Blackham Resources Limited (ASX:BLK) has secured a 13 million funding package for its 100%-owned Matilda Gold Project in Western Australia with Great Central Gold Pty Ltd ("Great Central"), a private company controlled by leading mining industry entrepreneur Mr Joseph Gutnick. The Matilda Gold Project has 1.5 million ounces of gold resources in a major Western Australian goldfield.
Blackham has agreed to a Private Placement with Great Central, whereby Great Central will be issued 15.79 million Blackham ordinary shares at 0.21 per share, to raise 3.32 million ("the Placement"). The Placement price is at a 37% premium to the 5 day VWAP of Blackham shares based on the closing price on Friday 1 February 2013. The Placement will be completed in two tranches, with the first tranche (12,215,000 shares) issued under Blackham's existing 25% capacity. The second tranche, of 3,575,000 shares, will be completed following receipt of necessary regulatory and shareholder approvals. At completion of the Placement Great Central will have a 19.8% interest in Blackham.
In addition to the Placement, Great Central has agreed to subscribe for 10 million in Convertible Notes in Blackham ("Notes"). The convertible note conversion price is at 63% premium to the 5 day VWAP. The Notes have a maturity date five (5) years from the date of issue and have an interest rate of 8% (paid half yearly). Terms of the convertible notes are detailed in Appendix A (refer to link below).
Blackham is pleased to advise that the board of Blackham offered, and Mr Gutnick has agreed, that at the completion of the Placement Mr Gutnick will be appointed Non-executive Chairman of the Company.
Mr Gutnick will bring a wealth of experience to the Board. Mr Gutnick has been a director of numerous mining companies including Great Central Mines Ltd ("GCM") which he built into one of Australia's most successful gold mining companies. Under his stewardship, GCM discovered the Plutonic Gold Mine and explored, developed and operated the Bronzewing and Jundee Gold Mines, three world-class gold mines that continue to operate today. GCM produced over 780,000oz of gold per annum at its peak. GCM also previously owned the Rosemont, Wiluna, and Matilda Gold Projects He was awarded the Diggers award at the 1997 Diggers and Dealers Industry Awards and is a former Director of the World Gold Council. He is also a Fellow of the AusIMM.
On the securing of this funding package, and of the support of Great Central, Blackham Resources Managing Director, Mr Bryan Dixon, said; "Mr Gutnick's agreement to be Chairman of the Company and to personally provide a large funding package at a significant premium is an important validation of the quality of the Matilda Gold Project and recognition of the success we have had in advancing the project over the past year. In addition, Mr Gutnick's extensive knowledge and experience will be a valuable addition to the Board.
"Securing this funding, in a difficult market for emerging gold companies will enable management to continue adding value at Matilda for the benefit of shareholders. The Company plans to immediately commence a 30,000m drilling programme targeting the Williamson and Matilda Mine areas," Mr Dixon added.
The Matilda Gold Project has progressed rapidly over the 14 months since acquisition, with key developments including:
- increased gold resource from 310,000oz to 1.50Moz Au
- identifying very large exploration target at Williamson
- confirmed the Matilda and Williamson metallurgy as free milling
- completed an initial scoping study at the Matilda Mine confirming robust economics
Of the agreement with Blackham Resources, Mr Gutnick said, "I am delighted to be able to make this strategic investment in a high quality project backed by a strong management team. I have waited many years for the right opportunity re-enter the East Murchison and Yandal Belts. I look forward to exploring and developing world-class gold mines in a province where I have enjoyed much success."
Casimir Capital LP has acted as lead manager and placement agent for both the placement and convertible note.