07/07/2016 - 10:39

Bass buys graphite mine, raises funds

07/07/2016 - 10:39

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Local explorer Bass Metals has restructured its management team after acquiring a graphite mine in Madagascar and kicking off a $5.5 million capital raising.

Bass buys graphite mine, raises funds
Mining operations at the Loharano deposit at the Graphmada graphite mine in Madagascar.

Local explorer Bass Metals has restructured its management team after acquiring a graphite mine in Madagascar and kicking off a $5.5 million capital raising.

Bass announced this morning it had signed an agreement to buy Stratmin Global Resources’ Graphmada graphite mine for $1.5 million in cash and up to $8.75 million in shares, subject to production milestones, plus a 2.5 per cent net smelter royalty capped at $5 million.

The company also plans to undertake a one-for-one rights issue to raise up to $5.5 million.

The raising will be priced at 1.2 cents a share, representing a 60 per cent discount to the company’s last closing price, with joint lead managers Patersons Securities and Bizzell Capital Partners underwriting the offer.

A further $1.5 million may be raised if the brokers exercise their right to undertake an additional placement.

Bass chairman Rick Anthon said the purchase of Graphmada would deliver the company’s objective of transitioning from a graphite sector entrant to an ASX-listed graphite miner.

“The transaction positions Bass as an immediate global play as Graphmada has existing long term customers in Europe, India and the US for high purity, large flake product, and we will continue to develop new end-user customers for premium applications,” he said.

“Unlike many current graphite projects, Graphmada is a highly developed site and has been significantly de-risked with an historic sunk cost of more than $16 million to date.

“Not only will Bass be mining under continuous mining operations from the end of August, but the mine has immediate potential to expand on its total 2015 output of graphite.”

Bass also announced today the appointment of Tim McManus as its new chief executive, while David Round would take on the role of chief financial officer.

Mr McManus joins the company after previously serving as CEO of Tasmania-focused tin and coppr miner Elementos, and managing director of Scorpion Energy before that.

His remuneration terms are yet to be finalised.

Mr Round is an existing adviser to the board of Bass, and previously served as CFO of Ironbark Zinc and Wolf Minerals.

Bass shares were unchanged at 3 cents each at 10:30am.

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