02/04/2008 - 22:00

Money flows for resources locals

02/04/2008 - 22:00

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Perth-based resource company Windimurra Vanadium Ltd’s recent $25 million share placement has led a charge by small to mid-cap resources companies that have managed to raise capital despite the sharp stock market downturn.

Perth-based resource company Windimurra Vanadium Ltd’s recent $25 million share placement has led a charge by small to mid-cap resources companies that have managed to raise capital despite the sharp stock market downturn.

While volatility continues to dominate global equity markets as the US heads towards possible recession, a group of Western Australian-based companies has raised a combined $445 million during March.

The fund raising efforts defy moves by investors and banks to tighten the purse strings as the number of casualties in Australia and overseas from the market downturn continues.

Offshore markets proved a popular option for some resource companies to raise additional capital, with Bannerman Resources Ltd raising $22.4 million on the Canadian market to advance its flagship Goanikontes uranium project in Namibia.

In addition, the uranium company officially claimed the African nation as its third listing home, following its float on the Namibian Stock Exchange.

Argentina-focused Andean Resources Ltd used its secondary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange to enter into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters, led by BMO Capital Markets, to raise $42.7 million.

Windmurra raised $25.2 million through a placement to clients of Euroz Securities and will use the funds to bring forward the start of mining at its fully funded vanadium project.

Earlier last month, diversified explorer Abra Mining Ltd looked to our northern neighbours to raise $10.2 million from Asian-based investment groups, boosting its cash reserves to $13.9 million.

Back at home, institutional investors strongly supported mineral sands miner Iluka Resources Ltd’s pro-rata entitlement offer, with the institutional component three and a half times oversubscribed.

About $248 million was raised from institutional investors, while a further $105 million will be offered under the retail component with the offer’s prospectus released last week.

Welshpool-based Allied Gold looked to major international gold miner, Barrick Gold, for a $35 million injection into its Papua New Guinea exploration projects, while gold company Apex Minerals NL raised $62 million via a share placement.

Apex plans to sink the extra funds into its Wiluna gold project, which is scheduled to come online by the end of the year.

The company is targeting a gold production rate of 200,000 ounces per annum from several deposits in the mine area, located in the eastern Goldfields.

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