Manganese hopeful Rolek rolls closer to ASX listing
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Special report: Western Australian manganese hopeful Rolek Resources has gone live with an initial public offer that will allow it to complete a backdoor listing on the Australian Securities Exchange through the shell of Shaw River Resources (ASX:SRR).
Rolek, which counts the advanced Barramine manganese project in WA’s Pilbara region as its flagship asset, lodged its prospectus last week.
Following the standard one-week exposure period, the offer opened on Wednesday.
Rolek, which will trade under the ticker code RLK, is seeking to raise a minimum $5 million through the issue of 250 million shares at 2c each.
With some $7 million already spent on exploration at Barramine, Managing Director Ian Stuart said the funds raised through the offer would allow the company to quickly prove up a JORC compliant resource and complete a scoping study on a small-scale operation.
JORC refers to the mining industry’s official code for reporting exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves, managed by the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee.
He said it was not inconceivable to think that Rolek could have Barramine in production within 18 months.
Barramine is located 70km north of WA’s best known manganese mine, Woodie Woodie.
Now under Chinese ownership, Woodie Woodie recently restarted production at a rate of 1.2 million tonnes of 40%-plus manganese ore a year.
Reports also suggest that more than 100,000 metres of drilling have been completed on the Woodie Woodie tenements this year as the owners seek to grow resources.
A smaller portion of the funds from the Rolek IPO will be allocated to the company’s other exploration projects in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions, which are prospective for lithium, tantalum, nickel, cobalt and beryllium.
Interestingly, Barramine was once owned by Shaw River before being picked up by Rolhold Pty Ltd, a private vehicle controlled by Stuart and well-known Perth mining executive Vince Algar.
Shaw River shareholders are due to vote on the acquisition of Rolhold and renaming the company Rolek at a general meeting scheduled for 22 September.
Algar was formerly managing director of Shaw River and has an intimate knowledge of the Barramine asset, having been responsible for all past manganese exploration there.
He left the company in 2012, well before it ran into trouble and had to call in administrators in 2014.
Stuart said it was only coincidental that Shaw River was the shell that Rolhold, with the assistance of Perth corporate advisor Otsana Capital, had identified to list through.
The Rolek IPO comes as the global market for manganese is forecast to increase 50% – from 20 million tonnes a year to 30 million – by 2022.
As manganese’s primary use is as an essential and irreplaceable ingredient in steel production, synchronised global growth is expected to at least partially drive the increase in demand.
But the commodity is also finding increasing application as a cathode material in electric vehicle batteries and has recently been listed as a strategic mineral by the US Geological Survey.
This special report is brought to you by Rolek Resources.
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