The Toronto-based gold miner said Tuesday it’s selling 100 per cent of its Russian assets to the Highland Gold Mining group of companies and its affiliates for US$680 million in cash.
Kinross owns the Kupol underground mine in the country’s eastern Chukotka region and surrounding exploration licenses as well as the Udinsk development-stage project in the Khabarovsk region.
The company said Highland Gold is one of the largest gold mining companies in Russia with mining operations in both of the areas where Kinross has assets.
The transaction is subject to the approval of the Russian government.
Mike Parkin, head of mining research at National Bank Financial, said in a client note that obtaining approval from the Russian government is a potentially significant hurdle.
Still, Parkin said in the note that selling the assets to a third-party mining company is positive as it eliminates potential environmental risks associated with the sale.
The number of consumer giants suspending business in Russia is growing
RBC Dominion Securities Inc. analyst Josh Wolfson called the transaction fair.
In a note to clients, he said the closing of the deal and the ability for Kinross to receive funds under current sanctions is uncertain and carries above-average risk.
Kinross is the latest in a raft of companies to exit Russia following its unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
It’s also one of the more significant withdrawals from the country, as other companies have largely paused or suspended operations but maintained assets on the ground.
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