Great Australian Resources (ASX code: GAU) is undergoing a revamp at the hands of investment banker Africa Pacific Capital, which will almost certainly result in a re-rating of its share price.
Stockbroker turned investment banker Alan Doyle, a principal of Africa Pacific Capital (APC), joined the GAU board as chairman in January after a capital raising APC arranged for the listed company last August, when it placed 12 million GAU shares at 25c, plus a free one-for-one option exercisable at 20c in December 2008.
The exercise added $3m cash to GAU's coffers, but the current share price is well below the placement price and holders will be anxious for a turnaround. GAU now has on issue 68 million shares, which rose from a 12-month low of 14.5c earlier last year to 29c before drifting to between 17c and 19c last week. We bought at 18c, which gives the company a market capitalisation of just $12.6m.
Backing that is $500,000 remaining cash and $1.3m cash in 50%-owned affiliate Platinum Mining Ventures (PMV), which is destined for a public listing with the expectation of free shares to be distributed to GAU shareholders.
The other 50% of PMV is held by Doyle and associates through APC, which has arranged the acquisition of exploration projects in South Africa. One, which chairman Doyle, also a geologist, called a "ball-tearer", is the Morokweng impact structure, about 400km west of Johannesburg. It is under 15m to 150m of sand on the edge of the Kalahari. PMV now holds a 52% interest in the project covering a 30km diameter aeromagnetic anomaly. Under an agreement with a black economic empowerment partner, PMV may earn up to 74% by spending $6m, with substantial funds likely coming out of a pre-float placement in North America.
The area was bought from the Nuclear Energy Corp of South Africa and the Rand Merchant Bank. NECSA sunk bore holes in the mid-1990s, which concluded the impact structure was created by a large meteorite impact, perhaps 60 million years ago. This has led to comparisons with Canada's Sudbury impact structure, one of the world's richest nickel deposits and about twice the size. Since 1926, Sudbury has yielded 7.25m tonnes of nickel, 6.8m tonnes of copper, 38.6 tonnes of silver, 7.7 tonnes of platinum and 1.4 tonnes of gold. As part of its rationalisation to concentrate on the South African opportunity, GAU last month sold its gold-copper project in Cambodia to the yet-to-be-listed Transol Corporation for $150,000 cash, plus 20m Transol shares.