Aurum Mining's share price dived more than 21 per cent today after the firm announced it will completely change direction in January, shedding its mining focus to become a cyber and digital security firm.
The Aim-listed miner plans to change its name to Shearwater Group and place 150m new shares on 10 January, if shareholders give the makeover the all-clear at an extraordinary general meeting on 9 January.
Chairman David Williams told City A.M. the share price fall to 4.52p was an adjustment as investors work in the price of the new shares.
Through a joint venture with Ormonde Mining, Aurum has its hands mainly in prospective gold, but also tungsten assets in Salamanca Province, north-west Spain.
To drive ahead with the turnaround strategy, Williams has assembled an experienced board with which to move into the "digital resilience" sector, which will involve a mixture of software consulting and training.
These include chief executive Mo Stevens, the former head of Airbus' cyber security business, and non-executive directors Robin Southwell, the former boss of Airbus UK, Stephen Ball, the former UK boss of Lockheed Martin, and Giles Willits, the former chief financial officer of Entertainment One.
Aurum has no current employees, but Shearwater will be looking to acquire businesses ideally before the end of the first quarter. It has raised £6m through the new share placing and has cash reserves, including this £6m, of £7m in total.
"For our shareholders to have any chance we needed to change direction," Williams told City A.M.
"I'd been thinking about changing the direction of the company for the last couple of years, but hadn't found the right team or sector. What changed was that I had a chance meeting about seven months ago and that led me to meet Mo Stevens who’s our current CEO. He liked the idea that we could use this mining shell to become an opportunity in the cyber and digital resilience space.
"It's one of the very few growth sectors, you can see the guarantees... because it's rapidly evolving and will continue to do so."