Zinc firm eyes Canada for au­tumn flota­tion

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK - Gavin McLough­lin

IR­ISH-FO­CUSED zinc ex­plorer Group Eleven’s planned flota­tion will take place in Canada, with the com­pany aim­ing to ex­e­cute the deal be­fore the end of the year.

Group Eleven CEO Bart Ja­worski told the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent that the com­pany aims to float in the au­tumn, at a price “in ex­cess” of CAD$0.30 a share (€0.20).

He added that he would like to es­tab­lish a list­ing in Dublin in fu­ture if it made sense.

“The rea­son to go to Canada is that Van­cou­ver is re­ally the cap­i­tal of the ju­nior re­source mar­ket in the world. But if it made sense for us, I’d love to be listed in Dublin at some stage, in the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture,” Mr Ja­worski said.

Last week, the com­pany an­nounced it had agreed a deal to buy 60pc of a prospect which cov­ers ar­eas of Co Long­ford and Co West­meath.

It is buy­ing the as­set known as the Bal­li­nalack prospect from Cana­dian min­ing gi­ant Teck. The other 40pc of the prospect is owned by a Chi­nese com­pany. The as­set is lo­cated 50 kilo­me­tres west of Europe’s largest zinc mine at Na­van in Co Meath.

Group Eleven raised CAD$3.8m (€2.6m) to fi­nance the deal via a pri­vate place­ment of new shares at CAD$0.30 each. On that ba­sis, the com­pany is val­ued at more than CAD$14m (€9.5m) on a fully di­luted ba­sis – mean­ing share op­tions that have not yet been con­verted into shares are in­cluded. It paid Teck in cash and shares, and Teck now has a 7pc stake in the com­pany on a fully di­luted ba­sis.

Among the par­tic­i­pants in the fundrais­ing for the Teck deal was MAG Silver, a listed Cana­dian ex­plorer with a mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion in ex­cess of CAD$1.3bn (€880m), which had pre­vi­ously in­vested in Group Eleven, whose other back­ers in­clude for­mer Davy cor­po­rate fi­nance chief Hugh McCutcheon.

The move will rep­re­sent a fur­ther boost for the Ir­ish zinc sec­tor. There has been a marked in­crease in ac­tiv­ity, the price of zinc hav­ing soared over the past 18 months. Glen­core has re­cently re-started drilling work on an as­set at Pal­las Green in Lim­er­ick, af­ter ac­tiv­ity had ceased for a number of years.

Cana­dian-listed Han­nan Met­als has started drilling at a prospect in Kil­bricken in Co Clare, while there has been in­ter­est in buy­ing Teck’s part of an­other Lim­er­ick prospect, Stonepark. The other part is owned by John Teel­ing’s Con­nemara Min­ing. In ad­di­tion, Uni­corn Min­eral Re­sources has told share­hold­ers it is in talks about sell­ing it­self to a Cana­dian-listed com­pany.

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