Shares in Artemis Resources (ASX: ARV) are attempting to recover following a double announcement today, in which the Pilbara explorer has scooped up additional conglomerate gold tenements in Karratha, Western Australia, and secured funding for upgrades to its Radio Hill processing plant.
The company reported the completion of a recently announced binding agreement with Sorrento Resources to acquire 100% of the issued capital of its subsidiaries Elysian Resources Pty Ltd and Hard Rock Resources Pty Ltd for A$1 million plus the issue of 25 million fully paid ordinary shares.
Under this deal, Artemis has acquired a 70% stake in exploration licences and mining tenement applications that Elysian and Hard Rock hold in a joint venture with Hamersley Gold and ACN Co (with the latter two companies holding the remaining 30% interest between them).
Artemis executive chairman David Lenigas said some of the tenements have “exceptional exploration potential for gold-bearing conglomerate rocks” along strike from the company’s Purdy Reward project and the Comet Well and Rob’s Patch discoveries, operated by joint venture partner Novo Resources.
“We will now fast track wrapping these tenements into Artemis’ existing Native Title agreements so that we can get the exploration licence applications approved in short order,” he said.
According to Lenigas, the applications could be approved by the end of the year which would make way for an aggressive exploration program.
In addition, Artemis announced the approval of a A$6 million loan to help fund upgrades and refurbishment of its wholly-owned Radio Hill processing plant in Karratha.
The company signed agreements with UK institutional group Riverfort Global Capital Ltd for an 18-month funding package to assist the work, which started last month and includes the addition of a 500,000 tonne per annum integrated gravity gold circuit to process ore from Artemis’ Carlow Castle cobalt, gold and copper project and its Silica Hills gold project.
Artemis is aiming to make the plant fully operational as a combined metals and gold processing facility by the end of June 2018.
According to the company, about 250,000 tonnes of pre-mined material containing cobalt, nickel and copper already exists in stockpiles on the run of mine ore pad at Radio Hill, which would allow production to recommence at a low operating cost since the stockpiles only need to be crushed and processed.
Artemis stock movements
It’s been a busy few weeks for Artemis, having suffered an 18% share price loss in late November following Novo’s announcement of disappointing test results from finds at the Purdy’s Reward conglomerate gold deposit.
The company’s shares rebounded slightly on positive news of more gold discoveries at its Silica Hills project and the launch of the Radio Hill upgrade program, but are still far from the its high of $0.59 in early November.
Following today’s announcements, Artemis shares rose more than 7% to $0.31 by midday and finished at $0.29 at close of trade.