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Kinross Gold - Smart or Desperate?

DENVER ( TheStreet ) -- Kinross Gold (KGC - Get Report) is hoping its recent acquisition of Red Back will help it finally take advantage of surging gold prices .

Kinross shares year to date have fallen 0.89% while the gold price has rallied 17%. Even Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), of which Kinross if the fifth- largest holding, is up 16% as the company's growing pains crimped its ability to give leverage to investors.

Kinross is one of the largest gold producers in the world with a market cap of $13.23 billion. The company earned 16 cents a share in the second quarter and produced 538,270 ounces of gold. Its cash costs were up 14% from a year earlier to $496 but the company still achieved a record profit margin of $622 an ounce.

Kinross has eight producing mines but ballooning demand and constricting global mine supply led Kinross to buy Red Back for $7 billion, a 21% premium, which already has two working mines and more on the way. I sat down with CEO Tye Burt at the Denver Gold Forum to see if Kinross was desperate or just ahead of the curve.

You recently bought Red Back for over $7 billion, a 21% premium. Did you overpay?

Burt: We don't think we overpaid. We think we acquired one of the new best gold deposits in the world today with significant upside from the ounces that are known today.

I think if you look at the consensus of research that followed our releases on the project and following our outline on what the potential is the Street has strongly endorsed the deal and our stock is up strongly on the back of closing it. So we're excited, we think we've created a new hypergrowth senior that will grow faster than any of the other major gold producers in the world today.

Now were you desperate?

Burt: No, Kinross stand alone has a tremendous growth profile ... Here was a chance to turbocharge it and take it even further and faster with a high-quality asset that has tremendous upside.

How long until Red Back's deposit will become accretive to Kinross?

Burt: We have a 36-month plan to put the new mill into production and during that time we will be drilling the deposit very aggressively and adding ounces even as we proceed with the engineering and construction work for the new mill. It will take about a year to see further additions to our very large ounce profit and then a subsequent two years to build the new mill.

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