Archer Exploration has agreed to acquire nickel assets, rights and obligations in Quebec and Ontario, Canada, from Wallbridge Mining Company, in an all-share deal worth around C$53.6m ($41.2m).

The transaction will result in the creation of a Canadian publicly-traded nickel exploration and development company.

The deal includes the sale of nickel assets comprising 2,046 mining titles covering an area of around 67,000ha, as well as a 100% stake in the Grasset nickel sulphide project in Quebec.

Archer will acquire all of Wallbridge’s property, assets, rights and obligations related to its portfolio of nickel assets.

In exchange, Wallbridge will receive C$53.6m in upfront consideration, comprising 198.6 million Archer common shares.

Wallbridge agreed to distribute Archer shares to its shareholders within 60 days from the closing of the transaction.

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Wallbridge will be the largest shareholder in Archer upon deal completion, owning 19.9% of the outstanding Archer common shares.

The sale forms part of Wallbridge’s plan to focus on its core Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend properties in Quebec.

Archer expects the acquisition to position it as a leading nickel sulfide-focused exploration and development company in Canada with assets in the mining jurisdictions of Quebec and Ontario.

The company anticipates the Grasset Project to hold significant expansion potential.

Archer interim CEO Keith Bodnarchuk said: “Our team has searched worldwide to identify and secure an attractive land portfolio that features an advanced nickel sulphide resource with apparent upside that is complemented by an exciting pipeline of high-impact nickel sulphide exploration targets.

“The Grasset deposit and the 23km-long, target-rich regional package tick these boxes. Then add to Grasset a giant land package in the world-class Sudbury mining camp and highly prospective greenfield projects in northern Quebec and NW Ontario and Archer becomes a leading Canadian nickel exploration and development company.”

Wallbridge and Archer will also sign a five-year exploration cooperation agreement pertaining to the Grasset property.

The two firms will undertake exploration works to establish a mineral resource at the property.

If successful, the companies will form a joint venture to explore, develop and operate such mineral resources.

Wallbridge president and CEO Marz Kord said: “Our core focus remains on the exploration and development of our 100%-owned Fenelon Gold property, located on the highly prospective Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend in Northern Abitibi, Quebec, where we are currently in the midst of a major drilling campaign to expand the multi-million-ounce resource that we have already identified.

“The opportunity to have our portfolio of non-core nickel assets acquired by a focused, publicly-traded nickel development and exploration company led by a world-class team unlocks the value of these assets and allows Wallbridge and its shareholders to benefit from their future development potential.”