Rio Tinto, through its Canadian subsidiary, has made an all-cash offer to acquire all the common shares of Hathor Exploration for C$578m (US$567m).

The company has offered C$4.15 (US$4.07) per each share of Hathor, representing a premium of 55.4% to Hathor’s closing share price of C$2.67 (US$2.61) per share.

The acquisition will allow Rio Tinto to expand its operations in the Athabasca Basin, which currently provides about 20% of global uranium production.

Rio Tinto Energy CEO Doug Ritchie said that the acquisition will allow the firm to build on the platform successfully laid out by Hathor and that the firm will continue to draw on Hathor’s expertise and commitment in future.

"The strategic context of the Rio Tinto offer underscores the best-of-breed global stature of the Roughrider uranium deposit relative to its similar undeveloped uranium deposits around the world," Ritchie said.