Phosphate play Avenira has locked in most of a $13 million entitlement offer after receiving strong shareholder support.

Major shareholders have committed about $12.34 million of the previously announced offer.

Shareholder and marketing partner Agrifields DMCC, a Dubai-based fertiliser company, will commit up to $5.34 million.

Agrifields will also enter a marketing deal with Avenira regarding Gadde Bissik phosphate rock product from its flagship Baobab phosphate project in the Republic of Senegal.

Meanwhile, Avenira’s largest shareholder, fertiliser company Agrifos, will subscribe for $US2.24 million of shares under the offer.

The entitlement issue is now close to fully underwritten.

“The level of support we continue to receive from our major shareholders is testament to the quality of the Gadde Bissik mine product and to the long term potential of the operation,” Avenira chief Louis Calvarin told investors.

“We have set out a clear strategic plan to deliver a capacity and performance expansion of the existing processing facility to improve recovery and product grade.

“This funding continues to underpin this strategic plan, and will contribute to engineering studies and other upfront costs.”

The raising forms part of a plan to double nameplate capacity at Baobab.

Avenira has been involved with the Baobab project since 2014 and acquired it from Agrifos in September 2015.

Following acquisition, Avenira secured environmental and community approvals and commenced offtake discussions, leading to a positive Decision to Mine in November 2015.

During 2016, Avenira has been focused on mine and processing plant construction and development, and successfully achieved first production in September 2016, just 10 months from the final Decision to Mine.

Shares in Avenira remain unchanged at 6c in today’s trading valuing the company at around $36 million.