Thursday, February 22, 2007

A 3 MONTH trading halt - unbelievable

Primer on my investment outlook

Australasian calls for patience

WITH the trading halt of magnetite hopeful Australasian Resources now entering its third month, the company's managing director has called on his shareholders to remain patient as the company looks to secure financing.

Australasian Resources managing director Darren Hedley

Australasian Resources managing director Darren Hedley overseeing drilling at the Balmoral Southern Block magnetite deposit in the Pilbara

Drilling at Australasian Resources Blamoral Southern Block magnetite deposit in the Pilbara

Australasian, which last year announced a deal with Clive Palmer's private group Mineralogy over the Balmoral South magnetite project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, has been in a trading halt since mid-December.

As the deal delivers Palmer around 80% of Australasian's issued capital, the transaction is effectively a reverse takeover and the company is required to have at least 12 months worth of working capital before it can be re-admitted to trading on the Australian Stock Exchange.

However, Australasian is hoping to secure sufficient capital that will help fund the long-term development of the project.

Australasian managing director Darren Hedley told MiningNews.net that among the options being negotiated were deals that would cover the construction and development of the project by a third party, similar to the deal secured by Palmer over the George Palmer deposit.

Hong Kong-listed, Chinese-backed CITIC Pacific paid Palmer $290 million for the right to mine 1 billion tonnes of ore from George Palmer, with CITIC currently pressing ahead with the development of the deposit.

In addition, Hedley said Australasian was discussing a number of short-term financing options that would see the company raise sufficient working capital to allow the company's shares to resume trading.

Hedley said he understood why some shareholders would be frustrated by the trading halt, but the company was committed to getting the long-term financing deal right.

"This is a 25-year, multi-billion dollar project, so taking a few extra weeks at this early stage to ensure we get it right is sensible," he said.

Yesterday, Australasian announced it had taken the resource base at Balmoral South well past the 1Bt mark, with the 1.1Bt of magnetite ore split roughly 50:50 between the indicated and inferred categories.

Previously, the resource at the project totalled 958t magnetite ore.

Hedley said the company had been converting the inferred resources to indicated status at around a 90% conversion rate, with the current indicated resources alone sufficient to justify a 15-year mine life.

"We're pretty close to having all the ore we need to find," Hedley said.

Click here to read the rest of today's news stories.


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