Australian gold miner St Barbara has completed the previously announced sale of its Leonora assets in Western Australia to rival Genesis Minerals.

The Leonora assets comprise the Gwalia underground mine, 1.4 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) Leonora mill, Tower Hill project, Zoroastrian project as well as the Aphrodite and Harbour Lights refractory projects.

Under the terms of the transaction, Genesis Minerals has paid A$370m ($246m) in cash to St Barbara which is financed by a A$470m ($312.6m) equity raising.

Besides, the Australian gold exploration company has issued 205 million of its shares to St Barbara.

Following the acquisition of the Leonora assets, Genesis Minerals’ group ore reserves have increased to 3.9 million ounces from 3.1 million ounces.

The mining company aims to pair its near surface Admiral and Ulysses development projects with the Gwalia mine to fill the underused Gwalia mill.

Grade control drilling and site works at the Admiral open pit are now under way and open pit mining is scheduled to commence in the September quarter.

The first ore is targeted for the December quarter of this year.

Genesis Minerals managing director Raleigh Finlayson said: “Most importantly, we can now get on with the job of unlocking the unique synergies and delivering the long life, ‘margin over ounces’ Leonora business plan we have clearly articulated to shareholders.

“The next six months will be focused on a strategic review of Gwalia, re-building the foundations to ensure a new lease of life for this prolific gold asset.”

In December 2022, both companies executed a scheme implementation deed, under which St Barbara agreed to acquire Genesis Minerals and demerge its Atlantic gold operations in Canada, the Simberi gold mine in Papua New Guinea, and other assets in Australia to its shareholders.

However, the scheme implementation was mutually terminated in April 2023 and a new deal for the sale of Leonora assets was taken up by St Barbara with Genesis Minerals.