Australian miner Orion Minerals confirmed on Monday that it is in the process of undertaking a pivotal capital raising of approximately $8 million. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg News

JOHANNESBURG  - Australian miner Orion Minerals confirmed on Monday that it is in the process of undertaking a pivotal capital raising of approximately $8 million capital raising at an issue price of $0.04 per ordinary share.

The miner said this placing will go together with one free attaching option for every two shares issued to be conducted via a placement to sophisticated and professional investors.

Orion said that the capital raising was likely to be underpinned by a group of high-profile black South African investors as part of a broader restructuring of the company's Black Empowerment Equity at operating level, achieving compliance with the Mining Charter 3.

Last week, Orion requested an immediate trading halt be placed on its securities in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) as it anticipates making a material announcement in relation to a proposed capital raising.

The miner, which focuses on zinc, copper, nickel, gold and platinum-group elements in South Africa and Australia, has a primary listing on the Australian Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the main board of the JSE.

The South African investors are expected to subscribe for about half the shares on offer in the placement as part of the company’s Black Economic Empowerment obligations with Orion’s biggest shareholder, London-based Tembo Capital, taking another significant chunk of shares.

Orion is completing the first resource drill-out campaign, and a bankable feasibility study is advancing rapidly for its new mine and processing plant at the Prieska mine, which was operated by Anglovaal Mining for two decades up to 1991. 

The company said interrelated transactions will represent a pivotal milestone for it ahead of the expected imminent grant of the Mining Right for its flagship Prieska Zinc-Copper Project, and the delivery of the Bankable Feasibility Study later this quarter.

Orion said the transactions will result in the introduction of a high-profile South African investor group to its share register.

It said this will also ensure an appropriate alignment and restructuring of its BEE interests across both project and listed company levels, and significantly elevate its profile amongst South African institutional investors as it prepares to develop the Prieska Project.

The miner said it anticipates making a material announcement in relation to the proposed capital raising upon cessation of the voluntary suspension, which the company anticipates will end at the commencement of trading on Tuesday.

- African News Agency (ANA)