Western Mines (ASX: WMG) is hitting the ASX for the first time today with a view to ramp up exploration on its Western Australian gold and nickel sulphide projects.
The company raised $5.5 million in an oversubscribed initial public offering (IPO), which closed early after issuing 27.5 million shares at $0.20 each. Lead manager to the offer was Melbourne-based corporate advisory firm Harbury.
Upon its ASX debut, Western Mines will have a tight capital structure with an $8.76 million market cap and an enterprise value of $3.26 million.
Western Mines holds eight exploration projects, its flagship asset being the Mulga Tank nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGE) project in WA’s eastern goldfields.
Other core projects include the Melita gold and copper-lead-zinc project in the Kookynie district and the Jasper Hill gold project, south of Laverton, WA.
Fieldwork is already underway at the Mulga Tank project and with the IPO now complete, exploration is expected to advance across the company’s entire portfolio.
The company’s Mulga Tank project is a major dunite intrusive within the underexplored Minigwal Greenstone Belt.
Previous work has shown significant evidence of a working sulphide mineral system with historic holes drilled to depths of more than 200m intersecting nickel-copper-PGE sulphides.
As such, it is considered highly prospective for nickel-copper-PGE mineralisation and is regarded as Western Mines’ key exploration focus.
The Melita gold and copper-lead-zinc project lies in the highly sought-after Kookynie district of WA’s goldfields, adjacent to Genesis Minerals’ (ASX: GMD) 1.61 million-ounce Ulysses gold project.
The Jasper Hill gold project, south of Laverton in the eastern goldfields, contains numerous prospective and untested gold trends extending from the neighbouring Lord Byron and Fish historic gold mines, which respectively produced 160,000 ounces and 87,000oz gold.
Western Mines is also actively exploring Youanmi (gold), Pavarotti (nickel-copper-PGE), Rock of Ages (gold), Broken Hill Bore (gold) and Pinyalling (gold).
The company completed a high-resolution ground gravity survey at Mulga Tank last month and a moving loop electromagnetic (MLEM) survey is scheduled to begin later in July to define drill targets.
At the Melita and Rock of Ages projects, recent work has included reconnaissance site visits, geological mapping and rock chip sampling.
IPO funds to be used for exploration program
Western Mines said the IPO proceeds will be used to “aggressively” execute the company’s targeted exploration plans for its project portfolio.
More than $4 million has been allocated for exploration expenses with the remainder of the raised funds to go towards IPO expenses and working capital.
The company has planned an exploration budget of $1.09 million for Mulga Tank, which includes geophysics, geochemistry and scope for various drilling campaigns (air core, reverse circulation and diamond drilling).
Melita and Jasper Hills’ exploration budgets are around the $500,000 mark and both comprise ground magnetics, soil and auger sampling and some drilling.
Ground surveys and drilling campaigns are also in the works for the company’s other projects, with air core drilling scheduled for Youanmi in this second half of 2021.
Highly regarded board with strong exploration experience
Western Mines describes its board as highly regarded with a strong depth of experience and expertise in exploration, the corporate sector and capital markets.
The company is led by managing director Dr Caedmon Marriott, who brings almost two decades of experience in mineral exploration and equity capital markets.
Dr Marriott’s previous roles have included managing director for gold and nickel explorer Aldoro Resources (ASX: ARN) and private explorer Hanno Resources. He has also worked as a buy-side mining analyst at GLG Global Mining Fund, Och-Ziff Capital and JPMorgan Natural Resources Fund.
The board is chaired by the highly experienced corporate advisor and economist Rex Turkington, who is also the current managing director of advisory firm South Pacific Securities and previously held the chairman position at Key Petroleum (ASX: KEY).