Last Friday Arkle Resources (ARK.L) announced that global mining major Glencore, subject to shareholder approval, will take a 26.7% stake (non-diluted) in Arkle’s Stonepark JV partner Group Eleven Resources Corp (ZNG.V) by investing C$750K through a private placement.
Glencore already held an 11.6% stake (non-diluted) following an initial investment of C$1m in October ‘19. Glencore also purchased off-take rights of the metal on Group Eleven’s pro-rata-share of its zinc projects in Ireland at the time.
Despite a significant increase in Arkle’s share price over the last week from near all-time lows of 0.5p, we believe the market has not fully grasped the importance of Glencore’s positioning at Stonepark and highly advantageous JV terms Arkle has in place on the Joint Venture.
JV Terms Favourable
Arkle holds a 23.44% stake in the Stonepark Zinc Project, with Group Eleven holding most of the remainder. The historical expenditure and dilution terms of the JV are favourable to Arkle. If the management choose to dilute its share, its partner would need to spend €1m, but this would only dilute Arkle to around 21%, or €2m to dilute to 19% and so forth. This gives Arkle flexibility in deciding when or not to participate. In any case, Arkle has already indicated it will be maintaining its stake for now as stated on 21 April when announcing its planned August drilling (subject to Covid-19 restrictions). The further cash raise of £250K revealed last Monday, means that Arkle is positioned to either participate going forward or can opt to dilute.
On metal rights, Arkle has the right to market and sell its percentage of any metal produced, assuming its interest in the project remains above 10%. Such metal rights give Arkle an additional economic asset in the project, along with its plain vanilla project stake, and could thus be sold to another company or in a negotiated deal with Glencore, at a later stage.
Stonepark Benefits to Glencore
There are two very beneficial aspects of Stonepark to Glencore. The first comes from the presence of its own project at Pallas Green that lies just to the east, where an Inferred Resource of 45.4 million tonnes at a combined grading of 8% combined zinc and lead has been identified. Although Pallas Green has a much larger resource than Stonepark’s Inferred Resource of 5.1 million tonnes at 11.3% zinc and lead combined, defined to date, it lies at a shallower depth and could prove more economic to mine than Pallas Green, especially if a higher grade is maintained as the resource size grows through further exploration or could be mined first if both resources were combined.
The second is the exploration potential to the south of the Pallas Green Resource, where the two projects border each other. Arkle has announced that drilling indicated the presence of highly prospective geology around Kilteely in the south of the Stonepark project.
Given this interest by Glencore in Group Eleven, we are hopeful that Stonepark can now be advanced at an accelerated rate and such blue-chip miner activity could raise investor interest levels further in key stake holders such as Arkle Resources.
Despite the 89% increase in the share price since last Friday in response to the JV partner’s funding, strengthened balance sheet from recent placing, Arkle’s valuation remains unfairly in sub micro-cap territory, with a market cap of around £2m and the shares trading at less than half their two year highs of 3.15p. For the manifold of reasons explained above, First Equity Limited continues to rate Arkle Resources as a ‘ Buy’.
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*First Equity Limited acts as Broker to Arkle Resources plc.
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