Project sales keep minnows Kopore, Mako Gold in cash amid hazy outlook
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For explorers, the difficult task of raising cash is made more challenging in today’s cautious market.
A ‘non-dilutive’ alternative is to sell non-core assets to larger miners, who are often searching for low-risk, low-cost acquisition opportunities to keep their development pipelines full.
Kopore, which had just $89,000 in the bank at the end of the March quarter, could receive more money if Sandfire eventually reaches a decision to mine.
Kopore managing director Simon Jackson says the transaction allows the explorer to move forward with sufficient capital and avoid excessive shareholder dilution at current share prices.
“Funding Kopore’s large prospective land holding whilst maintaining the company’s capital structure required some lateral thinking,” he says.
“We think this transaction provides our shareholders with the best of both worlds with zero dilution.
“I think the transaction is particularly pleasing considering the current COVID-19 crisis and we think the sale of a portion of our assets for a total consideration approaching the market capitalisation of the company is an excellent outcome for Kopore shareholders.”
Gold minnow Mako Gold (ASX:MKG) will sell its Niou project in Burkina Faso to 1-million-ounce-per-annum Russian producer Nordgold for ~$1m.
Mako will also keep a 1 per cent net smelter royalty (a potential source of revenue for the explorer if Niou goes into production) which Nordgold has the right to repurchase at any time for about $6.9m.
Mako has not conducted any work at Niou since making that initial high-grade discovery in January 2019, prioritising its flagship Napié project in Côte d’Ivoire instead.
Mako, which had $626,000 in the bank at the end of the March quarter, says the funds will be used to advance exploration at Napié.
The company is also investigating the potential for a near-term cap raise, but “taking into account the sale proceeds for the Niou project and reduced spending due to COVID-19 the company has sufficient cash to meet the next two quarters planned expenditures”.