Mining veteran Charles Bass launches $12.5m Eagle Mountain Mining IPO
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Charles Bass has made a motza riding booming resources markets over the past two decades.
Now, he’s going back to his North American roots, launching another sharemarket float Eagle Mountain Mining — this time in the hunt for copper in the US State of Arizona, where he spent the formative years of his working life.
Mr Bass was a founding shareholder, along with Tony Poli, in Aquila Resources, the iron ore and coal mine owner. He sold out in 2014 when the company was bought by China’s Baoshan Steel and Aurizon, for $1.4 billion.
Now he’s the driving force behind Eagle Mountain Mining which is seeking to raise as much as $12.5 million to hunt for gold and copper in the US.
It has accumulated acreage along a 6km outcrop in the so-called Pacific Horizon prospect in Arizona.
Arizona is highly prospective for copper and has traditionally accounted for more than half of all of the copper produced in the US.
The biggest copper mine in the State, Morenci, has produced about 250 tonnes of contained copper annually in recent years.
Successful completion of the IPO will see Eagle Mountain conduct the first modern exploration ever undertaken on the acreage it has accumulated, as it seeks to firm up sufficient reserves to support a mine.
Giving its prospect additional heft is that its wholly-owned Silver Mountain Project sits on the so-called Laramide Arc, a geological feature containing world-class porphyry copper mines such as Bagdad, Miami and Resolution.
Additionally, its acreage lies on the southern extension of a mineralised belt which hosts both of the United Verde and Iron King mines.
Initial surveys have identified three promising prospects — enough to give Eagle Mountain’s backers sufficient confidence that going public to raise a big lick of funds will enable it to carry out what it claims is an “aggressive exploration program” over the next two years.
“Recent results from samples taken from all exploration areas have already demonstrated good potential for copper and gold mineralisation and this provides us with significant encouragement to undertake further exploration,” chairman Rick Crabb said in the prospectus, which was issued last week.
Additional funds may be needed
The company’s backers have made it clear that additional funds may be needed in the future, so initial exploration success is essential if it is to raise sufficient funds to feed its future ambitions.
Charles Bass made his first bonanza when he sold Eagle Mining to Joseph Gutnick’s Great Central Mines in 1997. His stake, along with that of two partners, including Poli, was sold for $31 million.
Poli and Bass used their profits from this sale to launch Aquila Resources, where Bass then made an estimated $150 million when he sold his 10.7 per cent in 2014.
Bass, who was trained as a mining engineer has worked as both a geologist and metallurgist, including working for a time at the Twin Buttes copper mine in Arizona, which has given him a broad familiarity with the mining industry in Arizona.
For the Bass family, this is its second push in the public company space in recent years, having backed Alt Resources, which went public in late 2014. It raised $4 million in 2015, focusing initially on promising acreage around Cooma in southern NSW.
Alt has broadened its exploration acreage since, as it seeks to move beyond the ranks of exploration hopefuls.