Russian gold miner Nord Gold has escalated the takeover battle for Ghana-focused gold junior Cardinal Resources (ASX: CDV)  by valuing the company at $347m –10 per cent higher than a rival bid that Cardinal wants shareholders to accept.

Cardinal’s board immediately rebuffed Nord Gold’s offer, saying it had already entered into an agreement with China’s Shandong Gold Mining on June 18, and asked shareholders to take no action.

Shares in Cardinal rocketed 17.8 per cent in early trade to ~70c/share.

The Cardinal Resources (ASX:CDV) share price graph


>> scroll down for more gold news from Carnaby Resources and Stavely Minerals

Nord Gold  increased its all-cash takeover offer for Cardinal to 66c/share, representing a 164 per cent premium to the company’s March 13 closing price of 25c, the last trading day before the takeover battle erupted.

The Russian miner’s offer is also 10 per cent higher than rival bidder Shandong’s offer price of 60c/share.

Nord Gold has been given the green light to proceed with its takeover of Cardinal by the Australian government’s Foreign Investment Review Board, it said in a statement.

“Having carefully considered its strategy in the region, Nord Gold is very pleased to extend this unconditional cash offer to Cardinal shareholders,” Nord Gold chief executive Nikolai Zelenski said.

Nord Gold said it is Cardinal’s largest shareholder at 18.7 per cent, and is committed to operating in West Africa where it has project development expertise, and a robust balance sheet to underwrite the construction of Cardinal’s +5moz Namdini project.

Shandong has dangled the carrot of $11.9m of interim funding in front of Cardinal to sweeten its offer, with the Chinese company subscribing to 26 million shares at 46c each.

The jewel in Cardinal’s crown is its +5moz Namdini gold project in Ghana, where it has delineated a 1km long, 200-300m wide and 350m deep mineral system.


Carnaby swoops, Stavely exits

Carnaby Resources (ASX: CNB) has acquired two Pilbara gold tenements, increasing its exploration ground to 254 square km.

The Pilbara gold tenements, Strelley and Mount Grant, are northeast of De Grey Mining’s (ASX: DEG) Hemi gold discovery.

Carnaby will immediately start exploration work at Strelley, including soil sampling and drilling.

And, Stavely Minerals (ASX: SVY) has sold two gold tenements in Tasmania and Victoria to Toronto-listed Nubian Resources for $2.5m in shares and cash.

The news sent Stavely’s share price up 3.6 per cent to 71c in early trade, and the company said the divestment was consistent with its strategy of developing its Cayley Lode discovery and Stavely copper-gold project in western Victoria.

“Rather than diluting Stavely’s technical focus at the Stavely project, this transaction will allow the technically experienced team at Nubian Resources to progress a focused exploration campaign at these high-potential orogenic gold assets,” Stavely Minerals executive chairman Chris Cairns said.

The Carnaby Resources (ASX:CNB) & Stavely Minerals (ASX:SVY) share price graphs