Coeur Mining has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Paramount Gold and Silver in a transaction valued at $146m.

Paramount will turn the existing company into a separate unit, which is expected to be named Paramount Nevada Gold, ahead of completion of the merger.

Paramount Nevada Gold (SpinCo) owns the Sleeper Gold project and other assets in Nevada.

As part of the deal, Coeur will provide $10m in cash to SpinCo and receive a 4.9% common share interest.

Paramount’s San Miguel project, which includes the Don Ese deposit, covers more than 121,000ha surrounding Coeur’s Palmarejo mine complex in Chihuahua, Mexico.

"Palmarejo will be well-positioned to remain one of the world’s top producing silver and gold mines with significantly higher grades and lower costs."

Located about 800m from Coeur’s Guadalupe deposit, the Don Ese deposit extends across a shared property boundary onto Coeur’s land holdings at Palmarejo and comprises higher grade silver and gold mineralisation.

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Said to represent the south-east extension of Coeur’s Independencia structure, Don Ese will be developed by a 1,000m decline adjacent to the existing Guadalupe surface infrastructure at an initial cost of about $15m.

The San Miguel project also contains several lower grade deposits, which could benefit from cost savings associated with Palmarejo’s existing infrastructure.

Coeur president and CEO Mitchell Krebs said: "By adding Paramount’s San Miguel project and particularly the Don Ese deposit to the on-going mining activities at our Guadalupe deposit, Palmarejo will be well-positioned to remain one of the world’s top producing silver and gold mines with significantly higher grades and lower costs.

"We expect the transaction to lower our overall unit costs, improve our free cashflow in the current metal price environment, and provide near-term growth while preserving our liquidity."

Under the terms of the agreement, Paramount stockholders will receive 0.2016 Coeur shares per Paramount share, equal to $0.90 based on Coeur’s 20-day volume weighted average price of $4.47 as of 16 December.

Upon closure of the transaction, which is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2015, Coeur is set to issue around 32.7m shares of common stock to Paramount stockholders.

The transaction is subject to the approval of Coeur and Paramount stockholders, as well as Mexican anti-trust approval and other customary closing conditions.