Junior explorer RTG Mining has raised $US34 million ($43.3 million) in an oversubscribed placement as it continues its quest to become a partner in the re-opening of the massive Panguna copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea.

The company (ASX:RTG) is issuing around 311 million chess depository interests (CDIs) that will be listed on the ASX at an issue price of 14c per security to Australian and overseas institutional and sophisticated investors.

CDIs are a type of security used by the ASX to allow international companies to trade on the local market.

RTG plans to use the cash to secure a role as the development partner with the landowner consortium at the old Panguna mine in Bougainville as well as pursue arbitration to confirm its ownership of the Mabilo copper, gold and magnetite project in the Philippines.

The 1.5 billion tonne Panguna mine was once being developed by Rio Tinto subsidiary Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), but a civil war and disputes between regional residents and explorers forced the company to abandon the project.

However, BCL maintained it held a valid application for an extension to its previous licence.

RTG shares over the past six months.
RTG shares over the past six months.

A warden’s hearing was held in December to determine whether BCL had the necessary support of Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association members for the granting of the extension.

But RTG revealed in late December that the landowner group did not support BCL’s extension application.

Consent from the traditional land owners is required for the issue of any exploration licence on their customary land at the Panguna project on the central island of Bougainville.

The government is now working with landowners to determine the best approach for the development of the mine.