Keep an eye on this
Segue woos midnight pegger
February 07, 2007
CALL it opportunistic, but Segue Resources reckons it's worth a punt to do a deal with the man who's becoming known as the "midnight pegger".
And that punt includes a legal battle over whether you have to fill out government forms or do it the old-fashioned way: knocking pegs into a tenement under a full moon. At stake is one of the most attractive undeveloped uranium deposits in the Northern Territory: 12,650 tonnes in the Angela deposit near Alice Springs.
Segue has formed an alliance with prospector Norm McCleary to take a 50 per cent stake in the Angela and nearby Pamela deposits - if he wins the right to own them. And that's a big "if".
First, Mr McCleary has to persuade the Northern Territory Supreme Court he should have been given the right by the mining warden to do the pegging.
The deposits were in an area reserved from mining, the territory Government having cancelled permits when the owner, Black Range Minerals, went into administration.
(That company has since been relisted with different projects.)
This reserved status was billed as being lifted at midnight on December 6 and the Government called for exploration licence applications to be lodged the next day.
Instead, Mr McCleary went out a few minutes after midnight and pegged the area.
He is now taking court action to get the warden's ban set aside and all other applications put on hold in the meantime.
Those others - who did go the official route - included Chinese companies, Cameco of Canada, and locals Energy Resources of Australia, Uranium Equities, U308, Paladin Resources and Energy Metals.
Segue ended up 38c at $1.10, although the shares did move as high as $1.45 on the news.
Segue, which has nickel, tin and tungsten prospects, is backed by Canadian and European investors, particularly Oppenheim Bank.
Executive director John Arbuckle said the deal provided the chance to get 50 per cent of one of Australia's largest uranium deposits. "The board of Segue judged the legal risks of this case being outweighed by the upside potential for Segue shareholders," he added.
But the junior wasn't the only company that had the idea of doing business with Mr McCleary. Energy Metals also considered approaching him.
However, executive director Lindsay Dudfield said the legal advice was that the chances of Mr McCleary succeeding in his court action were slim. But he bore Mr McCleary no grudge in trying to pre-empt those companies that went the prescribed route, including his own.
"If he's found a loophole in the mining act, good luck to him," Mr Dudfield said.