Kinross Gold (TSX:K) Canada's third-largest gold producer, denied a statement from Southridge Enterprises (OTC Pink:SRGE) that says the two companies are working together to develop properties in Mexico. In a statement quoted by Bloomberg, Toronto-based Kinross said the company "has not entered into a joint venture agreement with Southridge Enterprises, and is not actively pursuing any such agreement at this time."

Focus Minerals (ASX:FML) completed a AU$225-million private placement with Shandong Gold Mining (SSE:600547), which will take a 51-percent equity stake in the Australian gold miner.

Funds from the deal, approved by shareholders earlier this month, will be put towards developing Focus' existing gold projects in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.

"This is one of the largest mining deals for an emerging mid-tier Australian gold producer in recent times and underscores the importance of Australia-China mining interests," said Don Taig, Focus Minerals' chairman.

The Australian Federal Court has approved a AU$426-million merger between Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) and Integra Mining (ASX:IGR). Under terms of the agreement, Silver Lake will hand over one of its own shares for every 6.28 Integra shares held.

Meanwhile, Silver Lake also reported that commissioning of its Murchison gold project, in Western Australia, is on track, with production expected to begin in March. The project will ramp up to 100,000 oz per year by 2014.

“We are looking forward to commissioning the Murchison gold project, bringing it into production and ramping up to 100,000 ounce per annum rates on time and in line with budget,” said Silver Lake's managing director, Les Davis.

Junior company news 

Santacruz Silver Mining (TSXV:SCZ) announced the completion of an updated NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate on its Rosario project in Mexico.

"This resource classification upgrade provides us with more certainty that the Rosario Project will be an emerging silver producer that will be the foundation of the Company as we advance towards becoming a mid-tier silver producer. We remain on schedule to achieve commercial production at the Rosario Project within the first quarter of 2013," said Santacruz's president, Arturo Préstamo. The deposit hosts 270,000 tonnes of mineralization containing 210 grams per tonne silver, 0.94 g/t gold, 3.69 percent zinc and 1.17 percent lead.