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IronRidge Resources Limited is an AIM listed (since February 2015) greenfield exploration company.
IronRidge Resources Limited is an AIM listed (since February 2015) greenfield exploration company which was founded by an Australian listed company, DGR Global Limited who remain a key strategic shareholder. The company’s exploration assets are primarily focused on Africa including gold exploration in Chad, lithium in Ghana, gold and lithium in the Ivory Coast, iron ore in Gabon and alumina, titania, nickel and gold in Australia.
The history of IronRidge was focused on iron ore and in particular the Tchibanga project in Gabon, but given the weakness in the iron ore price, the company has redirected resources to focus more on gold and lithium exploration within similar jurisdictions in Africa. This decision has been supported by all three major shareholders.
IronRidge is in a unique position to progress from explorer to producer within Africa and Australia due to their key shareholders having skills along the value chain. The company has been able to secure significant tenements within Africa and take advantage of weak commodity prices and investor aversion to the resources sector which saw companies forced to sell assets due to weak cashflows over the past 18 months.
The company views the recent additions to the exploration portfolio as supportive of their outlook for both gold and lithium. IronRidge is particularly positive on battery storage technology with the main research from the industry to date focusing on development of Lithium-ion batteries. This is also supported by electric vehicle manufacturers including Tesla.
2017 is expected to be a year of significant news flow.
The assets in Chad largely focus on gold exploration in a jurisdiction with strong mining and investment frameworks in place. IronRidge holds 1,400km2 of gold mineralised geological structures in the Saharan Metacraton. To date, there has been little to no modern-day exploration as it was a region largely forgotten due to a historical oil focus. Supporting the prospectivity of the area is the extensive artisanal mining works seen within the tenements held.
The Chad assets (Dorothe, Echbara, Am Ouchar, Nabagey, Ade and Waya Waya) were acquired as part of the Tekton Minerals partnership (upon transaction closure, IronRidge will control 61% of voting shares). The team on the ground in Chad includes Tekton Minerals management; Alain Pillevuit with over 20 years in the mining industry, Victor Kakebeeke Chief Geologist with over 16 years’ experience and Paul Reed, who has over 17 years of industry experience in Africa having worked on projects for Xstrata Glencore and Rio Tinto.
The focus of the upcoming drilling is the 200km2 Dorothe Gold Project license area. The focus will be on 2 discrete targets. A north-south striking quartz vein swarm and, secondly, a north-east trending zone of pervasive artisanal workings. Work to date at Dorothe has included mapping, trenching, aerial drone surveys and ground geophysics. Over 40% of rock-chips returned grades over 0.5g/t with grades of up to 103 g/t, 99.6 g/t and 94.5 g/t of gold the highlights. Upcoming fieldwork will focus on defining and further testing drill targets with the aim of identifying multi-million ounce potential deposits.
25km to the west of Dorothe is Echbara. A 2km long by 150-200m wide 100-300ppb defined soil anomaly. Trenching to date highlight the potential of this project to compliment Dorothe. 200km2 licence has been granted and results include 58m @ 1.29 g/t and 28m @ 1.29 g/t gold. The location is defined by quartzites and schists in proximity to a granite intrusion, providing some geological support for the discovery of a significant gold deposit.
The Ghanan assets largely focus on the Cape Coast Lithium project. The region has historically been drilled by the Ghana Geological Survey. Ironidge holds leases over 314km2 and a historical Spodumene resource for the region of 1.48Mt @ 1.66% Li2O (note this is a non-JORC compliant resource) using diamond drilling, trenching and bulk sampling. This is likely to be a hard rock Spoumene in pegmatite deposit. There is potential for credits of Ta-Nb, Sn and Au.
There is potential resource upside from further exploration. The tenements have been picked via a series of JVs and acquisitions to help support an expedite in permitting for project development. Alignment of JV partners to developing the resource into a project has been achieved by terms including a small net smelter return once saleable product has been sold.
Other Exploration Assets (including Ivory Coast, Gabon and Australia
The Ivory Coast exploration assets are focused on gold and lithium in keeping with the business focus to date. IronRidge has secured access rights to 2,310km2 of licenses with extensive artisanal workings and sits within a traditional gold mining region. Currently operating mines include Tongon (5Moz), Yaoure (2.8Moz) and Bonikro (2.7Moz) as well as exploration alliances recently being announced by Newcrest and Randgold in country. In addition, possible Spodumene and lepidolite bearing pegmatites have been uncovered to support the lithium potential for the region which will be tested further for potential development.
The Gabon iron ore projects are the original assets within IronRidge with licenses currently under renewal. The assets cover both canga type deposits and typical bedded itabirite deposits; both within proximity to significant infrastructure which would allow for a low capital intensity start-up should seaborne iron ore markets improve.
Finally, within Queensland, Australia, IronRidge holds significant exploration tenements with the focus being bauxite, titania, gold-copper and nickel prospectivity. The Monogoribly bauxite deposit has a maiden resource of 54.9Mt @ 37.5% Al and 8.5% Si. In addition, highgrade titanium exists (average 3.8-5% TiO2) within the bauxite profile which could provide further upside to the deposit.
The company has a strong management and Board to support the business with significant experience. Key management and Board personnel include:
Nick Mather (Executive Chairman): Geologist with over 25 years’ experience on development projects including Arrow Energy and Orbis Gold.
Vincent Mascolo (MD & CEO): Mining engineer with 25 years’ experience in design and development of infrastructure projects. Vincent is currently a director of DGR Global Limited.
Stuart Crow (NED): Corporate finance background with over 25 years’ experience. Stuart is a director of TNG Limited.
Neil Herbert (NED): Charted accountant with 25 years’ experience in mining, oil and gas sectors. He is a former director of AIM listed UraMin.
Alistair McAdam (NED): MBA metallurgist with 25 years’ experience in metals and mining. Assore Limited’s manager for new business, business development, strategies and marketing.
Bastian Van Aswegan (NED): Metallurgist with close to 30 years’ experience in mining and ferro-alloy production. Currently an executive director of Assore Limited.
Ken Tsubaki (NED): Sumitomo’s Board representative from iron and steel department.
Len Kolff (Chief Geologist and Business Development): 18 years of geological experience. Discoveries include the Mofe Creek iron project in Liberia. Len was also part of the Simandou iron ore project discovery and evaluation team for Rio Tinto.
The company is well supported from a capital, as well as strategic perspective with current significant shareholders including:
Assore Limited (29.9% shareholding) – JSE listed South African supplier of raw materials to steel mills and alloy plants.
DGR Global (26.3% shareholding) – ASX listed exploration specialist who founded IronRidge and includes other companies such as Solgold (AIM:SOLG) and historically Orbis Gold (ASX:OBS).
Sumitomo Corporation (11.7% shareholding) – Global resource, mining, marketing and trading conglomerate.
Board and management (7% shareholding)
As at 30 June 2016, the company had net cash of approximately A$10.7m to support exploration efforts globally, including potential drill programmes. Book value of net assets was A$15.6m (including A$5.1m of exploration assets) as at 30 June 2016
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