Copper and gold explorer Canterbury Resources looks like it will be one of the first resources players to make its ASX debut in 2019.

The company closed its reduced $6m IPO on December 28 and expects it will light up the boards in the “latter part of January”, director Grant Craighead told Stockhead.

Canterbury, which has exploration projects in Papua New Guinea and Queensland, was originally hoping to be listed by the end of October.

But the “headwinds of volatile markets” and “Donald Trump’s tweeting” made it a little challenging, Mr Craighead said.

“We found it as challenging getting the spread as much as the quantum in the current market,” he explained.

“I think enough of the serious investors were happy with our projects and plans because we’ve got three major drilling programs either already underway or planned in the near future.

“But getting the 300 unaffiliated shareholders has just taken a bit more time.”

Canterbury was initially hoping to raise $7.8m in its IPO, but later lowered that to $6m.

It was a common theme in 2018, with a number of resources hopefuls facing hurdles in getting a decent “spread” of investors or shelving their listing plans because they couldn’t raise the cash.

The ASX requires a company to demonstrate it has “sufficient investor interest” to justify its listing as well as “ensure some level of liquidity” when it makes its debut.

A major in its corner

Canterbury has the support of mining heavyweight Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), which is managing and sole funding a drilling program that is already underway at Canterbury’s Bismarck project on Manus Island.

Rio can earn up to an 80 per cent stake in the project.

Canterbury also previously acquired the Briggs and Mannersley projects in Queensland from Rio, which has the right to earn back into the projects if a major discovery is made.

With the Manus Island drilling comfortably taken care of by a major, Canterbury plans to get cracking on drilling programs in mainland Papua New Guinea and at the Briggs project post-listing.

Canterbury's projects in PNG.
Canterbury’s projects in PNG.

Mr Craighead said Canterbury had pinpointed a number of large porphyry copper and gold targets similar to Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) and Harmony Gold’s large Wafi-Golpu project.

A porphyry is rocks formed from lava or magma that has large crystals in a fine-grained mass.

These types of deposits are usually quite large but low-grade. Globally, over 60 per cent of copper, all of the world’s molybdenum, 10-15 per cent of uranium and a significant amount of gold comes from porphyry deposits.

>> Read Stockhead’s guide explaining the strange jargon miners use and what it really means

Canterbury is drilling about 50km south of the Wafi-Golpu project, which hosts resources of 26 million ounces of gold, 8.8 million tonnes of copper and 48 million ounces of silver.

This includes reserves for the Golpu deposit of 11 million ounces of gold and 4.8 million tonnes of copper.

Mineral reserves are resources known to be economically feasible for extraction.

Canterbury will start trading under the ticker “CBY”.