In a move slated to significantly strengthen its financial position as the company positions itself to execute its business plan in Albania, Tirex Resources (CVE:TXX) will raise $5.1 million through a financing with UK-based investment trust Global Resources Investment Ltd. (GRIL), the Vancouver-based explorer announced Thursday.
“This financing strengthens the balance sheet of Tirex, gives the company increased flexibility as we execute our business plan, and also allows Tirex to access funds over time which will enable us to participate in what we believe will be improving general market conditions in this space,” said chief executive officer of Tirex, Bryan Slusarchuk, in a statement released this morning.
Tirex is very much focussed on mineral exploration and development activities in Albania – an area with a rich history of mining -- where it holds six separate, 25-year mining licenses within the Mirdita VMS (Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide) district. VMS deposits are the product of metal-rich hydrothermal solution discharges onto or near the sea floor from submarine volcanoes, that form bodies of copper, zinc, gold and and/or silver rich mineralization.
The company recently announced plans to transition into production, while also targeting new discoveries through continuing exploration.
Even prior to the newly-announced financing, Tirex had invested about $30 million in its Albanian endeavours. Initially, the company is to target 500 tonnes per day of production, with plans to ramp up to 2,000 tonnes per day of production after two years.
The company already has a partnership agreement in place relating to copper, gold and silver production, meaning it can fast track to production without corresponding share dilution. As well as prioritizing production at the six areas of Mirdita, Tirex is also planning to explore other regions in the district.
The company has also garnered major financial backing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the bank’s first mineral exploration funding anywhere in the world.
This last summer saw the company appoint Canada’s first female Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Sheila Copps OC – who also held the post of Canadian Minister of Environment – as a special advisor, in recognition of her track record as an advocate of the environment to ensure Tirex leads the way in this area as its host country moves towards integration into the European Union.
In this most recent development announced Thursday, Tirex and GRIL have entered into a share exchange agreement, whereby Tirex would, assuming successful listing of GRIL as a public company and investment trust with the name Global Resources Investment Trust PLC. (GRIT) on the London Stock Exchange, subscribe for 3.25 million GRIT shares at a deemed value of one British pound apiece in exchange for the issuance of 17 million shares of Tirex at deemed price of 0.1910 British pound per unit (which equates to roughly 30 cents). Tirex will then sell the GRIT shares through the facilities of the London Stock Exchange to realize proceeds.
“Post the completion of this arrangement, GRIL will become a major shareholder of Tirex and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship,” said Slusarchuk.
Shares in Tirex closed at 26 cents on the TSX-Venture Exchange the day before the announcement.