Noble raises $34m in share placement

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Noble Mineral Resources has raised $34.1 million through a share placement, priced at 55 cents per share.

BGF Equities was the lead manager to the placement, which was picked up by institutional and sophisticated investors.

Noble Mineral Resources said it intends using the proceeds of the raising to complete the refurbishment it is currently undertaking of the three million tonne-a-year plant at its Bibiani gold project in Ghana.

The funds raised are expected to cover the working capital requirements associated with the commencement of mining and to help fund the extensive exploration drilling program the company has underway.

Noble Mineral Resources said the commissioning of Bibiani remains on track to start in the current quarter.

The project is anticipated to commence with production ramping up to 150,000 ounces of gold per annum in 2012.

The company has forecast steady-state cash costs at Bibiani to be around $600 per ounce to $650 per ounce, which Noble said means it will enjoy robust cash margins at current spot gold prices.

An aggressive drilling program is underway at Bibiani.

The company expects this to result in an upgraded resource and reserve calculation this quarter.

The drilling involves five rigs and is focusing on the Main Pit and satellite deposits at Bibiani.

Noble said results it has received so far from the drilling suggest the mineralisation at the Strauss and Walsh satellite deposits is continuous and may form one pit.

A host of high-grade results have also been received from drilling at the Main Pit.

These results, as well as those from other areas at Bibiani, will be included in the upcoming resource and reserve estimate.