The only mining producer to have its head office in Abitibi, Richmont Mines, was sold to an Ontario company for close to $700 million.
Richmont Mines is a symbol in Abitibi. With its sale announced on Monday to Alamos Gold by mid-November, all gold mines operated in Abitibi will now be headquartered outside the region.
The head office of the company founded by the Abitibien Jean-Guy Rivard in 1981 will travel to Toronto, although the company insures that the Rouyn-Noranda office will remain open.
“Certainly it’s sad for the name Richmont Mines, which will disappear, but today’s announcements are good news for our employees,” said Vice President of Operations at Richmont Mines, Christian Bourcier.
The Quebec mining company first announced that it sold its assets to the Ontarian Alamos for $ 683 million, 22% more than the shares were worth at closing on Friday.
Richmont also announced the sale of its Beaufor mine in Val-d’Or, as well as the Camarlo plant in Malartic and the Wasamac project in Rouyn-Noranda to Monarques Gold Corporation, headquartered in Saint-Sauveur. The value of both transactions is close to $ 770 million.
“This is ideal for our employees. It will strengthen jobs in the region. For Monarques, the Beaufor Mine will become her baby, her jewel, so she will take care of it. Richmont focused primarily on its Island Gold mine in Ontario, “said Mr. Bourcier.
The president of Monarques Gold Corporation, Jean-Marc Lacoste, was very pleased to own the Beaufor mine and the Camflo plant. “It’s been a long time since we dreamed of producing gold. It will be a reality from October 1st. We start with 170 qualified employees and we will grow this company, “he promised.
Monarques will have a lot to do, however, since the Beaufor mine is aging and the costs of production are high compared to other abitibian mines. In the second quarter of 2017, it cost $ 1502 to produce one ounce of gold while revenues were $ 1,697 per ounce.
“Even more profitable”
“Beaufor is profitable and will become even more so. We will have a less important management, but more present on the ground. All elements are currently in place for an increase in the price of precious metals, “Lacoste believes.
Monarques Gold Corporation also has the Croinor mine project in Val-d’Or, which could be in production within a few years. The company intends to use the expertise of the Beaufor Mine team to advance its project more quickly.
Founded in 1981 by the Abitibien Jean-Guy Rivard
After taking over from his father to head the company, Martin Rivard resigned in 2012
• Richmont operated its first gold mine in 1991, the Francœur Mine in Arntfield, Abitibi
The company operated seven mines in Abitibi, Newfoundland and Ontario
It produced more than 1.5 million ounces of gold