Hecla Mining Co. is trying to gain control of the Galena Mine in Idaho’s Silver Valley through a hostile takeover of its owner.
Hecla is wooing shareholders of U.S. Silver Corp., who are currently considering a competing offer from a Canadian firm, RX Gold & Silver. If Hecla’s bid is successful, the Silver Valley’s two largest mines would be owned by the same operator.
Hecla officials are willing to pay $1.80 for each share of U.S. Silver stock to gain control of the company, compared with RX Gold & Silver’s offer of $1.41 per share. Both offers are in Canadian dollars.
Hecla’s management met Monday morning with U.S. Silver’s board of directors to try to work out a friendly merger, but the two companies couldn’t reach an agreement, according to a Hecla news release. Heather Foster, U.S. Silver’s spokeswoman, said her company had no comment at this time.
The Galena Mine is U.S. Silver’s largest asset. Like Hecla’s nearby Lucky Friday Mine, the Galena is a deep, underground silver mine.
In addition to the Galena, U.S. Silver controls about 14,000 acres of mining properties in the Silver Valley, where Hecla also has extensive holdings.
“It’s a good strategic fit for Hecla,” Jim Sabela, Hecla’s chief financial officer, said of the proposed merger. “We are a silver company, and no one knows the Silver Valley better than Hecla Mining Co.”
U.S. Silver’s shareholders are scheduled to vote on the proposed merger with RX Gold & Silver at an Aug. 7 meeting.