Equinox Gold has agreed to acquire an additional 10% stake in the Hardrock Mine Project in Canada from an affiliate of Orion Mine Finance Group, for at least $51m.

The deal will increase the Canadian gold miner’s stake in the Hardrock Mine Project to 60%.

Located in Ontario, Hardrock is a multi-million-ounce, fully permitted, construction-ready gold project.

The project is currently equally owned by Orion and Premier Gold Mines, which is being acquired by Equinox Gold as per an all-stock deal announced in December 2020.

Equinox Gold CEO Christian Milau said: “Hardrock will be a low-cost, long-life gold mine, bringing more than 240,000 attributable ounces of annual gold production to Equinox Gold when in production, with significant upside potential from near-mine exploration and underground development.

“We look forward to working with Orion to advance Hardrock to production, bringing long-term benefits to all stakeholders of the Hardrock Project and particularly First Nations and other communities in the Greenstone region of Ontario.”

Equinox Gold said that the deal includes certain contingent payment obligations. It includes payment of up of $5m in cash to Orion two years after a positive mine construction decision for the gold project.

Additionally, Orion will receive the cash equivalent value of the delivery of nearly 2,200 ounces of refined gold from the Hardrock Mine Project.

The latest deal is subject to the completion of Equinox Gold’s purchase of Premier Gold Mines.

Meanwhile, Premier Gold Mines said that it had obtained final court order of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) for its proposed arrangement with Equinox Gold.

Premier Gold Mines is due to receive approval from the Federal Economic Competition Commission in Mexico (COFECE).