Alamos Gold Inc. (TSE:AGI), a producer of the metal in Mexico, on Tuesday asked the British Colombia Securities Commission to remove a "poison pill" anti-takeover defence set up by Vancouver-based Aurizon Mines (TSE:ARZ), which has eight properties in Quebec.
A hearing at the Commission has been scheduled for Friday, March 15th.
The initial Aurizon shareholder rights plan expired March 4 when Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE:HL), which runs silver mines in Alaska and Idaho, extended a competing, friendly offer.
Hecla's cash and stock offer, valued at $4.75 per Aurizon share when it was announced, is 10 cents more than the Alamos Gold bid, valued at $4.65 per share when it was announced in January.
Alamos, which operates the Mulatos mine in Mexico and develops projects in Turkey, says a second poison pill announced by Aurizon on Monday is designed to prevent shareholders from exercising their right to accept its proposal.
Aside from a nominally higher total value, the $513.6-million maximum cash component offer from Hecla is almost $210 million above the cash cap in the Alamos stock and cash bid.
Toronto-based Alamos is the biggest shareholder of Aurizon, with about 16 per cent of its equity, and has said it is confident it can get adequate voting support to block Idaho-based Hecla's offer, which requires approvals from two-thirds of votes cast.
Aurizon said it came forward with the new defence to ensure all shareholders would have a chance to choose the Hecla offer, which Aurizon's board prefers. Alamos Gold argues that Aurizon's board has agreed to pay an improper break fee to Hecla.
Alamos gained as much as 1.9 percent to C$14.83 in early trading in Toronto on Tuesday, while Aurizon climbed 0.9 percent to C$4.55. Hecla jumped 2.8 percent to $4.41 in New York.