Pan American Silver Corp. and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. have offered to buy Yamana Gold Inc., in a deal valued at US$4.8 billion.

If the takeover is approved, Agnico would acquire Yamana's Canadian assets, including the Malartic mine in northern Quebec. The companies announced the news in a joint statement released on Friday morning.

The arrangement would establish Pan American as a major precious metals producer in Latin America. Yamana says the offer is superior to its planned takeover by Gold Fields Ltd. of South Africa. Despite this, Gold Fields says it will continue its work on buying Yamana.

"It is clear that the Gold Fields offer remains strategically and financially superior to the Joint Offer with higher quality assets, lower operational and execution risk and higher sustained returns," Gold Fields said in a statement following Pan American and Agnico news.