Ascent Resources Plc (LON: AST), the onshore Caribbean, Hispanic American and European focused energy and natural resources company, is pleased to announce the addition of an ESG Metals Strategy alongside its current resource focus and that it has raised £1 million before expenses by way of an oversubscribed subscription and placing of 9,997,032 ordinary shares of 0.5 pence each (“Ordinary Shares”) at 10.1 pence per Ordinary Share (the “Issue Price”) (the “Placing Shares”) (the “Placing”).
The Placing funds have been raised in support of the Company continuing to pursue its special situations growth strategy and in particular advancing towards its maiden transaction in the ESG metals sector.
ESG Metals Strategy
The Company has today included ESG Metals as a new target sector within its resource focused business. ESG Metals includes secondary mining and recovery opportunities which the Company sees as being consistent with Environmental , Social and Governance (‘ESG’) principles. Typically, these involve the reclassification, through highly efficient recovery techniques, of stockpiled surface mining waste (previously viewed as a liability for mining companies) as a valuable asset for reprocessing and commercial sale to industry, governments and metals traders.
The Company sees waste management, remediation and restoration of land impacted by historic and ongoing mining activities as a critical element in the global ESG agenda and integral to the transition to a low carbon economy. The Company is looking at a number of potential projects in Hispanic America and South Africa, as well as Australia. In particular, the Company believes there are good opportunities in gold, silver, platinum, base metals and ferrochrome, where the economics are especially attractive and the opportunity set has the ability of delivering lowest cost quartile sustainable metal production from legacy mining tailings, with low geological risk. Such opportunities have the potential to provide strong cash returns without exploration risk and only require modest upfront capital outlay.
The Company also continues to progress its oil and gas interests in Cuba and Slovenia and pursue its claims under the Energy Charter Treaty and the UK Slovenia Bilateral Investment Treaty, with regards to which as announced on 5 February the Company remains in direct negotiations with the Republic of Slovenia with a view to potentially settling the claim in an amicable manner in the short term. An updated version of the Company’s corporate presentation can be viewed at the following link;
Issue of New Equity
The Company has today raised £1 million at an Issue Price of 10.1 pence per share which represents a discount of approximately 12.5 per cent to the closing bid price of 11.5 pence on 10 February 2021 by way of an oversubscribed subscription and placing of new shares to institutional investors and existing shareholders . The Placing is being carried out by using all of the available share authority the Company is authorised to issue for cash and is conditional on admission of the Placing Shares to trading on AIM.
Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM (“Admission”) and it is expected that such Admission will occur at 8.00 a.m. on 18 February 2021 . The Placing Shares will be issued credited as fully paid and will rank in full for all dividends and other distributions declared, made or paid after the admission of the Placing Shares, respectively and will otherwise be identical to and rank on Admission pari passu in all respects with the existing Ordinary Shares. The Placing Shares are not being made available to the public and are not being offered or sold into any jurisdiction where it would be unlawful to do so.
Following Admission of the Placing Shares, together with shares issued during the month under the Company’s existing block admission, the Company will have 109,376,804 Ordinary Shares in issue, none of which will be held in treasury. Accordingly, the total number of voting rights in the Company will be 109,376,804 and shareholders may use this figure 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 Company under the FCA’s Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.
Andrew Dennan, CEO of Ascent, commented:
‘This is an important development for Ascent, as we look to broaden our business and identify rapid growth opportunities that add stability and balance to our portfolio. We believe that our skill sets can be very successfully deployed in the opportunity presented by the secondary mining of waste metals, where material volumes with significant economic upside can be reprocessed and sold all within an attractive ESG framework. We look forward to updating investors on our progress as we take this new strategic division forward in tandem with advancing our Cuban and Slovenian initiatives.’
Certain information contained in this announcement would have constituted inside information (as defined by Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014) (“MAR”) prior to its release as part of this announcement and is disclosed in accordance with the Company’s obligations under Article 17 of MAR.
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