The historic Reefton goldfield on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island first discovered in 1866 is the story behind the current $10 million initial public offering by Siren Gold.
Driving the IPO is managing director Brian Roden who was a founding director of (and initially the largest shareholder in) Dacian Gold (ASX: DCN). Mr Roden also owned a mid-tier mining contracting business in Western Australia.
Siren’s IPO is fully underwritten by Morgans Corporate. The company is offering 40 million shares at $0.25 each. The IPO is scheduled to close on September 21 and Siren will list under the ticker code ‘SNG’.
This IPO coincides with the move this week by Dark Horse Resources (ASX: DHR) to enter the New Zealand gold scene, picking up ground in Otago province near the operating Macraes mine owned by OceanaGold Corporation (ASX: OGC).
Reefton has been a multi-million ounce gold producer
The Reefton goldfield has been both mined and explored for both hard rock and alluvial gold since what was known as the West Coast gold rush.
The goldfield lies near the small town of Reefton which, in 1886, became the first New Zealand town to have electricity.
Up to 1954, some 2 million ounces of gold had been extracted at Reefton.
More recently, OceanaGold operated the Globe Progress mine that produced 620,000oz before its 2015 closure.
Siren holds three granted exploration permits (Big River, Alexander River and Lyell) and one expired prospecting permit (Reefton South) which is in the process of being renewed.
The company has also applied for another prospecting permit (Bell Hill) and an exploration permit within Reefton South.
Big River historically produced 136,000oz gold between 1880 and 1942 at a recovered grade of 34.1 grams per tonne.
Alexander River includes the historic mine of the same name that closed in 1943 after producing 41,098oz at 26.4g/t.
Lyell overlays the old Alpine United mine and several other small mines that together produced 91,000oz at 18.4g/t.
Reefton South is south of the old Blackwater mine (740,000oz at 14.2g/t) which closed in 1954.
Goldfield has gone through several revivals
There have been four cycles of alluvial gold mining in the region.
Alluvial gold was first discovered in the area in 1866 at the height of the West Coast gold rush.
Four years later saw the first discovery of auriferous quartz in the Reefton area and during 1874 and 1874 several lodes went into production.
In the early 1890s the area’s mining industry was revived by Consolidated Goldfields New Zealand which operated in the Reefton area for the following 55 years.
The West Coast province has also been one of New Zealand’s premier coal mining regions.