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The Gold Stock Strategist analyzes leading junior gold producers and major gold mining companies.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Minera Penmont Outbids Goldcorp...Again!!!

Get out your scorecard! The Canplats buyout isn't over yet!

A bidding war for Canplats Resources ($CPQRF) (CVE:CPQ) escalated today after the company reported it had received a bid on Sunday from Minera Penmont that was once again "financially superior" to the matched offer from Goldcorp ($GG).

This bidding war highlights how important large gold deposits are to tier 1 gold miners that are on the hunt to replace their dwindling reserves. There are very few multi-million ounce deposits that are "shovel ready." This deal could be the beginning of a 2010 buyout frenzy among major gold miners for emerging gold juniors with large and promising deposits.

Minera Penmont is now offering C$4.60 in cash and C$0.20 in stock of a newly formed company from the C$4.20 a share plus C$0.20 in new company stock offered earlier and matched by Goldcorp. Minera Penmont is a joint venture between Mexico-based silver miner Fresnillo and Denver's Newmont Mining ($NEM).

Canplats said the new Minera Penmont offer is 9 percent higher than Goldcorp's matched bid, valued at about C$254 million. The latest salvo in this bidding war by Minera Penmont is worth C$276.6 million.

Goldcorp has until January 5 to make a counteroffer.

The winner of this bidding war is eying Canplats' Camino Rojo project, with about 3.4 million ounces of gold and 60.7 million ounces of silver with additional mineral potential.

Both Penmont and Goldcorp have indicated they would keep Camino Rojo and spin off other properties.

Canplats and whoever wins the bidding war for Camino Rojo will be required to pay breakup fees of C$10.2 million to Penmont or C$9.3 million to Goldcorp.

This saga started on November 16 with Goldcorp announcing it intended to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Canplats for about C$238 million.

On December 23, Goldcorp announced it had been notified by Canplats that it received a $254 million buy-out offer on December 21 from Minera Penmont 6.7 percent higher than Goldcorp's earlier bid of C$238 million.

On December 24, Goldcorp amended its proposal to acquire Canplats, matching the proposal by Minera Penmont. Canplats was contractually obligated to accept the Goldcorp match.

And today, Canplats announced the revised bid by Minera Penmont.
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This bidding war is especially interesting for holders of Terrane Metals ($TRXOF) (CVE:TRX). Terrane is on the verge of a Goldcorp decision to offer a joint venture for the company and its low-cost ($51 cash cost per ounce) 6 million proven and probable ounces of gold and 2.1 billion lbs. of copper at the Mt. Milligan project in British Columbia, Canada.

In July 2006, Goldcorp retained 240 million convertible preferred shares, or about 59% of Terrane Metals as a result of a deal involving Barrick and Placer Dome that spun Terrane off as an independent company.

In July 2008, Goldcorp and Terrane agreed to provide Goldcorp with an option to convert its 59 percent equity interest in Terrane into a joint venture at Mt. Milligan. Goldcorp's option expires on January 8, 2010.

Speculation is, as an alternative, Goldcorp may want to buy out the entire company and its major deposit at Mt. Milligan. Goldcorp is familiar with the Mt. Milligan project due to the previous deal and having a company officer on Terrane's board of directors.

Regardless of the outcome of the Canplats deal, Goldcorp is unlikely to walk away from Mt. Milligan. If the Canplats deal falls through for Goldcorp, Terrane is an especially important deal for the company. Terrane Metals shares were trading at C$1.53 mid-afternoon.

The price of gold is holding at $1,106.50 an ounce late Monday afternoon with the SPDR Gold Trust ETF ($GLD) at $108.22, down 0.13 percent.


Disclosure: Long Terrane Metals.

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