Orion confirms it's raising A$8m for BEE restructure

Orion Minerals [JSE:ORN] on Monday confirmed that it was raising A$8m in capital as part of a broader Black Empowerment Equity restructuring process.  

This would ensure the company was compliant with the Mining Charter, and was "likely to be underpinned by a group of high-profile black South African investors as part of a broader restructuring of the Company’s Black Empowerment Equity at operating level", Chairperson Denis Waddell said in a statement on Monday.

The capital would be raised at an issue price of A$0.04 per share – a 30% premium on its last traded price on the ASX – together with one free attaching option for every two shares issued, through a placement to "sophisticated and professional investors", Orion said.

Orion – which has its primary listing in Australia – on April 11 requested both the South African and Australian bourses to place an immediate trading halt on its securities, and on Monday, Orion requested to be placed in voluntary suspension from the day's trading, pending an announcement regarding its capital raising.

The miner focuses on zinc, copper, nickel, gold and platinum-group metals, and in January announced that Tembo Capital mining – its largest shareholder – had extended a loan of A$3.6m to advance Orion's flagship Prieska zinc/copper project in the Northern Cape.  

In its Monday statement, Orion described the capital raising transaction as "pivotal" ahead of the mining rights it expects to be granted for the Prieska project, and its delivery of the Bankable Feasibility Study later this quarter.

"In addition to strengthening its balance sheet as it moves towards project financing, the transactions will result in the introduction of a high-profile South African investor group to its share register, ensure an appropriate alignment and restructuring of its Black Economic Empowerment interests across both project and listed company levels, and significantly elevate its profile amongst South African institutional investors as it prepares to develop the Prieska Project," Orion said.

It would make a material announcement on the capital raising on cessation of its voluntary suspension, which it anticipates will end at the start of trading on April 16, Orion added.

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