Oceana Gold has skirted much of the turmoil in the beleaguered resource sector in recent months and investors have embraced its mopping up of acquisitions predicted to boost gold production 30 per cent to 40 per cent by 2017.
Despite the number of Oceana (OGC) shares on issue almost doubling, instead of its share price being diluted, its has risen 30 per cent, from $2.25 to $2.94 since early October.
The past five months of acquisitions has quietly issued in a new era for cash rich OGC. While the $2.94 price is up more than 5 per cent on a year ago, it was well below the brief year high of $3.68 struck in late June this year. On Friday, the $132 million purchase by triple listed OGC of Newmont's Waihi gold mine in the central North Island was approved by the Overseas Investment Office.
Since announcing the Waihi purchase in May, OGC went on to buy a US development gold mine in South Carolina in August, for scrip only. The target company has a market capitalisation of NZ$997 million.
From October 1, the number of OGC shares on issue rose from $303.5 million to $603 million. Craigs Investment Partners broker Peter McIntyre said the share price rose on the back of shareholders being keen on the US deal, seeing "significant value, a good quality asset and long term value" in the acquisition of Toronto listed Romarco Minerals and its South Carolina mine.
"The market's accepted the transaction ... it's all about future [gold] production capacity, which is what Oceana's done," he said of the Waihi and South Carolina acquisitions.
International spot gold prices had this month risen 6 per cent, from US$1113 an oz to US$1182.
McIntyre said several other larger gold producers had enjoyed a "strong drive" in share prices during the past month also. Newmont was up 20.8 per cent, Regis Resources up 34.2 per cent and Newcrest Mining up 37 per cent. While buoyed by the appreciating spot gold price, the "significant weakening" of the US dollar and "pause" in US interest rates had all contributed to share price appreciations, he said.
He believed investors were bullish on a potential strengthening of the gold price heading into 2016, but McIntyre held a more conservative outlook on gold's price.
No production guidance was given by OGC with Friday's OIO announcement, but it has said in recent weeks it expects to be producing more than 540,000oz of gold by 2017.
No production guidance was given by OGC with Friday's OIO announcement, but it has said in recent weeks it expects to be producing more than 540,000oz of gold by 2017, from its combined operations in Otago, the northern Philippines and South Carolina.
OGC recently upgraded its calendar 2015 guidance to between 380,000oz and 410,000oz.OGC chief executive Mick Wilkes said the company wanted to add further value to the Waihi operation.
Waihi at present is all underground operations but there is potential for the Martha pit to be reopened. Wilkes wanted to see an extension of the overall mine life and seek savings in making operational efficiencies.
"The Waihi operation represents a strong strategic fit with our existing business and we're excited to welcome this high quality asset and its talented team into Oceana Gold," Wilkes said in a statement.The closing transaction for Waihi is expected to be concluded on October 30.