06/11/2007 - 22:00

Giralia’s 20-year journey paying off MacDonalds

06/11/2007 - 22:00

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Two men who have been quietly working away on an iron ore explorer in Western Australia’s Mid West must have some empathy for tech sector businesses seeking to raise money.

Giralia’s 20-year journey paying off MacDonalds

Two men who have been quietly working away on an iron ore explorer in Western Australia’s Mid West must have some empathy for tech sector businesses seeking to raise money.

Giralia Resources NL managing director Mike Joyce remembers that, when he joined the explorer in 1998, technology was all the rage, and getting cash to fund exploration was near-on impossible.

“We bought tenements at the bottom of the market,” Mr Joyce remembers.

“When the projects are going begging it is a good time to go and get them.

“We bought them very cheaply from people who were going across to the dot.coms. It was very difficult to raise money and get through that period, but now the boot is on the other foot.”

Giralia was established in 1987 by geologist Stan MacDonald, who amassed a portfolio of tenements over the years that have formed the basis of spin-out companies Red Hill Iron, Zinc Co and uranium company U308.

As the sharemarket boom rolls on, Mr MacDonald’s 20-year association with Giralia is being rewarded. His holdings across all four companies are worth more than $15 million.

Interestingly, Mr MacDonald’s son, Jason, and daughter, Emilee, have more paper wealth then he does, with their holding in Giralia via Breamlea Pty Ltd worth about $16.3 million.

The siblings own 6.67 per cent of Giralia, making them the second biggest private investor behind Mark Creasy, who has 6.8 per cent.

The value of the MacDonald family members’ holdings had been on a slow and steady incline.

A year ago its share price was about 40 cents and had spent most of the year hovering at about 80 cents.

However, an announcement last week that revealed the group’s target resource estimate for its Earaheedy iron ore project sat at one billion tonnes has put a rocket under the share price.

The company needs to continue exploring Earaheedy in the Miss Fairbairn Hills area to firm up its target estimate, which is about double the potential resource of Midwest Corp’s neighbouring Weld Range project. Fortescue Metal Group has combined resources of about 2.4 billion tonnes.

What excited analysts last week, along with the staggering estimate, was the grade of the ore, about 66 per cent iron, and the shallow dipping iron ore formations the company revealed.

The shallow formations means the company can extract high grade ore more easily.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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