Saturn Metals has made its debut on the ASX, trading at a premium to its initial public offer price.

The company (ASX:STN) hit the bourse on Friday afternoon following an oversubscribed $7 million IPO priced at 20c per share. Saturn had to scale back subscriptions.

Shares topped 23c just after the company began trading and they were still up 10 per cent by mid-afternoon.

Perth-based Peel (ASX:PEX) decided to demerge its Apollo Hill gold project in Western Australia into Saturn Metals late last year to give it the benefit of reduced competition for capital and increased attention from management.

“There was really good take up from Peel shareholders who supported the Peel priority offer in terms of dollars and spread,” managing director Ian Bamborough told Stockhead.

“It was evident quite early on in the roadshows that we were getting a lot of interest in the IPO process. The book filled very quickly.”

Investor appetite for gold plays has increased in recent times, particularly on the back of a gold nugget discovery in the Pilbara region of Western Australia by ASX-listed Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) and Canada’s Novo Resources in July last year.

The directors also have “skin in the game”.

“All the directors have participated in the IPO process and put their own funds in, that’s including myself,” Mr Bamborough said.

“I’ve essentially worked for six months for performance rights rather than a salary. So that’s a good start for skin in the game for me, but I have also subscribed for extra.

“Also, we do have some option packages there to incentivise our growth and performance in the coming years.”

Saturn is now aiming to release an upgraded resource within six months, possibly sooner, with a 3000m drilling program due to begin next Friday.

The company is targeting higher grade areas to grow the size of the Apollo project.