Aluminum and Copper

Orion Minerals raises major cash for South African copper project

Orion Minerals raises major cash for South African copper project
Mining News Pro - Dual listed copper developer Orion Minerals on Thursday announced a A$25-million capital raising to fast-track the development of its two base metal production centers in South Africa.

Orion told shareholders that it would conduct a two-tranche share placement to sophisticated and professional investors, comprising more than 694.4-million shares, at a price of 3.6c each.

The first tranche will consist of some 490-million shares, raising A$17.6-million under the company’s existing placement capacity, while the second tranche of 204-million shares, to raise a further A$7.4-million, will be subject to shareholder approval at a general meeting to be held in April.

“This is a transformational capital raising for Orion which marks the culmination of many years of hard work, firstly to bring the Prieska project to the point where it is now one of the very few fully permitted and development-ready base metal projects anywhere in the world,” said Orion MD Errol Smart.

“Our more recent Okiep copper complex (OCC) transaction is also a game changer for the company, bringing an outstanding asset in a premier copper mining district into our portfolio, which we believe can be brought into production relatively quickly.”

Smart said that the funds raised would allow Orion to advance both projects rapidly towards development, while also undertaking a multi-pronged exploration effort which could deliver results over the next few months.

“The surge in recent trading in Orion shares on both the ASX and JSE, with the JSE actually recording more than 60% of trades for the past few weeks, endorses a groundswell of support for our strategy in the Northern Cape and indicates that we have struck a nerve with investors who have been strong buyers on market.

“This raise is one of the biggest financings for a South Africa-focused junior exploration and development company in recent years and possibly signals a move in sentiment for a country with incredible under-explored and underdeveloped mineral wealth.”

Funds from the raising will be used to progress the Prieska project to a final investment decision in the second half of 2021, and to undertake early works and secure a project funding package, as well as to undertake resource evaluation and exploration activities at the OCC and to complete the potential acquisition of this asset.

Funds will also go towards progressing exploration at both the OCC and across a number of defined near-mine and regional exploration targets.

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