Alba Mineral Resources plc (AIM: ALBA) is pleased to announce that it has acquired a 49 per cent interest in Gold Mines of Wales Limited (“GMOW”), the ultimate owner of the Clogau Gold Project situated within the Dolgellau Gold Belt in Wales, United Kingdom (the “Project”). The Project comprises the Clogau Gold Mine and includes a large number of highly prospective gold targets and former gold workings within a total option area of 106.94 km².
· Alba acquires 49% of the Clogau Gold Project in Wales for 83,333,333 Alba shares (valuing the total consideration at approximately £316,667 based on the Company’s closing share price on 1 December 2017)
· The Dolgellau Gold Belt has produced about 131,000 oz of gold, by far the most of any region within the United Kingdom. Most of this gold (81,000 oz) has been exploited from the historic Clogau-St David’s mine that lies within the Project area (“Clogau Gold Mine”).
· Alba’s review of the Project concludes that there is a high potential to find unworked veins containing gold mineralisation of similar grade to that known in historic mines in the area.
· Alba will use its expertise as an operator of mining projects to assist GMOW to fast-track development of the Project.
· The focus will be on bringing the Clogau Gold Mine back into production and also making a push into the regional exploration of the wider Project area.
· The Clogau Gold Project is highly complementary to Alba’s suite of assets, and bolsters Alba’s focus on the UK onshore natural resources sector (Horse Hill, Brockham).
· Welsh Gold bullion is potentially worth between three and five times the spot gold price, which further enhances the attractiveness of the Project.
· The British Royal Family has been using Welsh Gold to create their wedding rings for about a century.
George Frangeskides, Alba’s Executive Chairman, commented:
“We are delighted to announce that we have secured a significant stake in the Clogau Gold Project. The Project fits squarely within Alba’s strategy to identify projects which include former working mines which have both near-mine expansion potential but also have significant exploration upside in the wider project area.”
“The opportunity presented by this Project is pretty unique – high grade gold in the heart of the United Kingdom, the fact that Welsh gold attracts a significant premium over spot rates, the historic connections of Welsh gold with the heritage of the United Kingdom, the potential for finding more gold in the vastly under-explored exploration ground – all these are factors which together make a strong case for investment.”
“The Clogau Gold Mine is also complementary to our existing UK onshore assets, being our oil and gas interests at Horse Hill and Brockham in the Weald Basin in Surrey. In these times of great change for the United Kingdom, Alba is championing our domestic natural resources industry and channelling investment back into UK PLC.”
From the early 1800s to the late 1990s the Dolgellau Gold Belt produced about 131,000 oz of gold, by far the most of any region within the United Kingdom. Gold is principally derived from high grade, narrow vein mesothermal deposits. In turn, most of this gold (81,000 oz) has been exploited from the historic Clogau-St David’s mine that lies within the Project area (the “Clogau Gold Mine”). Gold production records are known from 12 mines, but there are over 300 smaller workings and trials in the area. Despite its high prospectivity, the area is considered to be underexplored and most of it has yet to be subject to sustained modern exploration at a deposit scale.
A unique feature of the Gold Belt is that gold has been used to produce Welsh Gold jewellery. The British Royal Family has been using Welsh Gold to create their wedding rings since 1923 and, since 1992, jewellery containing Welsh Gold has been produced commercially. Welsh Gold bullion is potentially worth between three and five times the spot gold price which further enhances the attractiveness of exploration in this area.
Very little contemporary gold-focused exploration has been undertaken in the region. The most recent work outside of individual historic mine sites was Government-funded reconnaissance programmes in the 1970s. Nonetheless, these programmes provided useful data to help identify new exploration targets. Alba has obtained and reviewed a comprehensive amount of regional geological, geochemical and geophysical data. Aside from the data made available by GMOW, there is also a significant volume of data and reports on the Dolgellau Gold Belt and the Clogau Gold Mine that is already in the public domain.
Based on the outcome of this review, the Company has concluded that there is a high potential within the Project area to find unworked veins containing gold mineralisation of similar style and grade to that known in historic mines in the area. This includes near-mine exploration targets and new regional targets. As such, this has led the Company to agree a strategy with GMOW to target both the work needed to bring the former Clogau Gold Mine back into production while at the same time making a push into the regional exploration of the wider Project area.
The Project is underpinned by an Option Agreement between GMOW Operations, Her Majesty The Queen and The Crown Estate Commissioners by which agreement GMOW Operations was granted the right to prospect and mine the Project area subject to the terms and conditions set out in the agreement. The Option Agreement was renewed on 14th August 2015 and the boundaries encompass an area of 106.94 km², split between three sub-areas. The Option is valid for a period of six years from the commencement date, which is stated as 10th February 2015, and is subject to two yearly progress reviews by The Crown. The last review was successfully concluded in Q3 2017.
Alba intends to assist GMOW to fast-track the redevelopment of the Clogau Gold Mine. Notably this will include preparation of a planning application to be submitted for the re-opening of the mine. Initially, Alba plans to undertake detailed underground structural mapping and sampling to modernise the geological interpretation of the Project.
Thereafter, the Project partners intend to consider the commissioning of an airborne magnetic and electro-magnetic (EM) survey over the most prospective areas of the Project, being the near-mine and other regional target areas. The objective will be to detect deeper targets at and around the Clogau Gold Mine itself which have never been drilled or mined, as well to identify significant structures within the wider exploration ground for follow-up drilling.
In conjunction with GMOW, Alba will be inviting leading UK based mineral consulting groups to tender to work on this unique project.
Alba has agreed to issue 83,333,333 Alba fully paid ordinary shares to Primorus Investments Plc for a 49 per cent shareholding in Gold Mines of Wales Limited, which is the ultimate parent company of GMOW (Operations) Limited, the owner of the Project. The consideration is valued at approximately £316,667 (based on the Company’s closing share price on 1 December 2017). All Alba consideration shares issued to the vendor shall be subject to orderly marketing restrictions for a period of six months.
Alba shall prepare all budgets and work programmes for the Project, which shall be agreed upon jointly by the shareholders. If either shareholder does not fund its proportionate share of the programme, it shall be diluted pro rata in accordance with an industry standard dilution formula.
Admission to AIM
Application will be made for the 83,333,333 new ordinary Alba shares to be admitted to trading on AIM (“Admission”). It is expected that Admission will become effective at 8.00 a.m. on 8 December 2017. The new ordinary shares will be issued credited as fully paid and will rank in full for all dividends and other distributions declared, made or paid after Admission and will otherwise rank on Admission pari passu in all respects with the existing ordinary shares.
Total Voting Rights
Following Admission, the total number of ordinary shares in issue will be 2,331,948,268. The Company does not hold any ordinary shares in treasury. Therefore, the total number of ordinary shares with voting rights will be 2,331,948,268. This figure 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, the share capital of the Company under the Financial Conduct Authority’s Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
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