Azure raises $5.22M to bankroll Mesa de Plata exploration

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) has secured funding of $5.22 million just as it is about to embark on a program of resource estimate drilling and development studies at the Mesa de Plata silver discovery, on the company’s Alacrán project in northern Mexico.

The funding will come from a placement of 145 million shares, which will be issued at a price of 36 cents.

The biggest chunk of the placement is to be taken up by a large Canadian-based institutional investor, which has subscribed for 75 million shares to raise $2.7 million, to emerge as a substantial shareholder with a six per cent stake in Azure.

Next up, Exploration Capital Partners 2008 Limited Partnership, an entity affiliated with Sprott Inc., has subscribed for 40 million shares at a cost of $1.44 million.

Sprott is a leading natural resources investment management firm based in Toronto and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Rounding the placement off is existing Azure shareholder Mark Creasy, who has subscribed, through his private company Yandal Investments Pty Ltd, for 30 million shares to raise $1.08 million.

The placement will increase Creasy’s shareholding in Azure to 9.8 per cent.

“The placement significantly strengthens the company’s financial position for the intensive work program planned for Mesa de Plata in the next 12 months, which included a maiden resource estimate, metallurgical work and further development studies,” Azure Minerals managing director Tony Rovira said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The three participants in this placement are top class investors which shows the very strong interest in the Alacrán project and the Mesa de Plata silver discovery.

“Our improved balance sheet will allow us to progress development as quickly as possible.

“As a junior exploration company, it’s very pleasing to get such significant support from major international institutions, and we are equally pleased that Mr Creasy continues to back our work.”