Australia’s Victory West Moly has signed an agreement to acquire XS Platinum, which owns the Platinum Creek mine in south-western Alaska, due to begin production this year.

Victory will issue 250 million fully paid shares and 100 million options to XS Platinum and will advance A$10m in the ongoing trial mining operations and to purchase plant and equipment.

A small-scale bulk-sampling and test production programme is scheduled next month to provide production and geological data aimed at achieving gold and platinum sales by the end of 2009.

The two companies are expected to merge by the end of this year, Victory said.