Another gold initial public offering (IPO) — and another float concerning increasingly fashionable New South Wales gold — is here with Koonenberry Gold in the market with a promising project in the northwest corner of the state.
The namesake project comprises 12 exploration licences covering 1,339sq km and the company believes this corner of NSW has the potential to be a “major” new gold district.
It is not alone there: Manhattan Corporation (ASX: MHC) and Red Mountain Mining (ASX: RMX) are among the companies that have already carved out a stake in the zone bisected by the Silver City Highway.
The geology, according to Koonenberry, is similar to that which hosts the Stawell gold mine, one of the two largest mine sites in Victoria.
Gold nuggets have been found near surface on Koonenberry’s ground.
The company said the Koonenberry nugget field is larger than Bendigo (the other large Victorian mining region) and with similar rocks, structure and geological age to those regions.
A big plus is that there is ease of access to the area by major roads and the regional presence of significant infrastructure.
One land agreement is in place, one is being renewed and one is to be negotiated. Native Title has been extinguished over the majority of the area and environmental approvals are in place over a large portion of the active project site.
In short, the project is near-drill ready.
Experienced board and investors
Steering the company on its road to success will be Karen O’Neill as chief executive officer. Ms O’Neill has more than 25 years of experience working in resources as a mining executive and finance professional.
Ms O’Neill’s work has taken her to Europe, Africa, Oceania, Asia, and Australia and she has a proven track record of effective leadership, strategic management and problem solving. Her most recent achievement was turning around operations as managing director of an ASX-listed gold producer.
Joining Ms O’Neill is John Elkington as chairman. Mr Elkington has more than 40 years of experience in managing and directing public companies and currently sits as non-executive chairman of TNG Limited’s (ASX: TNG) board.
Mr Elkington brings to the company his significant technical experience evidenced in his previous positions of founding director of Pilbara Laboratories, Ammtec Ltd, and head of Snowden Mining Consultants in the United Kingdom.
Heading up exploration is Andrew Bennett who has more than 25 years of experience as a geologist for various exploration and mining companies and commodities. Mr Bennett has worked with WMC and BHP (ASX: BHP) where he managed a massive exploration campaign at Olympic Dam, which resulted in more than 4 billion tonnes being added to the project’s mineral resources.
The board’s non-executive directors are Anthony McIntosh and John Hobson. Mr McIntosh has vast experience in investment marketing, investor relations and strategic planning. He has an established network of connections in stockbroking and investment fund managers.
As well as his role with Koonenberry, Mr McIntosh is a director of several other ASX-listed companies including Strategic Energy Resources (ASX: SER), Alice Queen (ASX: AQX), Copper Strike (ASX: CSE) and K-TIG (ASX: KTG).
Meanwhile, Mr Hobson joins Koonenberry with extensive experience as a capital markets and investor relations executive. He has worked across Australia, Asia and the United States in various sectors including energy, infrastructure, logistics, banking and finance.
In the past, Mr Hobson has executed large, complex acquisition funding using innovative structures and negotiated multiple debt refinancing packages.
As company secretary, Ben Donovan has provided corporate advisory, IPO and consultancy services to a number of companies across resources, biotech, media and technology sectors. Mr Donovan is a current company secretary of several ASX-listed and public unlisted companies.
‘Golden opportunity’ for Australian explorers
The board’s goal is to drive Koonenberry from gold explorer to producer.
Despite Australia set to become a leader in worldwide gold production, according to the Resources and Energy Quarterly published by the government, the nation will still be unable to meet its export demand. This ensures there is a viable market for new supply and provides optimism in the price.
NSW is an emerging gold market as development sites in Western Australia become harder to find.
More than $4 million spent already
Koonenberry has spent more than $4 million defining targets to date, collecting and collating geochemistry and geophysical data.
Next on the agenda is a complete 3D model of the reef structures over the tenement, driving the definition and prioritisation of a reverse circulation drilling program with the objective of defining an economic mineral resource.
Most targets never drilled, no exploration records
There are eight near-drill ready exploration targets: Lucky Sevens, Royal Oak, Lonsdale, Breakaways, Four Queens, Mystery Gully, Old Bunker Tank Area, and Atlantis.
Lucky Sevens is the most advanced prospect, with costeans and historical drilling over a very short strike length of the more than 3km structure. There is visible gold in the reef at surface with a rich nugget patch. Rotary air blast (RAB) drilling in 2010 returned 5m at 25.14 grams per tonne gold from surface.
At the Royal Oak target, nuggets have been discovered on outcropping reef and rock chip sampling has yielded assays up to 10g/t gold.
But Royal Oak has never been drilled, nor is there any systematic historical exploration.
Reef sampling at Lonsdale — no recent exploration — has returned reef gold samples of 24.1 g/t and 4.95 g/t.
There is a mineralised reef at surface with a complex array of veins and associated alteration at Breakaways assaying up to 12g/t gold, while the unexplored Four Queens has produced “strong” anomalous results.
Gold occurs in gravels and conglomerates at Mystery Gully, one of the prospects that has seen historical mining.
At Old Bunker Tank Area, there are high concentrations of nuggets and a reef sample returned 31.2 g/t gold, while Atlantis (never drilled, no recorded exploration) has the largest soil anomaly defined on the project to date (5km at 10 parts per billion gold) and copper occurrences grading up to 15% in rock chips.
Koonenberry said there have been numerous other targets identified and which provide a strong base to implement its planned systematic exploration programme.
The company plans to trade on the ASX under ticker code ‘KNB’.