07/05/2019 - 15:35

Gold explorer breaks listing drought

07/05/2019 - 15:35

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Mont Royal Resources has become just the second Western Australian exploration company to list on the ASX this year, with the help of high-profile directors and ‘family office’ investors.

Gold explorer breaks listing drought
Peter Ruse ringing the bell at Mont Royal's IPO.

Mont Royal Resources has become just the second Western Australian exploration company to list on the ASX this year, with the help of high-profile directors and ‘family office’ investors.

Mont Royal raised $5 million at 20 cents per share through its initial public offering (IPO) and finished its first day of trading higher at 23.5 cents per share.

Its major shareholder (and non-executive director) is Michael O'Keeffe, who made his fortune when Rio Tinto paid $4 billion for iron ore company Riversdale Mining in 2011.

Mr O’Keeffe was also a founding shareholder of Riversdale Resources, which is currently the subject of a $600 million takeover offer by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.

Joining Mr O’Keeffe as major shareholders are Perth-based Charlie Bass and Queensland-based Brian Flannery, who also made tidy fortunes from the sale of mining companies during the boom – Aquila Resources and Felix Resources respectively.

Mr Flannery’s family holds a 5.3 per cent stake through Ilwella Pty Ltd while the Bass family has a 2.26 per cent stake through Quartz Mountain Mining.

Mont Royal plans to explore two gold projects – Edjudina in the Goldfields and Yule River in the Pilbara.

Executive director Peter Ruse described these as interesting opportunities and emphasised the company would be spending its money “in the ground” on exploration.

Mr Ruse said the calibre of Mont Royal’s board was a big attraction for investors, with Mr O’Keeffe bringing a lot of goodwill, and the IPO was heavily oversubscribed.

He added that the company was seeking stable, long-term investors.

The board is chaired by corporate lawyer Gary Lawler, who has shared many boards with Mr O’Keeffe.

Mr Ruse has a background in finance and funds management and was previously executive director of West Australian family office ALR Investments.

The lead manager for the IPO was Sydney-based Peloton Capital.

The legal adviser was Perth-based Bellanhouse Lawyers, which was also advised on the only other WA exploration IPO this year – West Perth-based African Gold, which listed in February.

BDO was the investigating accountant and SRK Consulting was the independent geologist.

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