Minerals explorer Meteoric Resources (ASX: MEI) has received firm commitments for a placement to fund an accelerated and expanded drilling exploration program at its wholly-owned Juruena and Novo Astro gold projects in Brazil.
Offered to a small number of institutional and sophisticated investors, the placement will raise $2.7 million before costs through the issue of 84,375,000 new shares at $0.032 per share.
This represents an 8.4% premium to the 30-day volume weighted average price and a 3% discount to the 10-day VWAP of Meteoric shares (up to and including 8 August).
Funds raised will be used primarily to accelerate exploration at the company’s Juruena and Novo Astro gold projects in the state of Matto Grosso in Central Brazil.
Juruena has an existing high-grade resource at the Dona Maria and Querosene targets of 436,000 tonnes at 14.7 grams per tonne for 205,000 ounces gold, while at Novo Astro, located 25km to the southeast, a soil anomaly of more than 15 square kilometres has been defined with multiple rock chip samples grading in excess of 10g/t gold.
Recent exploration at both projects has increased Meteoric’s confidence in the discovery potential of its Brazilian assets.
Over the last few weeks, diamond drilling at Juruena has commenced and two rigs are currently onsite drilling double shifts at the Dona Maria target.
Additional first pass exploration at Novo Astro has recognised thick zones of alteration and mineralisation within basement rocks which have been the target of extensive artisanal mining.
Managing director Andrew Tunks said the placement will help progress exploration at both sites.
“We will use the capital injection to bring in additional drilling capacity and effectively run two exploration teams working in tandem – one at Juruena and one at Novo Astro – to immediately grow an understanding of the geology and gold distribution at these bonanza-grade gold projects,” he said.
“Crucially, the Novo Astra program can now scale up without affecting [our] strong focus on Juruena, allowing both projects to be tested over the coming months, concurrently expanding and fast tracking our initial plans.”
The Juruena and Novo Astro projects comprise 24 tenements, located on the western end of the highly-prospective Alta Floresta Belt, which is home to over 40 known gold deposits and host to major miners including Anglo American and Vale.
The Belt is believed to be one of the most desirable gold exploration destinations in Brazil.
Both projects have been the site of extensive artisanal mining with recorded production in excess of 500,000oz of gold, largely produced during a gold rush in the 1980s when over 20,000 miners worked in the Juruena area.