10/28/2013 07:53 EDT | Updated 12/28/2013 05:12 EST

B2Gold to acquire Volta Resources, African gold project in all-stock deal

VANCOUVER - Volta Resources Inc.'s stock nearly doubled in value in heavy trading Monday after B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO) agreed to acquire the company in an all-stock deal worth an estimated US$63 million.

Vancouver-based B2Gold said the friendly deal with Volta (TSX:VTR) includes 81 per cent ownership of in an advanced gold project and 100 per cent of two exploration projects in Africa.

B2Gold said Volta's Kiaka gold project in Burkino Faso has the potential to produce 340,000 ounces of gold, on average.

"Our team has looked at many projects over the last several years and Kiaka stood out as a technically strong asset with low technical risk that, in the appropriate gold price environment, could be one of B2Gold's largest sources of future gold production," B2Gold president and CEO Clive Johnson said in a statement.

B2Gold is offering 0.15 share — about 42 cents Cdn per Volta share (TSX:VTR) based on Friday's closing price — on condition the deal is approved by Volta shareholders.

On Monday, Volta's stock jumped 20.5 cents to trade at 41 cents with 5.7 million traded in the first half hour. B2Gold's stock price was little changed, with 1.8 million traded.

Volta's board has agreed to give B2Gold the right to match any competing offer and would pay a $2 million fee under certain circumstances if the deal doesn't close.

"In a difficult market where financing of development stage gold companies has become increasingly challenging, we are very pleased to be partnering with an intermediate gold producer that has both the financial and technical capabilities to advance Kiaka for the benefit of Volta shareholders," said Volta presdient and CEO Kevin Bullock.