Renascor Resources Granted Production of Large-Scale Siviour Marketing Samples

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Renascor Resources (ASX: RNU) has received approval from the South Australia Government’s Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) to extract a 60 tonne bulk sample from the company’s 100 per cent-owned Siviour graphite project on Eyre Peninsula.

Renascor Resources said the ore extracted from the bulk sample will be used in a pilot plant production trial in China and will provide large-scale marketing samples to permit potential end-users and strategic partners to conduct advanced testing and qualification.

“Since the completion of the Siviour Definitive Feasibility Study last month, we have received positive feedback from potential off-take and strategic partners who are seeking a secure, long-term supply of graphite to cover projected shortages in graphite supply as lithium-ion battery anode demand for graphite continues to grow,” Renascor Resources managing director David Christensen said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“With this approval granted, we will now be able to supplement previously provided samples of Siviour graphite with large-scale quantities as we seek binding offtake agreements to permit us to finance the construction of the mine and processing plant at Siviour.”

Renascor submitted a Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) to the DEM earlier this year to extract a 60 tonne bulk sample from Siviour, which has now been approved application permitting Renascor to commence collection of the bulk sample.

Renascor previously conducted pilot testing on an 18 tonnes sample of Siviour ore to confirm grade, recovery and other flowsheet parameters used in the Siviour Definitive Feasibility Study.

Graphite concentrates produced from that trial were used for initial customer testing, as well as downstream spherical graphite testing.

The company indicated the graphite concentrates to be produced from this latest bulk sample and processing program will permit the production of large-scale marketing samples that will supplement the previously provided smaller-scale marketing samples.

This will permit potential end-users to undertake more advanced testing and qualification of Siviour graphite.





Perseus Mining Signs Yaouré Mining Convention

THE BOURSE WHSIPERER: Perseus Mining (ASX: PRU) announced that a Mining Convention has been executed in the city of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire by representatives of the State of Côte d’Ivoire and Perseus’s Ivorian subsidiary, Perseus Mining Yaouré SA.

Perseus Mining explained the Convention provides a guarantee of fiscal stability and sets out a range of other rights and obligations that will apply to the company during the life of its Yaouré gold mine located in central Côte d’Ivoire.

“The signing of the Yaouré Mining Convention is a major milestone on the path to bringing the Yaouré gold mine into production,” Perseus Mining managing director and CEO Jeff Quartermaine said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“With the document now signed, we can move forward with confidence in the knowledge that the fiscal laws on which our decision to develop the mine was based, will not change during the life of the mine.”

Construction of the Yaouré gold mine is being completed at a total cost of US$265 million.

Development work started in June 2019 and is progressing on schedule and on budget with first gold is expected to be poured in December 2020, one month ahead of the currently contracted completion date.

When commissioned, Yaouré will become Perseus’s third gold mining operation, joining the Sissingué gold mine, also in Côte d’Ivoire, and the Edikan gold mine located in Ghana, in Perseus’s multi-mine, geopolitically diverse portfolio of mines.

“At this stage, an open pit mine with an expected mine life of 8.5 years has been defined at Yaouré, however, it is considered likely that the life of the mine will be extended well beyond this limit as the very considerable mineral potential of the tenements on which the mine is located, is progressively unlocked,” Quartermaine continued.

“In this regard, work has begun on delineating Mineral Resources that can be mined using underground mining techniques and at this stage the results of this work are encouraging.

“Yaouré will be Perseus’s third gold mine and our second gold mine in Côte d’Ivoire.

“When Yaouré is fully operational, Perseus will be producing in excess of 500,000 ounces of gold per year.

“The average all-in site cost of producing gold at Yaouré over the first five years of the mine is forecast to be US$734 per ounce, meaning that if gold prices are maintained at current levels, then very strong cashflows will be generated and available for funding benefits for our stakeholders.”





Nusantara Resources Shores up Funding for Awak Mas gold project

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Nusantara Resources (ASX: NUS) has entered into a non-binding term sheet with strategic partner, PT Indika Energy Tbk providing financing for the company’s Awak Mas gold project.

Indika Energy is to invest up to USD $40 million into Nusantara’s wholly-owned subsidiary PT Masmindo DWI Area (Project Company), in two stages and subject to conditions, to secure up to 40 per cent interest in the Project Company.

“The Board of Nusantara in conjunction with our partner Indika Energy are excited to announce this transformational milestone and clearly demonstrate to all stakeholders the value of the project and a clear pathway for funding.” Nusantara Resources executive chairman Greg Foulis said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We are confident that, with the support of major shareholders, Nusantara can complete the Indika Energy and Petrosea Agreements in early 2020 and significantly ramp up its pre-build activities.”

A Definitive Feasibility Study carried out in 2018 showed the Awak Mas gold project to be a robust, long-life and low-cost gold project with an initial 11-year life producing around 100,000 ounces of gold per year that is development ready.

Since completing the 2018 DFS, Nusantara has been focused on a partnering approach to funding and development of the project.




Lithium Australia Finalises Energy Storage JV

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) announced the completion of its Joint Venture for joint battery marketing operations with China-based battery and energy storage specialists the DLG Group (DLG).

Lithium Australia said the new enterprise will be an incorporated JV venture with it holding 50 per cent interest and DLG the same.

The JV will be trading as Soluna Australia Pty Ltd, which has been established to sell lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and Soluna energy storage products into the rapidly expanding Australian renewables energy market.

Lithium Australia cited a detailed investigation of the Australian energy-storage industry that identified there to be serious supply-chain constraints in the delivery of LIBs to Australian customers.

The company indicated that Soluna Australia intends to provide a new and reliable supply source for renewable energy solutions to power users in Australia.

The Australian renewable energy sector is presently experiencing strong growth, which has led the Australian Council of Learned Academics to estimate that 16 Gigawatt hours of energy storage will be required by 2030 to ensure security of electricity supply for the medium forecast rate of uptake of renewable energy.

That is estimated to necessitate investment of more than $5 billion in energy-storage solutions in the next 10 years, with LIBs forming a large proportion.

Under the Lithium Australia/DLG agreement, the parties will facilitate technological cooperation between LIT Subsidiary, VSPC Ltd and DLG for both cathode and battery R&D.

DLG will work with Lithium Australia to further develop VSPC’s cathode powders, initially with a focus on lithium-ferro-phosphate (LFP) LIBs, LFP being the ideal battery chemistry for Australian energy-storage applications.

DLG has been working with VSPC to test LFP cathode powders produced at the latter’s pilot plant in Brisbane, Australia.

Those powders have been used in the manufacture of commercial 18650 LIBs at DLG’s Shanghai R&D facility.

“Formalisation of Lithium Australia’s Joint Venture with DLG, which resulted in the creation of Soluna Australia, paves the way for the introduction of superior energy-storage products into the Australian market, reducing the carbon footprint of national energy consumption for both residential and industrial consumers,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We foresee great potential for energy storage in fringe-of-grid and off-grid applications, as well as improvements in the utilisation of power from existing grids.”






Panoramic Resources Says No Thanks to Independence Group Take Over

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Independence Group (ASX: IGO) rattled the boards of the ASX in November when it declared its intention to make an off-market takeover offer to acquire all of the ordinary shares of Panoramic Resources (ASX: PAN) it does not already own.

At the date of the announcement, Independence Group’s interest in Panoramic consisted approximately 24.9 million shares, representing approximately 3.8 per cent of the target company’s total issued capital.

IGO explained it opted to directly engage Panoramic shareholders following a number of unsuccessful attempts to engage with the Panoramic Board on a change of control transaction.

The company cited Panoramic’s recent operational performance and the lack of engagement from Panoramic’s Board to date as the impetus behind the offer.

The conditions to the offer include a number of conditions that IGO believes to be necessary to confirm the current status of operating performance at Savannah.

The offer is in the form of one IGO Share for every 13 Panoramic shares held, giving Panoramic a share price of 47.6 cents per Panoramic share, which values the company at around $312 million.

IGO indicated its preference is to conduct an expedited and thorough due diligence process, and to proceed with a recommendation from the Panoramic Board rather than seek the confirmations required under the offer conditions, however IGO said it is prepared to see the offer to completion should the offer conditions be satisfied.

“The Offer represents a rare instance of genuine and obvious mutual benefit for both Panoramic and IGO shareholders,” Independence Group managing director and CEO Peter Bradford said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Panoramic shareholders will be able to crystallise future value from Savannah at a very attractive price and retain exposure to its upside potential, while also gaining exposure to Nova and Tropicana and IGO’s extensive portfolio of belt-scale exploration projects prospective for nickel and copper.

“The company remains leveraged to the nickel market and we believe IGO has the financial, operational and technical capability to fully unlock value from Savannah and Panoramic’s exploration portfolio.

“Given our unique positioning as Australia’s largest independent producer of nickel, to unlock value at Savannah, we have decided to provide the offer for the consideration of all Panoramic shareholders.”

In response, Panoramic did nothing to surprise anybody by recommending its shareholders take no action in relation to the IGO takeover offer.

“The Board will evaluate the offer and Independence Group’s Bidder’s Statement and provide shareholders with a recommendation in due course,” Panoramic Resources said.

“Until then, shareholders should take no action.”

And no action they did take.

The Directors of Panoramic bounced back this week to inform their shareholders that they didn’t think the offer from IGO was in their best interests.

They recommended that having carefully considered the terms and conditions of the IGO Takeover Offer and taking into account the results of the company’s recently announced operational review at Savannah and other information available to them at the current time, shareholders should REJECT the IGO Takeover Offer.

They must have been serious because the recommendation was in capital letters.

The key reasons for the Panoramic Board’s unanimous recommendation were:

The IGO Takeover Offer is opportunistically timed, which could deprive Panoramic shareholders of future potential value;

Panoramic shareholders’ exposure to the company’s assets and potential upside would be diluted through accepting the IGO Takeover Offer;

Panoramic shareholders’ nickel exposure would be diluted through accepting the IGO Takeover Offer;

The IGO Takeover Offer consideration was for IGO shares, which PAN considered, based on several objective measures, to appear to be trading at an elevated valuation, presenting downside risk to the implied IGO Takeover Offer value;

Accepting the IGO Takeover Offer meant shareholders risk missing out if a superior offer from a third party if it emerges;

Panoramic’s largest shareholder, Zeta Resources, which holds 35.17 per cent of Panoramic indicated it does not intend to accept the IGO Takeover Offer; and

The IGO Takeover Offer is highly conditional and there is no certainty it will proceed.

In response, Independence Group said it would not be taking up the offer to use its 38 per cent holding to participate in Panoramic’s announced non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise approximately $31 million stating the Entitlement Offer breaches a condition of IGO’s takeover offer.

We can only assume this is not the end of this discussion.



Middle Island Resources’ Bid for Alto Metals Hits the Wall

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: To quote The Eagles, “It seems like a dream now, it was so long ago”, but it was only in March this year the Middle Island Resources (ASX: MDI) provided Alto Metals (ASX: AME) shareholders something to ponder by announcing its intention of an all scrip off‐market take‐over offer for all the issued ordinary shares of Alto Metals.

Back then, Middle Island Resources said it had formed the view that the combination of the assets of the two companies would create, among other material benefits to the shareholders, a company with near-term cash flow potential and considerable production and exploration upside.

The company said the all scrip off-market takeover offer would give Alto shareholders five Middle Island ordinary shares for each Alto ordinary share, which the hunter said valued its prey at approximately $9.4 million representing a 61 per cent premium over Alto’s last closing price at the time.

According to Middle Island this upside would include access to its processing plant, even though it is currently on care and maintenance, saying this would provide Alto shareholders with an immediate, proximal and cost-effective processing solution for their company’s gold resources that is not otherwise available.

Middle Island is keen to restart its Sandstone gold processing plant and clearly the Alto deposits would provide initial mill feed and critical mass to support its early recommissioning in conjunction with the former’s Two Mile Hill deposits.

Middle Island declared it has received indicative broker support with respect to the takeover for an equity capital raising of approximately $5 million in additional funds to advance the feasibility and recommissioning of the Sandstone plant. Claiming the combination of Middle Island and Alto will consolidate the entire Sandstone greenstone belt and dataset under a single entity.

“Middle Island’s offer is compelling for Alto shareholders, who will receive a significant premium based on the last closing price for their shares and will benefit in the future growth potential of the proposed Combined Group,” Middle Island Resources managing director Rick Yeates said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Middle Island will integrate Alto’s assets with Middle Island’s Sandstone gold project, and immediately embark on an updated feasibility study, incorporating Alto’s Mineral Resources, to determine the economics of recommissioning the Sandstone gold processing plant.

“The collective Middle Island‐Alto gold assets offer a substantial growth opportunity for current and future shareholders of the Combined Group, via low capital intensity and a near-term production profile.

“The further potential is to significantly extend this production profile via Middle Island’s Two Mile Hill underground deposits, consolidate further proximal deposits within a 100 kilometre radius, and amalgamate an entire greenstone belt offering significant resource and exploration upside.

“In the view of the Middle Island directors, the premium offered, the funding support, Middle Island’s technical and management expertise, and participation in the combined Middle Island‐Alto upside, makes the bid a compelling proposal.”

The Resources Roadhouse spoke to Rick Yeats when both attended the RIU Resources Roadshow in Melbourne.

The deal, howver, failed to gain traction and Middle Island this week announced its off-market takeover bid for fully paid ordinary shares Alto Metals has lapsed.

The reason being that Middle Island’s 50 per cent minimum acceptance condition, to which the Offer was subject, had not been met as of close of the Offer period at 5.00pm (Perth time), Friday, 29 November 2019.

Middle Island thanked those Alto shareholders who had taken up the offer, acknowledging that as the offer had lapsed, they would have their Alto shares returned.

Undeterred, Middle Island said it strongly believes that combining Middle Island and Alto’s gold assets offers a substantial growth opportunity for current and future shareholders of a combined entity.

The company declared the combined entity would have low start-up costs and near-term gold production, utilising Middle Island’s existing Sandstone gold processing plant and infrastructure, along with the consolidation of healthy gold resource upside and exploration potential within the combined entity’s highly complementary tenure.

Middle Island made note that over the past two years, it has unsuccessfully endeavoured to engage the Alto Board on what it considers is a clear, compelling and commercially logical strategy that is widely endorsed by all stakeholders.

Middle Island indicated it intends to continue to pursue meaningful dialogue with the Alto Board of Directors as it seeks to add value for both Alto and MDI shareholders.



Renascor Resources to Raise $1.4 Million to Advance Siviour Development

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Renascor Resources (ASX: RNU) has received firm commitments to raise $1.4 million to fund the advancement of the company’s Siviour graphite project near the coast of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

Renascor Resources said the placement will be completed by the issue up of just over 125.7 million shares at 1.1 cents per share.

“Following the successful completion of the Siviour Definitive Feasibility Study, Renascor is poised to advance key workstreams for the Siviour graphite project,” Renascor Resources managing director David Christensen said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Completing the combination of bulk samples for marketing purposes, FEED work, engaging with potential debt financiers, and executing binding offtake agreements will further de-risk the project and draw Siviour closer to commencement of construction during 2020.”

The company also announced a Share Purchase Plan (SPP) for all eligible shareholders to raise up to $0.5 million at the same issue price as the placement.





Ausgold Raising up to $3.6 Million for Katanning Gold Project

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Ausgold Limited (ASX: AUC) informed the market it has received binding commitments from institutional and sophisticated investors for a share placement to raise $2.376 million.

Ausgold indicated it will also be conducting a Share Purchase Plan (SPP) to existing eligible shareholders.

Under the Placement, the company will issue a total of 198 million shares at an issue price of 1.2 cents per share.

Proceeds from the Capital Raising are earmarked for accelerated exploration at the company’s Katanning gold project (KGP), financing an exploration drilling campaign designed to target further high-grade mineralisation within the Central Zone at KGP, the completion of metallurgical test work and to provide additional working capital.

The company indicated the planned drilling program will target Resource extensions including the following recent intercepts of:

26 metres at 6.6 grams per tonne gold from 117m, including 4m at 37.2g/t gold;
16m at 6.2g/t from 114m, including 4m at 22.4g/t gold;
15m at 3.7g/t from 117m, including 5m at 10.4g/t gold; and
17.6m at 2.2g/t gold from 55m.

“An extensive drill campaign will commence immediately targeting high-grade gold mineralisation within the Central Zone of Katanning gold project,” Ausgold managing director Matthew Greentree said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“This new drilling will build on the findings of the recent Scoping Study and will include extensions to the high-grade gold mineralisation identified in areas where this mineralisation remains open both along strike and down-dip.

“It is anticipated that drilling these extensions will further expand the current 1.2- million-ounce gold Resource.

“The planned exploration will also extend to Ausgold’s regional targets including the Burong and Nanicup Bridge prospects, leveraging on the recently awarded $150,000 of co-funding provided under the WA Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme.

“Drilling these prospects, along with other low-cost high-impact exploration programs, will be conducted on Ausgold’s regional land package of over 4,000 square kilometres of underexplored Archean greenstone belt, further developing the company’s geological understanding of the region.

“The company is now well positioned to accelerate its exploration programs at the Katanning gold project and looks forward to updating the market as results become available.”





Red 5 Signs Option Agreement to Purchase Cables and Mission Gold Deposits

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Red 5 Limited (ASX: RED), via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Darlot Mining Company (DMC), has entered into an Option and Sub-lease Agreement for the right to acquire a sub-lease over the 13 blocks of Exploration Licence E37/1220 in Western Australia.

The acquisition area totals 38.7 square kilometres and includes the Cables and Mission gold deposits, which were last reported by Leopard Resources on 5 February 2014 to contain total combined JORC 2004 Inferred Resources of 185,000 ounces.

Red 5 will pay a total acquisition cost of $2 million, with a further $500,000 payable on delineation and reporting of a 500,000 ounce JORC 2012 Resource.

The deposits are located 10 kilometres from Red 5’s Darlot gold mining and processing operations.

According to Red 5 managing director Mark Williams the proposed acquisition represents another strategic low-risk opportunity to grow the company’s Resource base in the area surrounding the Darlot gold processing plant.

“We are delighted to have the option to acquire the southern portion of E37/1220,” Williams said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“It is last reported to contain JORC 2004 Inferred Resources totalling 185,000 ounces and is located adjacent to our existing Darlot operations.

“Significantly, the rock units hosting the Cables and Mission deposits are similar to those that host the Centenary orebody, which is currently being mined from underground at Darlot.

“This agreement over the Cables and Missions deposits follows the option agreement we recently secured over the Great Western deposit, with these proposed acquisitions having the potential to provide additional sources of ore feed for the Darlot processing plant.”

The agreement entitles Red 5 to conduct due diligence and drilling activities within the Sub-lease Area to determine the potential of the Cables and Mission deposits to be upgraded to Indicated ± Measured Resource status, and to be mined and trucked to the company’s Darlot processing plant.

The company indicated that should the due diligence be completed to its satisfaction and the option exercised, Red 5 intends to conduct drilling programs and other activities to produce a JORC 2012 compliant Resource as quickly as possible.






NTM Gold Hits High-Grade Gold at Hub Prospect

THE DRILL SERGEANT: NTM Gold (ASX: NTM) has recently completed a round of RC drilling at the Hub prospect at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Redcliffe gold project located near Leonora in Western Australia.

NTM Gold is carrying out the drilling to test northern and southern extensions as well as shallow grade continuity.

The first holes of the program tested shallow mineralisation and returned excellent grades close to surface.

These holes also targeted the up-dip mineralisation to test the grade continuity close to surface.

Better results from the initial five-metre composite samples include:

15 metres at 8.5 grams per tonne gold from 25m;
25m at 5.4g/t gold from 20m, including 5m at 20.3g/t gold;
15m at 4.9g/t gold from 20m, including 10m at 6.6g/t gold; and
10m at 4.1g/t gold from 25m, including 5m at 6.8g/t gold.

Two holes testing deeper grade continuity returned positive results from initial five-metre composites, including:

10m at 4.5g/t gold from 135m; and
10m at 2.6g/t gold from 105m.

The results are from the first eight of a planned 37 RC hole program the company expects to continue until Christmas.

NYM indicated that on completion of the shallower holes, RC drilling will next focus on a number of diamond pre-collars, before moving to extensional drilling along strike.

Diamond drilling has also commenced and is testing for deeper extensions to the gold mineralisation and will also provide valuable geological information.

“These shallow RC results highlight the substantial value of Hub with exceptional grades close to surface,” NTM Gold managing director Andrew Muir said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Hub has continued to grow with each program and we are optimistic this continues with the current program.

“RC and diamond drilling remains ongoing with more results due in the following weeks after completion of the pre-collars.”