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Aeris Resources is forking out up to $125 million to buy the Cracow gold mine in Central Queensland from Evolution Mining.

The companies have entered a binding agreement for the sale, expected to close around the end of this month.

The acquisition includes a tenement package covering 903sq km, and Aeris says it aims to aggressively invest in exploration to increase the resource base at Cracow and extend the mine life.

The underground mine – owned by Evolution since 2011 – is forecast to produce 82,500-87,500 ounces of gold this financial year. It has a workforce of about 220 full-time employees and 45 contractors.

Aeris expects Cracow to generate more than $100 mllion of net mine cashflows in the next two years at the current gold price.

Cracow gold mine to change hands in $125m deal

‘Transformational’ transaction

Aeris Resources executive chairman Andre Labuschagne said the deal would be a transformational transaction for Aeris.

“The acquisition provides us with asset and commodity diversity, strong cashflow generation and high value synergies,” he said.

“Cracow will be a perfect fit for the unique skill set of our management team, who have a track record of extracting value and life extensions, as
demonstrated at the Tritton mine, and previously with Norton Gold Fields at the Paddington gold mine.

“Our immediate focus will be on transitioning Cracow into the Aeris culture and aggressively investing in the mine life extension opportunities we have identified.”

The Cracow mine has been operating since 2004 and produced more than 1.4 million ounces of gold over its life.

Aeris has agreed to pay Evolution $60 million upon closing the transaction, a further $15 million on June 30 next year and up to $50 million in royalties.

Who is Aeris Resources?

Aeris is headquartered in Brisbane, with assets including the Tritton copper operation in New South Wales and a stake in the Torrens exploration project in South Australia.

It is also the 100 per cent holder of tenements comprising the Yandan project, about 40km west of Mount Coolon and 155km south-east of Charters Towers.

The gold project, in the Drummond Basin, is centred on the former Yandan mine was operated by Ross Mining between 1985 and 1990.

Announcing the Cracow deal to the market, Evolution said the sale was consistent with its corporate strategy to continuously seek to upgrade
the quality of its portfolio and hold six to eight assets with an average mine life of at least 10 years. 

The move follows completion of its Red Lake acquisition in April 2020 and
the company said it reflected its view that Cracow had more value in the hands of Aeris than in Evolution’s portfolio.