INDOCHINE Mining, which claims to be Cambodia’s largest mineral miner by land concessions, began trading on the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday with a market capitalisation of A$54 million (US$53.2 million).
The company’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Promnitz said the bulk of its 270 million tradable shares were owned by institutional investors seeking exposure to the Kingdom’s “expanding economy” and “resources in a new frontier such as Cambodia”.
“The great thing about Cambodia is it has not had a great amount of modern exploration,” he told The Post yesterday.
The company is “confident” of a “large discovery”, given the Kingdom’s history of limited exploration coupled with the large grants of land.
Indochine holds 2,900 square kilometres of land in Ratanakkiri province, in northern Cambodia, and another 1,400 square kilometres in Kratie province, “I don’t think we’d be there otherwise,” said Promnitz.
The gold and copper explorer listed on the ASX in Sydney at A$0.20 a share after a successful initial public offering in October.
The IPO raised $20.1 million, exceeding its minimum target of $12 million.
Indochine’s share price fell to a low of A$0.16 during the first day of trading, finally closing 3 cents down at $0.17.
Promnitz said such a large capital raising for the small explorer was important to show the company could “manage for at least the next two years of exploration without a problem”.
Convincing institutional shareholders to invest was “fairly straightforward” because of the experience of Indochine’s Cambodia-based chief geologist, David Meade, and the firm’s experience in the Kingdom.
“David Meade is very familiar with exploration in Cambodia, so on the technical side [the investors] were quite comfortable,” he said.
“Also the company has been in Cambodia for four years … and stayed during the global financial crisis … so we’re pretty familiar with it. This gives people confidence.”
Chairman Ian Ross stated the company aimed to become a “significant mining presence” in Southeast Asia.
Seed investor Jabre Capital Partners, a Geneva-based institutional investor, remains one of the largest shareholders with 7.65 percent, according to Indochine’s “top 20 shareholders” filing with the Australian Stock Exchange.
ASX-listed Kingsgate Mining
Consolidated, a company which operates Thailand’s largest gold mine in Chatree and where Promnitz previously worked as corporate development manager, also makes the top 20 list.
It has a shareholding in Indochine of 3.7 percent.
Other institutional investors hail from a diverse range of countries.These include the United Kingdom, the United States, Papua New Guinea, China, Malaysia, Australia, Germany and Hong Kong, the chief executive officer said.