04/06/2009 - 00:00

Deals move ABM, Excalibur forward

04/06/2009 - 00:00

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A COUPLE of Western Australian exploration minnows have this week secured deals and appointments that are likely to breathe new life into the companies.

A COUPLE of Western Australian exploration minnows have this week secured deals and appointments that are likely to breathe new life into the companies.

Over the past few years, ABM Resources and Excalibur Mining Corporation have been busy with drilling efforts as restructures were implemented following name changes and, for the latter, settlement of court cases.

The low-lying nature of both explorers resulted in their respective share prices, particularly over the past year, languishing at between 0.5 cents and 6 cents, not helped by the current global uncertainty.

But the share prices for both ABM and Excalibur rose sharply this week following announcements that marked the next step forward in what has been described as the transition from an explorer to a producer.

In ABM's case, shares skyrocketed 76 per cent following a deal that will effectively hand control over to project finance and advisory group Ochre Holdings, a company led by Nick Archibald who founded United States company Geoinformatics Exploration.

Under the deal, Ochre has agreed to acquire a suite of new projects in a bid to transform ABM into a company of global significance, with the first acquisition expected within the next three months.

In return, ABM will issue 50 million shares and 515 million options which, if exercised, will inject up to $7.6 million in new equity funds.

The financial boost comes at a time when ABM reported it had $426,000 in cash at the end of the March quarter.

Shares in Excalibur jumped 56 per cent over two trading days after it announced a restructure of its board as the next step in developing its Tennant Creek gold project into an operation.

Tim Langdon, formerly with NM Rothschild & Sons and Westpac, will take over from managing director Alex Bajada, who moves up to the chairman role.

Mining engineer James Chapman comes onboard as executive director while Aspermont chairman Andrew Kent has been appointed non-executive director.

In 2006, Aspermont acquired an 18.9 per cent interest in Excalibur as part of a settlement of legal proceedings between the pair.

Mark Smith and Ian Murie have stepped down from the board.

Excalibur is currently on the road drumming up interest amongst brokers and is about to lodge its operational mine management plan for Tennant Creek with the Northern Territory government.

The company reported cash reserves of $2 million at the end of the first quarter.

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