07/04/2021 - 14:38

Gold prospects lead WA listings

07/04/2021 - 14:38

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Gold sector listings are pumping millions of dollars into WA’s mining industry.

Gold prospects lead WA listings
Photo: Attila Csaszar

Western Australia’s gold players appear primed for another bumper year, with at least nine goldminers or explorers from the sector hitting the ASX boards in the first four months of 2021.

That activity follows a stellar 2020 for gold during which the price per ounce hit an all-time high of $US2,067 in August.

Several major WA-based gold players successfully listed last year, including De Grey Mining, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to fuel its exploration efforts in the Pilbara, and Miramar Resources, which holds projects in the Eastern Goldfields and Murchison regions.

(a PDF version of this special report)

While the price of gold has since slid back to about $US1,700/oz as of March, global uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic has kept the price of the commodity at a five-year high.

That’s led an array of prospective WA-based miners to rattle the tin in 2021, with Torrens Mining, Australian Gold and Copper, Oz Aurum, Auric Mining and Medallion Metals securing $64 million in capital between them in the first three months of the calendar year.

The first to list was Torrens Mining, which debuted in early January after raising $10 million through its IPO.

That would have given the company an indicative market capitalisation of $25 million (its market capitalisation has since fluctuated between $18 million and $32 million.

Led by Stephen Shedden, founder of Gindalbie Metals, Oroya Mining and Argentina Mining, Torrens owns the Mt Piper gold project in Victoria and has a farm-in deal with Coda Minerals to explore its Elizabeth Creek copper-cobalt project in South Australia.

The company is also in possession of a copper-gold project in Papua New Guinea and is awaiting an exploration licence for the project.

Torrens has since sold 19 per cent of its stake in the Elizabeth Creek project to Coda Minerals for $6.6 million, with the option for Coda Minerals to purchase a further 5 per cent stake for $1.5 million.

In Victoria, Torrens has also secured two additional tenements at its Mt Piper site with an expectation it will be granted a third tenement.

Further afield is Australian Gold and Copper, which is exploring and developing three gold assets throughout the Lachlan Fold Belt in NSW.

AGC listed in January after demerging from Nedlands-based Magmatic Resources that same month.

Magmatic Resources specialises in the exploration of gold, copper and other base metals, primarily in NSW’s interior and WA’s Goldfields-Esperance region.

It holds a 30 per cent stake in AGC as present.

AGC’s share price has remained relatively stable since listing, with market capitalisation ranging from a low of $14.5 million to a high of $20.4 million. It listed with an indicative market capitalisation of between $17 million and $20 million.

Closer to home, Medallion Metals debuted on the ASX earlier this month, raising $12.5 million through its IPO in a major boost for its proposed $85 million copper-gold project in Ravensthorpe.

That project, which is expected to produce up to 79,000oz in its third year of production, was acquired by Silver Lake Resources in 2012 following a merger with Phillips River Mining.

The project was subsequently sold to Medallion Metals in 2015.

Funds raised are intended to further a drilling program at the Ravensthorpe project and its nearby Jerdacuttup base metals project.

Medallion Metals listed with an indicative market capitalisation of $42 million, reaching as high as $48 million at the close of its first day of trading.

Other explorers to have benefitted in recent months include Auric Mining, which owns two advanced gold projects in Munda Gold and Jeffreys Finds, near the abandoned townsite of Widgiemooltha in the Goldfields-Esperance region.

Auric informed the market earlier this month that it had found encouraging results that supported the expansion of its resource at the Munda Gold project.

In addition to those two sites, the company also holds an exploration licence for the nearby Spargoville project, which is home to several gold prospects believed to be either partially or wholly untested.

While Auric had sought $7 million through its IPO, with an indicative market capitalisation of about $21 million, its market cap has fluctuated from a high of $16 million to a low of $13 million since listing in February.

Similarly, OzAurum has sat between $29 million and $18 million, despite an indicative market capitalisation of $31 million during its IPO.

OzAurum listed on the ASX in February and owns the Mulgabbie and Patricia projects in the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt, which is nearby to the Super Pit.

More gold players are lining up to list throughout April, with Iceni Gold, TechGen Metals, and Australasian Gold collectively seeking $32 million in funding before the end of next month.

The largest of these IPOs is also the next to list, with Iceni Gold targeting its ASX debut for April 7.

Iceni owns the 14 Mile Well project, which comprises one mining lease, five exploration licences, and 155 prospecting licences near Laverton.

The company intends to use $20 million raised from its IPO to further its exploration program, through consolidating its holdings through additional tenements or purchasing them from third parties.

Meanwhile, TechGen Metals, which is expected to list on April 13, is seeking $6 million to further exploration efforts at three gold prospects: Yilgarn Craton, Paterson Orogen and Ashburton Basin.

That would give TechGen an indicative market capitalisation of between $9.5 million and $10.5 million.

Australasian Gold will hit the boards on April 28 after raising up to $6 million by the end of March.

The company, which owns two projects in Queensland and one in WA, will focus on exploring its Queensland tenements immediately after listing. 

Its WA asset, located in the Pilbara near Northern Star Resources’ Paulsens Gold Mine, will be explored once Australasian is granted a tenement application. 

Its market capitalisation after listing is expected to be between $10 million and $11.5 million.

Iron IPOs

While WA’s ASX offerings have been drawn predominately from the gold sector, players from the iron ore, base metals, and manganese sectors have also made a splash in the first three months of 2021.

Firebird Metals, which raised $5.5 million through its IPO and listed with an indicative market capitalisation of $10.9 million, was the only WA-based, non-gold miner to list on the ASX so far this year.

Arising from a demerger from Firefly Resources, Firebird counts its Oakover manganese project, located in the Pilbara region, as its core asset.

Its market capitalisation has fluctuated between $29 million and $36.5 million since listing.

Further down the track, Black Canyon, which is expected to list by April 15, will be using the $5 million it’s seeking to further develop its Carawine and Lofty Range projects.

Its prospectus flags an indicative market capitalisation of between $8.1 million and $8.7 million.

Juno Minerals, which holds two iron ore development projects in the Yilgarn region, and Peregrine Gold, which holds a gold project in the Pilbara, are due to the list at a yet-to-be determined date.

They are seeking $20 million and $2.5 million thorough their IPOs, respectively.

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