Blackstone Minerals launches $8m Codrus IPO to spin-off Australian, US projects

Codrus Minerals IPO ASX Blackstone
Codrus Minerals is seeking to raise up to $8 million via the issue of 40 million shares at $0.20 each.

With its focus now on its Ta Khao nickel-copper project in Vietnam and moving into downstream processing, Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) today opened the initial public offering for Codrus Minerals, the spin-off vehicle for Blackstone’s three Australian and one US projects.

Codrus is seeking to raise up to $8 million at $0.20 share with 40 million new shares, and with a minimum subscription of $5 million.

Existing Blackstone shareholders have received a priority offer.

Codrus will trade under the ticker ‘CDR’ when listed.

Managing director has extensive gold experience

Blackstone will retain at least 47% of Codrus’ shares and one of its non-executive directors, Andrew Radonjic, will be the chairman of the new company, with veteran geologist Shannon Bamforth as managing director.

Mr Bamforth has held positions with Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR), St Barbara (ASX: SBM), AngloGold Ashanti (ASX: AGG) and the former Acacia Resources which was absorbed by AngloGold in 2000.

WA projects

Two of the Codrus Australian projects are located in the eastern goldfields of Western Australia, the other in the eastern Pilbara.

Silver Swan South, on which about $2 million will be committed to exploration, is located 20km northeast of Kalgoorlie

It is also just 10km from the Kanowna Bell gold mine operated by Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST).

The Codrus prospectus notes that there has been historic exploration for gold at Silver Swan South and, at the Black Eagle prospect, one hole returned 11m at 2.92 grams per tonne gold from 68m down hole.

It is also prospective for nickel.

The prospectus also says that exploration has been limited because some drilling did not penetrate bedrock due to the thick sedimentary cover. The company expects to be able to unlock the prospectivity using the latest geological technology.

There has also been historic exploration carried out at Red Gate, which covers 145 sq km and lies north of Kalgoorlie.

One of its target prospects is located 10km north of a 700,000oz porphyry gold deposit mined by the former Saracen Mineral Holding, which recently merged with Northern Star.

The Middle Creek project in the Eastern Pilbara is 185km north of Newman. There has been historic gold mining at Middle Creek but the project has never been drilled.

Work to begin on all four projects

In the US, Codrus will own the Bull Run project in Oregon, which consists of 79 owned claims and another 11 claims which are under option.

This 7sq km ground has been mined intermittently for gold since 1929 but in small, high-grade quantities. The prospectus states that the ground had been subject to “scant” exploration.

In his chairman’s letter, Mr Radonjic said the new company will begin operations by deploying leading technology to the targets it has at Silver Swan South and Red Gate, while commencing early field work at Middle Creek.

An induced polarisation survey will be carried at Bull Run to underpin future drilling.

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