Aureus strikes share deal gold

Michael Bow
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GOLD miner Aureus Mining, the junior mining entity listed on Aim, has outlined an underwriting agreement with brokers RBC, GMP and Clarus Securities to place $80m (£50m) of shares to fund Liberia’s first commercial gold mine.

The London-listed firm, led by former Randgold exploration chief David Reading, is hoping to place a minimum of £50m with equity investors and add around another £50m of debt to build the African country’s first gold mine, which the company has a licence to mine for the next 25 years.

The lead underwriters – GMP Securities and RBC Capital Markets – and underwriter Clarus have agreed to sell 84.7m units at 50p per share to international investors to raise £42.4m.

The pot will be topped up with a further 15m shares offered to Canadian investors at 80 Canadian cents to raise C$12m (£7.52m).

The company will use the funds to finance the New Liberty Mining Project in Liberia, which is estimated to have 910,000 ounces of high quality grade gold.

It also estimates the mine will produce 120,000 ounces of gold for the first four years of production.

Under the share offering, Reading has subscribed to 75,000 shares at 50p each, while non-executive director Luis da Silva is taking 10,000.



AS well as being joint broker on the placing, RBC Capital Markets is also acting as the nominated adviser on the deal. Martin Eales, European ECM and corporate broking managing director at RBC, helped advise Aureus on the sterling fundraising part of the deal. Eales was also involved in RBC’s role as joint broker to another Aim listed oil and gas explorer, Chariot Oil & Gas, which purchased an offshore exploration licence from the Moroccan government at the end of last month. RBC has a long track record of fundraising in the mining sector, having secured the role of joint corporate broker for another mining firm, African Barrick Gold, last August.