Renaissance Minerals secures Okvau funding with new JV partner

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Renaissance Minerals (ASX: RNS) has signed up a development partner for the company’s Cambodian gold projects, in particular the Okvau gold deposit, having inked a Joint Venture with Emerald Resources (ASX: EMR).

The two companies have struck a legally binding Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), under which Emerald may earn up to a 51 per cent interest in Renaissance’s Cambodian gold projects by sole funding a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the development of the Okvau gold deposit to a bankable level, an Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and a two year exploration program of US$3 million ($4.3 million).

Renaissance had previously estimated the cost of the DFS and ESIA to be in the vicinity of US$4-5 million ($5.7-$7.1 million).

Emerald and Renaissance have agreed the standard of DFS the former is required to complete based on a comprehensive criteria and to a level of accuracy that will be acceptable to potential bona-fide project financiers.

Under the terms of the MoA, Emerald is to be sole manager of the DFS while Renaissance and Emerald will jointly manage the exploration program.

Emerald has subscribed for 57.4 million shares in Renaissance as part of an equity placement of 114.8 million at three cents per share to raise $3.4 million.

Upon completion of the Placement, Emerald will hold a 10 per cent interest in Renaissance and will be entitled to appoint a non-executive director to the Board.

“The Emerald team is undoubtedly one of the best credentialed gold development teams in Australia with a proven history of developing projects successfully, quickly and cost effectively,” Renaissance Minerals managing director Justin Tremain said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The fact that this team has been attracted to the Okvau project is a testament to its potential.

“Renaissance is committed to taking the Okvau project forward and in light of current equity market conditions believe this Joint Venture provides the most attractive funding option for our shareholders.

“Renaissance shareholders retain significant ownership of the Okvau project with an exceptional development partner, and will benefit from any improvement in development economics and from future exploration success without the associated immediate funding obligation.

The funding of a DFS and ESIA alone is a significant cost burden that this transaction removes from Renaissance shareholders.

“The Joint Venture also provides for the funding of ongoing exploration.”