It’s on.

After months of railing against a hostile takeover bid from gold miner Ramelius, the board of sought-after junior explorer Explaurum has finally recommended shareholders accept an “improved, best, and final” off-market offer.

The dramatic 3-month wrestle for Explaurum (ASX:EXU) looked like it was over in late November, after mid-tier gold miner Ramelius (ASX:RMS) bailed on its hostile takeover bid because it couldn’t beat an alternative offer made by Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK).

Multi-commodity miner Alkane was offering $8 million for a 12.2 per cent stake the Western Australian junior, which Explaurum’s board had previously endorsed.

Ramelius came back to the table with a new offer which implies a value of 13.4c per share – a 57.6 per cent premium to Explaurum’s closing price of 8.5c on December 12.

When it tabled the offer mid-December, Ramelius reckoned “major Explaurum shareholders” holding about 14.3 per cent of the junior intended to accept its offer and vote against the opposing offer from Alkane Resources.

As of this morning Ramelius already held 26.73 per cent of Explaurum, the junior explorer said today.

“In light of the improved offer, it has become apparent to the Explaurum board that the prospects of the Alkane Strategic Investment being approved by Explaurum Shareholders are low,” Explaurum told investors.

Explaurum and Alkane Resources will now terminate this deal so Ramelius’ improved offer can be made unconditional.

Alkane will get its $800,000 deposit back, as well as a $400,000 “break fee”.

A previous “improved” offer of 15.25c per share (including 5c cash per share) was taken off the table by Ramelius in late November.

This was because a due diligence on Explaurum’s flagship Tampia gold resource found it was “unlikely to financially support the immediate construction of a stand-alone processing facility”, the miner told investors.

The final offer was tabled when Ramelius recognised it could make cash trucking the gold ore from Tampia to its Edna May processing facility about 130km away.

The Explaurum share price was up 2 per cent to 11.7c in morning trade. Ramelius dropped 4.2 per cent to 40.7c, and while Alkane was unchanged at 19.5c.

Explaurum has been contacted for additional comment.