19 September 2016
Bezant Resources Plc
("Bezant" or the "Company")
Equity fundraising of approximately £1.19m gross
Bezant (AIM: BZT), the AIM quoted mineral exploration and development company, is pleased to announce that it has raised, in aggregate, £1,189,000 (approximately US$1.55 million) before expenses, through a conditional placement, via Beaufort Securities Limited ("Beaufort Securities"), of 38,400,000 new ordinary shares of 0.2 pence each in the capital of the Company (the "Placing Shares") (the "Placing") and a subscription for 21,050,000 new ordinary shares of 0.2 pence each in the capital of the Company (the "Subscription Shares") (the "Subscription") by certain new and existing investors, both at a price of 2.0 pence per new ordinary share (the "Fundraising Price").
The Fundraising Price represents a discount of approximately 27.3 per cent. to the closing mid-market price of 2.75 pence per ordinary share on 16 September 2016 (being the latest practicable business day prior to the date of this announcement).
The Placing and Subscription are conditional on admission of the Placing Shares and the Subscription Shares to trading on AIM ("Admission"). Following Admission, the Placing Shares and the Subscription Shares will represent, in aggregate, approximately 30.29 per cent. of the Company's enlarged issued ordinary share capital.
The Placing Shares have been conditionally placed by Beaufort Securities, as agent of the Company, with certain existing and new institutional and other investors pursuant to a placing agreement (the "Placing Agreement"). Under the terms of the Placing Agreement, Beaufort Securities will receive commission from the Company conditional on Admission of the Placing Shares and the Company will give customary warranties and undertakings to Beaufort Securities in relation, inter alia, to its business and the performance of its duties. In addition, the Company had agreed to indemnify Beaufort Securities in relation to certain liabilities that it may incur in undertaking the Placing. Beaufort Securities has the right to terminate the Placing Agreement in certain circumstances prior to Admission, in particular in the event that there has been, inter alia, a material breach of any warranties. The Placing is not being underwritten.
In addition to the Placing and Subscription, certain Directors of the Company intend to receive settlement of a proportion of their outstanding directors' fees and salaries for various time periods from 1 June 2016 up to the date of this announcement, via the issue of new ordinary shares, further details of which will be announced in due course.
Use of Funds & Near-term Production Strategy
The net proceeds raised from the Placing and Subscription will be utilised towards funding the Company's planned exploration and development work programme on its near surface platinum and gold assets located in the Choco Region of Colombia, over which it holds certain options, and for the group's general working capital purposes.
Further to the Company's announcement of 7 September 2016, mobilisation has begun on the FKJ 083 licence area and mining contractors, Exumax S.A.S. ("Exumax"), are on site preparing their equipment to begin excavation and bulk sampling activities. Bezant's geologists and mining engineers will work alongside Exumax, a Colombian based alluvial and near surface mining specialist, to begin the removal of overburden and then test the first alluvial gravels for free platinum and gold. The group has a full mining permit in place in respect of the FKJ 083 licence area, which was historically mined between 2007 to 2012. During 2016, Bezant has undertaken an extensive analysis of the historic mining data for this area from various sources, including information submitted to the relevant Colombian tax authorities, covering the previous owner's production period and inclusive of revenues and costs. The Company intends to use bulk sampling and test pitting to analyse production rates and correlate results with the pre-existing data. Bezant will also seek to test certain assumptions relating to potential improved recovery rates using Exumax's equipment circuits.
Exumax has approximately six years' experience operating alluvial mining projects in Colombia and imported the first specialist alluvial mining equipment from New Zealand to be used specifically for near-surface production operations. Details of the exploration agreement entered into between Exumax and Bezant were announced on 7 September 2016.
Following the platinum and gold recovery results from the abovementionned exploration and development work programme, Bezant will make a decision whether to:
1. Exercise all of its options over a 2,600 hectare land package in the region; and
2. Enter into name-plate mine development operations at FKJ 083.
Further to the Company's announcement of 7 September 2016, completion of the acquisition of Birkenhead Estates S.A., in connection with the Company's exploration agreement with Exumax, is now expected to occur next week and a further announcement confirming completion will be made in due course.
Related party transaction
Pursuant to the abovementionned Subscription, Tomori Enterprises Limited ("Tomori") is investing £250,000 for 12,500,000 Subscription Shares. By virtue of Tomori currently being a substantial shareholder in the Company, Tomori's participation in the Subscription constitutes a related party transaction for the purposes of Rule 13 of the AIM Rules for Companies. Accordingly, the directors of Bezant consider, having consulted with Strand Hanson Limited (the Company's Nominated Adviser), that the terms of Tomori's participation in the Subscription are fair and reasonable insofar as the Company's shareholders are concerned.
On Admission, Tomori will be interested in 46,635,115 ordinary shares representing approximately 23.76 per cent. of the Company's enlarged issued ordinary share capital.
Application to trading on AIM
Application will be made to the London Stock Exchange for the Placing Shares and the Subscription shares to be admitted to trading on AIM. It is expected that Admission will become effective and that dealings in the Placing Shares and the Subscription Shares will commence at 8.00 a.m. on 30 September 2016.
Following the issue of the abovementioned Placing Shares and Subscription Shares, the Company's total issued share capital will consist of 196,283,162 ordinary shares with voting rights. The Company does not hold any ordinary shares in treasury and accordingly there are no voting rights in respect of any treasury shares. The Placing Shares and Subscription Shares will be fully paid and will rank pari passu in all respects with the Company's existing ordinary shares.
On Admission, the above figure of 196,283,162 ordinary shares may be used by shareholders in the Company as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, Bezant under the Financial Conduct Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
Edward Nealon, Chairman of Bezant, commented:
"Following an intensive circa nine month period of work in Colombia and the recent signing of the exploration agreement with Exumax, we are now ready to begin stripping overburden from our first focus area with a view to then testing production and recovery rates for platinum and gold. We believe we have a first mover advantage in the platinum fields of Colombia and with options over significant land areas we must now rapidly conduct our own production tests to better understand the mining enviroment and compare our results with the available historic mining data. Working closely with Exumax, the first specialist alluvial mining equipment is now being installed in the Colombian platinum zone in the Choco Region and I look forward to announcing our progress in due course as we begin to access the near-surface alluvial gravels."
For further information, please contact:
Bezant Resources Plc
Chief Executive Officer
Executive Director / Communications Officer
Tel: +61 40 894 8182
Tel: +44 (0)20 3289 9923
Strand Hanson Limited (Nomad)
James Harris / Matthew Chandler / James Dance
Tel: +44 (0)20 7409 3494
Beaufort Securities Limited (Broker)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7382 8300
or visit http://www.bezantresources.com
The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 ("MAR").
This information is provided by RNS