Two leading lights of the WA resources industry have emerged as major shareholders of battery minerals explorer Bellavista Resources (BVR), which makes its eagerly-awaited share market debut today.

Capricorn Resources (ASX: CMM) executive chairman Mark Clark and Bellevue Gold (ASX: BGL) managing director Steve Parsons have each acquired a 10 per cent stake in Bellavista while Capricorn CEO Kim Massey and Bellevue non-executive director, Michael Naylor, will each have a 6 per cent stake.

In addition to these high-profile shareholders, a number of globally significant institutions have invested and will own approximately 12 per cent of the company.

On listing, the top 20 shareholders will account for 59 per cent of the company.

The Bellavista Prospectus closed heavily over-subscribed on its first day after the company raised $6.5 million in its Initial Public Offering.

Bellavista will have a market capitalisation of $13.3 million based on its IPO price of 20c a share, giving it an enterprise value of only $6.3 million.

Bellavista owns the Edmund Project covering a significant 130km-long corridor in the Edmund Basin, 130km southwest of Newman in Western Australia.  The project is considered highly prospective for large base metals and uranium deposits, with historic sampling and drilling intersecting widespread evidence of mineralisation.

Numerous walk-up drilling targets have been identified along with other key geological features. The area has not been exposed to modern exploration techniques, due mainly to low base metal prices at the time historic work was conducted.

This once-overlooked region is increasingly viewed as an emerging exploration hot-spot, with Canadian giant Teck recently securing a large landholding about 20km north of Bellavista’s tenements, while the new Abra Base Metals Mine of ASX-listed Galena Mining is 30km south.

Bellavista is chaired by experienced company director Mel Ashton. Ashton is a chartered accountant who has been a chairman and director of numerous successful ASX-listed and private companies including Hawaiian Group, Fremantle Dockers, Gryphon Minerals and Royal Flying Doctors.

Natalia Brunacci, a geologist who played a key role in Bellevue Gold’s rapid exploration success since its early days, has been appointed exploration manager.

Drilling set to start within days

Bellavista is already well-advanced in preparations for implementing its aggressive exploration strategy, with drilling set to start this month, paving the way for strong newsflow soon after listing.

The company has budgeted $3.6 million for in-ground exploration over two years, including an imminent 17,000m drill program.

Most of this will be invested at the advanced Brumby Zinc-Copper-Silver Project, where historic reconnaissance drilling by CRA/Rio Tinto 25 years ago returned broad mineralised intersections in a prospective horizon, over a very large scale of 30 sqkm, which remains open.

Results of this historic drilling on 1sqkm centres included:

  • 29m @ 1.3% Zn, 0.22% Cu, 24.5g/t Ag
  • 26m @ 1.3% Zn, 0.22% Cu, 22 g/t Ag
  • 26m @ 1.3% Zn, 0.22% Cu, 22.5g/t Ag
  • 20m @ 1.5% Zn, 0.24% Cu, 20.5g/t Ag

 (silver and copper report with Zinc)

The drilling highlighted the potential for an enriched supergene zone at the base of the oxide material and possibly a series of mineralised units within the host sequence. These represent priority targets for the impending drilling program.

Exploration will also get underway at the Vernon Base Metals Target immediately west of Brumby and geophysics will be conducted at the Vernon Nickel-PGE Project, which is considered to have a similar geological setting to the Nova-Bollinger nickel discovery in WA’s Fraser Range.

At the western end of Bellavista’s landholding is the highly prospective Kiangi Uranium Target. Historic surface rock chip samples from Kiangi returned high-grades, up to 1,200ppm uranium, which is well in excess of the 400ppm uranium average grade of current producers. The host unit of the uranium mineralisation is mapped over a large strike length of at over 35km.

Ashton said: “Bellavista had been carefully constructed on every level to maximise its prospects for success as both an explorer and project developer”.

“We have established an exceptional team with an enviable track record of creating value for shareholders across the resources spectrum, ranging from exploration and development to production and corporate transactions.

“The skills and experience of this team will be applied to four highly prospective projects in the heart of Western Australia.

“Bellavista sits firmly in the sweet spot of value creation for shareholders because its projects contain a host of highly promising geological attributes, including known mineralisation, but the value is yet to be unlocked through exploration.

“As a result, these projects and their immense upside sit in a company with an enterprise value of just $6.3 million, presenting investors with a compelling opportunity.”

Ashton said Parsons and Clark currently held executive positions which revolved primarily around gold, meaning Bellavista gives them exposure as shareholders to battery metals exploration opportunities.

“The decisions by Mr Parsons and Mr Clark, who have such outstanding track records in the resources industry, to invest in Bellavista is a ringing endorsement of the enormous potential of our company and its projects,” he said.




This article was developed in collaboration with Bellavista Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.