So what happened to Vimy? Y’know, the uranium play that tried to cap-raise as the Russians attacked a nuclear power plant
Well, it’s all been sorted.
Late last week, as Russian troops entered downtown Zaporizhzhia and thought, ‘gee, that looks a like a good nuclear power plant to shoot at’, Aussie-listed uranium junior Vimy Resources (ASX:VMY) was heading back to the market with its uranium rod and Mulga Rock lure.
Reasonably enough VMY was just looking to get a few dollars to crack on with work at its reportedly multi-billion dollar uranium project, as well as to get rolling on the drill program at its Alligator River Project in the NT.
Fast forward a few days, and as promised, this morning Vimy reeled the line back in – saying it’s received a bunch of firm commitments for a $17m placement to institutional and sophisticated investors, both foreign and domestic.
The offer was originally priced at 19 cents a pop – a 15.6% bargain on the last close and a near 8% discount to the five-day volume-weighted average (FDVWA) price, according to the term sheet lodged with the market on Friday.
But everything changed on that fateful Friday afternoon when the Russian troops encircled Zaporizhzhia and attacked what was in fact a massive Ukrainian nuclear power plant.
ASX-listed uranium stocks had a rough afternoon indeed. Paladin Energy down 15% and Deep Yellow 17% for starters.
Vimy’s people pulled the plug – and instead, after the world didn’t end – decided to issue some 100 million ordinary fully paid shares at a revised 17c a pop. That’s circa 9.5% of shares currently on issue at a 24.4% discount to the last close price of 22.5 cents on March 3.
It’s a fascinating – some might say courageous – time to be testing the market’s faith in Vimy.
Not only are we mid-strategic review, but the world is still suffering some form of PTSD after last week’s extraordinary scenes in Ukraine, as Russian soldiers appeared to fire on – and set ablaze – Europe’s largest nuclear reactor.
Vimy told the exchange – rather gently – that despite ‘recent events impacting the global uranium sector,’ the placement has been well backed by both its existing shareholders and several new foreign and local institutional investors which wouldn’t mind a little exposure to uranium assets in Tier One jurisdictions.
And Mulga Rock in Western Australia is certainly one of Australia’s largest uranium developments and has won a swag of key State and Federal permits.
Never mind Vimy is still deep in the first half of a strategic rethink – most certainly gaming out the potential possibilities after John Borshoff’s (former Paladin MD) Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL) sprung an offer to merge the twin uranium plays toward the end of November last year.
Vimy’s term sheet released to the ASX on Wednesday morning says the board was copping all kinds of inbound interest over Mulga Rock and was zooming away with several interested parties.
The board, which admittedly has been reviewing its strategy for what seems a geological age, has also floated the idea of an Alligator River project JV or perhaps a partial sale, or even just flog the entire thing in an old school, too-hard-bin divestment.
Nevertheless potential investors have put their money where Vimy’s Mulga is, financing what will be very early works and the much-needed feasibility study at a project which Vimy already claims is a uranium bonanza. In other words, a 15-year mine life at some 3.5Mlb annual production, a well over $600m (before-tax) net value, for a wee $390m of capex.
The raise places Vimy’s market cap around $220m and at lunchtime the share price recovered from an early hiccup, to be just 4% lower at 22c.
Not bad, when compared with Shaw and Partners’ target price of 35c (and these guys, Alistair MacLeod, Martin Crabb et al, really know their uranium).