Equity fundraising to raise £550,000 gross

Released : 06/12/17

RNS Number : 5876Y
Bezant Resources PLC
06 December 2017
 

6 December 2017

Bezant Resources Plc

("Bezant" or the "Company")

 

Equity fundraising to raise £550,000 gross and Revised Development Funding Strategy

Bezant (AIM: BZT), the AIM quoted gold and platinum development company, announces that it has raised, in aggregate, £550,000 before expenses through a conditional placement of 110,215,750 new ordinary shares of 0.2 pence each in the capital of the Company (the "Placing Shares") at a price of 0.4 pence per share (the "Issue Price"), arranged by Peterhouse Corporate Finance Limited ("Peterhouse Corporate Finance"), and a subscription for a further 27,284,250 new ordinary shares (the "Subscription Shares") at the same price, with certain existing and new institutional and other investors (together, the "Fundraising"). The net proceeds of today's Fundraising will provide additional working capital for the group whilst it pursues a revised development funding strategy, as set out below.

Strategic Update and Revised Development Funding Strategy

Further to the Company's announcement of 15 November 2017, regarding the successful conclusion of the mining to bedrock and grade verification process and initiation of the next phase of production ramp-up at its wholly-owned Choco gold-platinum project in Colombia (the "Choco Project"), the Board has undertaken a strategic review of the development options and requisite funding required to achieve a sustained full-scale commercial mining operation and has concluded that it is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders to temporarily halt production and reduce project expenditure whilst it seeks to procure the funding required to complete the full-scale ramp-up process through either project/asset level financing or an appropriate farm-in partner.

 

As part of its strategic review process, the Board has held discussions with a number of institutional shareholders and the Company's brokers and concluded that to continue pursuing mining development at the Choco Project financed through further equity raisings on the capital markets would be overly dilutive to existing shareholders and that, the operational development and proving-up of the project achieved to date, provides greater scope to pursue alternative, less dilutive, sources of finance.

 

Since acquiring its Colombian licence interests, the Company has, to date, successfully developed an open pit mining operation at the Choco Project to bedrock levels which has enabled the extraction of high-grade material and large-scale grade verification.  Accordingly, the Company now has a comprehensive data set associated with the Choco Project, a full mining licence (FKJ-083) and has demonstrated its ability to conduct mining operations.  Further to its rapid creation of an operational mine and associated infrastructure in Choco, Colombia, the Company has already received approaches regarding potential project level investment. The Choco Project will therefore now be placed on a care and maintenance footing in order to minimise costs until such time as the requisite development funding is secured to support recommencement of production and subsequent full-scale ramp-up.

 

In summary, the Board therefore intends to reduce operating costs to a minimal level and adopt an exploration and partnering model for its Colombian assets. This will then enable the Company to, inter alia

1.  seek an appropriate farm-in partner or alternative funding source at the project/asset level for the Choco Project;

2.  compile a comprehensive marketing document, being the first international operator in the area, covering all aspects of the Choco Project, including both operational and mining related data, as well as setting out the expansion and regional opportunities; and

3.  seek to identify and assess potential further precious and industrial metals opportunities in Colombia.

 

Edward Nealon, Chairman of Bezant, today commented:

"It is with great disappointment that we have been unable to raise the required level of equity funding from the capital markets to progress our Choco Project into full-scale commercial production, despite the considerable work that has been completed to-date in successfully proving-up the project's viability and concept.

 

"We fundamentally believe that the project remains an attractive and high quality asset and are confident that we will, in due course, be able to secure the requisite development funding from an alternative source, such as a local farm-in partner at the asset level, to enable us to recommence production and fulfill the project's undoubted potential, particularly in light of the current improving outlook for commodity prices and interest expressed in the project in the region.

 

""Today's unfortunate requirement for a highly discounted fundraising will enable us to pursue this revised funding strategy whilst also seeking to realise value from the other assets in our portfolio and I believe this strategy will deliver results without requiring us to continue raising further funds for mine production ramp-up in the equity markets."

Use of Proceeds

The net proceeds of the Fundraising will be applied to the group's general working capital requirements whilst it seeks to identify and source appropriate development funding at the project level for its Choco Project and renew its focus on realising value from the other assets in its portfolio comprising copper-gold exploration projects in the Philippines and Argentina. In this regard, over the course of the last six months, the Company has seen renewed interest in its Mankayan Project in the Philippines and its Argentinian copper-gold assets against a backdrop of steadily improving commodity prices and a further update will be provided as and when appropriate.

 

Further Details on the Fundraising

 

The Issue Price represents a discount of approximately 51.2 per cent. to the Company's closing mid-market price of 0.82 pence per ordinary share on 5 December 2017 (being the latest practicable business day prior to the date of this announcement).

 

The Fundraising is conditional on admission of the Placing Shares and Subscription Shares to trading on AIM ("Admission"). Following Admission, the Placing Shares and Subscription Shares will represent, in aggregate, approximately 22.46 per cent. of the Company's enlarged issued ordinary share capital.

 

 

Application to trading on AIM

Application will be made to the London Stock Exchange for the Placing Shares and Subscription Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM. It is expected that Admission will become effective and that dealings in the Placing Shares and Subcription Shares will commence at 8.00 a.m. on 13 December 2017.

 

Following the issue of the abovementioned Placing Shares and Subscription Shares, the Company's total issued share capital will consist of 612,273,038 ordinary shares with voting rights.  The Company does not hold any ordinary shares in treasury. The Placing Shares and Subscription Shares will be fully paid and will rank pari passu in all respects with the Company's existing ordinary shares.

 

On Admission, the above figure of 612,273,038 ordinary shares may be used by shareholders in the Company as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, Bezant under the Financial Conduct Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.

 

 

For further information, please contact:

Bezant Resources Plc

Bernard Olivier

Chief Executive Officer

 

Laurence Read

Executive Director / Communications Officer                           

 

Strand Hanson Limited (Nomad) 

James Harris / Matthew Chandler / James Dance

 

Peterhouse Corporate Finance Limited (Broker)

Lucy Williams/ Duncan Vasey/ Heena Karani

 

Beaufort Securities Limited (Broker) 

Elliot Hance

 

or visit http://www.bezantresources.com

 

 Tel: +61 40 894 8182

 

 

Tel: +44 (0)20 3289 9923

 

 

Tel: +44 (0)20 7409 3494

 

 

 

Tel: +44020 7469 0930

 

 

 

Tel: +44 (0)20 7382 8300

 

 

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014.

 

- ENDS -

 

 


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