By Samantha James

WA junior Perseus Mining has announced an all-scrip bid worth $85 million to take over London-listed Amara Mining, aiming to pool the companies’ respective West African gold assets.

Perseus and Amara agreed to a recommended scheme of arrangement in late February which would see Amara shareholders own 35.1 per cent of the merged company – a mid-tier gold producer worth about US$242.3 million.

The merger would combine Perseus’ producing Edikan gold mine in Ghana (90 per cent ownership) and Sissingue development project in Cote d’Ivoire (86 per cent) with Amara’s Yaoure gold project in Cote d’Ivoire (90 per cent) and Baumahun project (100 per cent) in Sierra Leone.

An optimised pre-feasibility study at Amara’s flagship 7.3 million ounce Yaoure project concluded that it could produce 248,000oz per annum of gold for at least five years.

Perseus chief executive officer Jeff Quartermaine said that Amara’s Yaoure gold project was one of the best undeveloped gold deposits in West Africa and would complement the other mines and projects under the company’s management.

“If approved by Amara’s shareholders, the proposal will potentially transform Perseus into a leading mid-tier West African gold producer, delivering significant benefits to shareholders of both Perseus and Amara,” Mr Quartermaine said.

“The future of the combined group is very exciting as we are confident that by deploying our experienced human and financial resources to develop Amara’s Yaoure project, we will create an entity with considerable market presence, capable of generating material benefits for both groups of existing shareholders,” he said.

Perseus expected the scheme to become effective in the first half of 2016, subject to relevant conditions, including Amara shareholder and court approval.

The Perth-based gold miner produced 212,135oz of gold in the 2015 financial year.