TORONTO (CP) -- Gold producer Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. [NYSE:AEM] says it has agreed to buy more than 7.6 million common shares, or about 14.5 per cent, of Comaplex Minerals Corp. [TSX:CMF] from Australia's Troy Resources NL in a private transaction valued at $46.9 million.
When Monday's deal closes, Agnico-Eagle's interest in Calgary-based Comaplex will be 8.2 million shares or 15.6 per cent of the company, making Agnico-Eagle its largest shareholder.
Agnico-Eagle paid Troy C$6.15 per share for the Comaplex stock and said it made the move for investment purposes only.
The main assets of Comaplex are a 78 per cent stake in the Meliadine West gold project and 50 per cent of the Meliadine East gold project, both near Rankin Inlet in Nunavut Territory.
''The purchase of a significant share position in an emerging junior gold company is consistent with our proven long-term strategy,'' Sean Boyd, chief executive of Agnico-Eagle, said in a release.
''It gives us exposure to another growing gold deposit, located in a familiar region which is supportive of mining. The high-grade nature and increasing size of the Meliadine West gold deposit continues to be encouraging. Given that we are currently active in the region at our Meadowbank project, we look forward to the results of the scoping study, expected later this year.''
The transaction is expected to close Wednesday.
Troy Resources [TSX:TRY], a company which trades on the Toronto and Australian stock exchanges, bought its stake in Comaplex in January 2007 for $27 million Australian, so Monday's sale represents a gain of 77 per cent.
''This is an excellent win-win outcome for Troy and Agnico-Eagle,'' said Paul Benson, the Australian company's CEO.
''We have been great believers in the Meliadine project and are of the view that one day it will be a producing mine. For a company the size of Troy it makes no sense having this much capital tied up in a project over which we have no direct control.
''Current market conditions make financing of projects much more difficult and the last thing we want to do is dilute existing shareholders by issuing new equity at current prices to raise cash.''
Agnico-Eagle produces gold from mines in Quebec and has exploration and development properties in Canada, Finland, Mexico and the United States. The company's LaRonde Mine is Canada's largest gold deposit in reserves.
In trading Monday on the TSX, Agnico-Eagle shares rose 30 cents to $77.30, while Comaplex shares jumped 80 cents to $5.90, a jump of 15.7 per cent.
Troy Resources, meanwhile, was unchanged at $1.72 on the TSX.