Cardinal Resources (ASX:CDV) has jumped back into the arms of Chinese suitor Shandong Gold Mining, noting that its 70c all-cash offer is far superior to Russian company Nord Gold’s 66c per share bid.

While Shandong’s offer is subject to a number of conditions, unlike Nord’s unconditional offer, the company believes that they can be satisfied within a reasonable timeframe.

Cardinal and its 5.1-million-ounce Namdini gold project in Ghana have been the subject of a bidding war that has seen the offer price rise from 45.775c per share to the most recent offer of 70c per share, which values the company at $395m.

Shandong’s new offer comes as gold surges past the $US1,900 ($2,652) an ounce mark for the first time since 2011 as geopolitical risks, additional fiscal stimulus and growing numbers of COVID-19 infections drive investors to the safe haven asset.

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Targeting more gold production

Meanwhile, Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM) is modifying its Karlawinda gold project after a review indicated that it is capable of greater ore throughput than originally estimated.

The review found that the optimised crushing and grinding circuit could process between 4.5 million tonnes (Mt) and 5Mt of an oxide and fresh ore blend in the first three years, up from the original 3.5Mt to 4Mt throughput.

Allowances in plant design and layout will also be made for the possibility that increased ore leaching capacity may be required.

Capricorn is also constructing an airstrip on site to deliver operational efficiencies by reducing the company’s and mining contractor shift change downtime over the life of mine.

It estimates capital costs for the project – including the modifications and airstrip construction – will come in at between $165m and $170m.

Commissioning of the Karlawinda plant is slated to begin in the March 2021 quarter, with first gold production to follow in the June 2021 quarter.

Mid-cap gold producer St Barbara (ASX:SBM) is likely to increase gold production after reaching an agreement to acquire Moose River Resources and its 40 per cent interest in the Touquoy mine in Nova Scotia, Canada for $C60m ($62.9m) in cash.

The acquisition will give the company, which secured its initial 60 per cent stake in May 2019, full control over the mine and its surrounding tenements.

Touquoy produced 106,663 ounces of gold in the 2020 financial year.

“Assuming full control of the business will provide operational efficiencies, deliver financial benefits and allow us to truly realise the potential of the asset,” managing director Craig Jetson said.

CMM and SBM share price