Venture Minerals Ltd (ASX:VMS) has completed a share placement to sophisticated, professional and institutional investors to raise A$10 million, fully funding the development of the Riley Iron Ore Project in northwest Tasmania and paving the way for the first iron ore shipment next quarter.
The new funding will enable the company to complete the final stages of the Wet Screening Plant construction and commissioning. It also paves the way for Venture to deliver its first iron ore shipment in the June quarter of 2021.
Transitioning to producer
Venture was focused on financing the construction and commissioning of the Wet Screening Plant through debt, however, the opportunity presented itself to raise equity given the recent strength in the company’s share price - a result of exploration success at the Golden Grove North and Kulin projects and sustained increases in iron ore prices.
The board believes the ability to raise equity significantly de-risks the project and the potential impact on the company as it transitions from an explorer to a producer.
Riley’s short mine life and quick time to production presents a unique opportunity to capitalise on the current historically high iron ore price and realise significant cash-flow for Venture in the near-term.
Iron ore prices have been strong throughout 2020 and into 2021 with the outlook for the rest of the year remaining positive due to continued demand generated by Chinese government infrastructure spending and ongoing supply concerns from Brazil.
In addition, placement funds will be utilised on exploration at Venture’s priority exploration project at Golden Grove North Zinc-Copper-Gold Project.
Venture is looking to target extensions to recent drill intersections of up to 7% zinc, 1.3% copper and 2.1 g/t gold at Orcus and other newly identified, strong EM conductors situated along the VMS Target Zone.
Funds will also be utilised at the 100%-owned Kulin Project, with the recent start of a minimum 3000-metre drilling program in Western Australia designed to bring forward a potential new gold discovery.