Orion Minerals announces $11m raising for Prieska zinc-copper project

Melbourne-based Orion Minerals has raised $11 million through a share placement to progress a feasibility study at the Prieska zinc-copper project in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

The raising, at 3.7 cents per share, will be delivered in two tranches; 91.6 million shares for $3.4 million and 205.7 million shares for $7.6 million, with the second tranche subject to shareholder approval in August.

Prieska is the largest of four current South African exploration projects being advanced by the company, along with the Marydale, Masiqhame and Jacomynspan projects, which focus on diverse elements including gold, nickel, zinc, copper, cobalt and the platinum group elements (PGEs). The company is also continuing exploration activity in Western Australia.

In addition to the $11 million placement, Orion received subscriptions for an additional $6.3 million from shareholder Tembo Capital, which increased the company’s ownership of Orion to just under 23 per cent.

These events, in combination with the company’s deals in May to sell its Queensland assets to Evolution Mining for $2.5 million and a $5 million share placement to Independence Group, “significantly strengthens the company’s financial position for future growth,” according to Orion chairman Denis Waddell.

“The quality of support for the placement signals the change in investment grade of the company as it moves closer to its production goals,” Waddell said.

Orion managing director and chief executive officer Errol Smart added: “Our primary focus is Prieska, however, given the quantum of funds raised under the placements, we are also in the fortunate position of being able to invest in the exploration of our highly prospective landholdings that present significant potential further upside for shareholders.”

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