Sep. 5, 2018 9:19 AM ET|About: BHP Group (BHP)|By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor 

BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHPagrees to acquire a 6.1% stake in SolGold, the majority owner and operator of the Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador, from Guyana Goldfields for $35.2M.

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie says the stake will provide exposure to a high quality copper exploration project in Ecuador, a “highly prospective” location for the company.

The deal sets the stage for a potential showdown with Australian gold miner Newcrest Mining (OTCPK:NCMGF), SolGold’s top shareholder with a 14.54% stake.

SolGold may have greater synergies with Newcrest, given the major deposit is a copper gold porphyry system that could be best mined by using a block cave method, an analyst tells Reuters.

SolGold rejected an offer by BHP to take a 10% stake in the firm in 2016.

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