Barrick Gold has signed an agreement to increase its stake in Canada-based Hercules Silver to 12.33% on a non-diluted basis, for a total consideration of C$23.39m ($17.11m).

Under the agreement, Barrick Gold will acquire 21,265,370 Hercules Silver units in a non-brokered private placement, at a price of $1.10 per unit.

Each unit comprises one common share and 0.32 of a common share purchase warrant.

Barrick currently owns 5,291,500 common shares of Hercules, which represents 2.73% of the latter’s issued and outstanding common shares on a non-diluted basis.

In a press statement, Barrick Gold stated: “Closing of the private placement will occur on or before 8 November 2023 or such other date as may be agreed by Barrick and Hercules, subject in each case to customary closing conditions, including receipt of all necessary approvals, including the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.”

Furthermore, Barrick signed an investor rights agreement with Hercules, whereby the former maintains an ownership interest in Hercules of at least 5%.

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Barrick will also be entitled to anti-dilution and information rights, as well as a first refusal right pertaining to the sale by Hercules of any interests in its silver project.

Hercules Silver CEO Chris Paul said: “We are very pleased with Barrick’s strategic investment into the company and the support and validation it brings to the Hercules Property.

“We also look forward to leveraging Barrick’s US experience and technical expertise in the continued drilling and advancement of our exciting new porphyry copper discovery.”

Based on market conditions and other factors, Barrick could acquire additional common shares or other securities of Hercules.

Barrick said it could also divest some or all of the common shares or other securities of Hercules.