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Scarborough Minerals, Mineral Securities in merger talks

THE Robert Champion de Crespigny chaired Scarborough Minerals plc has joined the current wave of corporate activity in the resources sector, announcing an interest in merging with Perth-based minerals investor, Mineral Securities Ltd. The companies released a joint announcement confirming preliminary discussions of the merger proposal, with the current plan being for Mr Champion de Crespigny to serve as chair of the new company, appointing MinSec’s executive chair Keith Liddell as chief executive. Mr Liddell said the merger would be a natural step in his company’s progress. “I believe the combination of our skill sets and assets with Scarborough’s would enable us to deliver significant value to both groups of shareholders,” he said. Mr Champion de Crespigny said he had been impressed by MinSec’s growth over a short time, and was pleased at the prospect of a merger. The companies plan to make a further announcement in due course. Scarborough was formed through a three-way merger of Perth-based Gold explorer Danae Resources NL, Greenwich Resources plc, and Buka Ltd earlier this year engineered by Mr Champion de Crespigny, after the 2002 sale of what was then Australia’s biggest gold miner, Normandy Mining Ltd, to Newmont Mining for $4.3 billion. Scarborough acquired an 18.3 per cent holding in MinSec earlier this year, after a complicated cash and scrip deal under which MinSec took Scarborough’s shareholding in copper producer, CopperCo Ltd. The company also has interests in platinum explorer PlatMin Ltd, gold explorer Tianshan Goldfields Ltd, and nickel explorer Zambezi Resources Ltd. Adelaide-based Mr Champion de Crespigny is best known for his role with Normandy Mining Ltd, which he founded in 1985 and steered until 2002 when, as Australia’s largest gold producer worth $5.2 billion, it merged through a takeover with US-based Newmont Mining Corporation. He is also chairman of the Economic Development Board of South Australia, Babcock & Brown Capital Ltd, Buka Minerals Ltd and Primelife Corporation Ltd. Middlemas takes shareholding, becomes deputy chair of Indo WEST Perth-based mineral explorer Indo Mines Ltd will appoint Ian Middlemas as deputy chairman, after his company takes the lion’s share of a $1.7 million share placement. The changes emerged as Indo said that it was raising additional working capital to progress its Yogyakarta Ironsands Project via the share placement of 10 million shares at $0.17 per share. For every 10 shares subscribed, nine options will be granted for no further consideration. The options are exercisable at $0.20 on or before June 30 2010. The placement has been arranged by Argonaut Securities Pty Ltd with the largest participant being Arredo Pty Ltd, a company associated with Mr Middlemas. The placement will represent about 17 per cent of the issued capital of Indo. Apart from Mr Middlemas’ board position, Echelon Resources Ltd managing director Mathew Rimes has also joined the borad and Mark Pearce will replace Rowan Caren as company secretary. Mr Rimes is a mining engineer with considerable iron ore expertise. During an extensive career in the resources sector, Mr Rimes has primarily worked for major mining companies including Rio Tinto Group and North Ltd. He held senior operational positions at both of Robe River Mining’s operations at Pannawonica and West Angeles as well heading its resources development. Following these changes, Zlad Sas and Mark Stewart will resign from the Indo board. The new management will focus on the ongoing development of the Yogyakarta project in Indonesia, as well as seeking to create value from the company’s other assets.

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