Ground Breakers: Chalice rattles the tin for $100m in bid to hit nickel-copper-PGE riches
Link copied to
Fresh from its win to gain access to drilling targets beneath the Julimar State Forest Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) has gone out to market for one of 2022’s biggest fundraisings.
Investors are set to tip $100 million into the ASX 200 listed platinum group metals explorer at $6 a share.
The raising will ease any capital concerns the company had as it attempts to keep up the pace of drilling at the exciting Gonneville discovery and broader Julimar complex around 70km northeast of Perth.
Led by Bell Potter and Macquarie and priced at a 10% discount to the last traded price of $6.67 on Monday, it comes after a 17% bump in Chalice’s previously ailing share price over the past week on the back of news it would be allowed to conduct track mounting drilling in the Julimar forest.
Chalice says the raising will give the company 18 months of funding to tip into its exploration at Julimar and broader regional exploration along the western margin of the Yilgarn craton.
That will include exploration, step-out and infill drilling at Gonneville, regarded as the world’s largest nickel sulphide discovery in two decades, where an updated resource estimate is due in early July and a scoping study on its economic potential is expected in the third quarter.
While Gonneville is located on farmland now owned by Chalice, making its future development a little less dicey, any discovery under the trees at Julimar is likely to be met with stiff opposition from community environmental groups.
Chalice has long maintained drilling at high priority targets like Hartog, Dampier, Baudin, Jansz, Torres and Flinders is essential to understand the size of the prize at Julimar, given its accumulation of critical metals for green energy like nickel, copper, cobalt, palladium and platinum.
Gonneville, where Chalice has drilled 520 holes and 139,000m of core since making the discovery in March 2020 and where six rigs are still turning, covers just 2km of the 26km length of the Julimar complex.
Chalice says some 10km of strike is being drilled in the recently approved ‘low-impact’ program.
Regional exploration over Chalice’s 8000sqkm tenement package will extend north and south along the western margin of the Yilgarn Craton, the giant geological domain which hosts Julimar and the Kalgoorlie gold and nickel province to the east.
Chalice has ground and targets at Narryer and Barrabarra to the north of Julimar and its South West partnership with Venture Minerals (ASX:VMS) to the south.
Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) has rung in the changes after the resignation of CEO of four years Debbie Fullarton.
Executive director Wayne Bramwell will be dropped into the managing director role for the WA gold miner, founded and formerly chaired by WA gold legend Peter Cook, which floats under the radar but is a substantial producer with its 270,000ozpa Mid West gold operations.
A little unfashionable with its tried and tested method of consolidating and reviving historic gold mines around WA’s old timey Cue, Meekatharra and Mount Magnet gold districts, the company has designs on growing further after paying its first dividend last year.
Westgold, which has increased production each year since 2019, raised $100 million earlier this year to fund growth plans it hopes will see the miner eventually produce 400,000ozpa.
Bramwell said there is a ‘clear mandate’ from the board to deliver cash flow and returns to shareholders.
“The strategy is to simplify our business and empower our operating and corporate teams to challenge the status quo. Delivering safe mining with improved planning, better productivity, rigorous cost management and grade are the keys to our collective success and will deliver both our corporate objectives and development opportunities for our people,” he said.
“Westgold looks forward to becoming a larger player in the Australian gold sector. Our growth strategy is funded, and we have an active exploration programme testing new targets across the Murchison and Bryah.
“Increasing gold production in FY23 and FY24 from Bluebird, Fender and the Tuckabianna trend will underpin the expansion of our processing hubs.
“Concurrently and with a view to FY24 onwards we will rapidly advance the strategic and iconic high-grade Great Fingall and Golden Crown mines to further scale up the company.”