ounces (Moz) of gold, $2.3bn of available liquidity, and a pipeline of development and exploration projects.

The combined entity will be a senior producer with operations mainly in the Abitibi-Greenstone Belt of northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec.

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It will also have operations in Nunavut, Canada; Fosterville, Victoria, Australia; Kittila in the Lapland region of Finland; and Pinos Altos and La India in Mexico.

Agnico Eagle Mines CEO Sean Boyd said: “The transaction creates a company with a strong platform of people, assets and financial resources to continue to build and operate a long term sustainable and self-funding business.”

The deal awaits regulatory and shareholders’ approvals, with completion anticipated in December 2021 or Q1 2022.

Kirkland Lake Gold president and CEO Tony Makuch said: “The transaction represents a true merger of equals, with the business of both companies to benefit from the significant financial strength of the merged company, the extensive pipeline of development and exploration projects to drive future growth, and the potential to realise significant operational and strategic synergies along the Abitibi-Kirkland Lake corridor.”