Gold Fields in option for 340 million dollar Philippine deal

South Africa’s Gold Fields said Monday it had reached a deal for an option to buy a 60 percent stake in an undeveloped gold and copper deposit in the Philippines for 340 million dollars (260 million euros).

The South African company, of the world’s largest gold producers, said the deal gives it an 18-month option on the Far Southeast deposit in the northern part of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines.

The deal with Philippines-listed Lepanto Consolidated Mining and Liberty Express Assets will give Gold Fields time to drill to study the feasibility of mining there, the company said in a statement.

Gold Fields will pay 10 million dollars to Lepanto and 44 million dollars to Liberty Express Assets as a non-refundable down payment, it said.

If it decides to buy the 60 percent stake, another 66 million dollars will be paid to Liberty and then 220 million dollars will be payable when the option period ends.

“This transaction provides Gold Fields with a unique and exciting opportunity to gain exposure to what will undoubtedly prove to be a world-class deposit,” said Nick Holland, chief executive of the Johannesburg company.

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