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Australia's Newcrest Mining raises stake in Canada's Lundin Gold

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(Reuters) - Australia's Newcrest Mining Ltd said on Friday it had raised its stake in Canadian miner Lundin Gold Inc to 32% with an additional C$79.6 million ($59.9 million) investment as it looks to increase its exposure in Ecuador.

Newcrest last year paid $250 million for a 27.1% stake in Lundin, which owns a high-potential gold mine project in Ecuador.

Newcrest said it paid C$7.25 per share to acquire a further 4.9% stake in Lundin from Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corp.

“This was a great opportunity to increase our exposure to Fruta del Norte, a Tier 1 asset, which is expected to commence commercial production in the June 2020 quarter,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Biswas said in a statement.

Newcrest was, until last week, also the largest shareholder in Ecuador-focused SolGold Plc until BHP Group further upped its stake in the miner.

Newcrest shares rose as much as 0.7% in early trade.

(Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru. Editing by Lincoln Feast.)