Canadian gold miner Agnico-Eagle Mines said it will buy Mexico-focused junior peer Grayd Resource Corp for about C$275 million($279.6 million) in cash and stock to focus on early stage gold projects.

The offer price of C$2.80 per share represents a premium of 44 percent to Grayd's Friday closing of C$1.95 on the Toronto Venture Exchange.

Record high prices of the precious metal have triggered a wave of deals in the industry. The yellow metal has vaulted nearly eight-fold from just $250 in 2001 to a recent high of $1,911 an ounce.

In August, another Mexico-focused miner AuRico Gold offered to buy Northgate Minerals for C$1.46 billion in a friendly deal.

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Grayd shareholders will receive either C$2.80 in cash or 0.04039 of an Agnico share and 5 Canadian cents a share in cash for each share they own.

Grayd, a junior natural resource company, mainly explores and develops properties in Mexico. It owns the La India project in the Mulatos gold belt of Mexico, which is about 70 kilometres northwest of Agnico's Pinos Altos gold mine.

The project has measured and indicated gold resource of 26.8 million tonnes at a grade of 0.88 gram per tonne. It has an inferred gold resource of 19.7 million tonnes.

It is expected that La India and, further out potentially Tarachi, will contribute to the ongoing growth in Agnico-Eagle's gold production and cash flows, said Sean Boyd, chief executive of Agnico-Eagle.

Grayd recently discovered the Tarachi gold prospect near its La India project.

Under the deal, Agnico is entitled to a break-up fee of C$10 million in certain circumstances.

TD Securities Inc was the financial adviser for Agnico-Eagle, while Canaccord Genuity Corp was the financial advisor for Grayd.

In July, Toronto-based Agnico, which owns mines spread across Canada, Mexico and Finland, acquired a 9.2 percent stake in exploration company Rubicon Minerals via a private placement deal.

Agnico shares closed at C$66.98 on Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.