Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Riversgold to use IPO proceeds in its search for Mondulkiri gold

Riversgold to use IPO proceeds in its search for Mondulkiri gold

A man holds a bag of smelted gold nuggets at a mining site in Preah Vihear province last year.
A man holds a bag of smelted gold nuggets at a mining site in Preah Vihear province last year. Heng Chivoan

Riversgold to use IPO proceeds in its search for Mondulkiri gold

Riversgold, an Australian gold exploration startup, will use the proceeds of its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) to acquire and develop mineral exploration projects in Australia, the US and Cambodia, according to a company prospectus.

The new mining company is looking to raise up to $6.3 million in its IPO later this month and list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) by the end of the year. The company has assembled an experienced management team headed by former Doray Minerals boss Allan Kelly, and is backed by Evolution Mining Ltd, Australia’s second-largest gold-mining firm, which has committed $2 million to the IPO.

Since incorporation in February, Riversgold has acquired Afranex and its gold project in Alaska, and entered into agreements with two Australian firms to acquire majority interests in their exploration projects in southern and eastern Australia. It has also concluded an agreement with Cambodia Gold Pty to purchase the company and its mineral-exploration licence applications.

“Riversgold has an existing portfolio of early stage projects in world-class gold terrains and through exploration and acquisition we intend to build a portfolio of high-quality gold assets,” Australian media quoted Kelly as saying. “Our intention is to continue to refresh our portfolio and monetise projects at the appropriate time in the project life cycle through partial/full sale and/or joint ventures to maximise shareholder returns.”

According to its prospectus, Riversgold will acquire the entire shareholding of Cambodia Gold upon listing. The little-known mining company was incorporated in Australia in July 2016 and registered a branch office in Cambodia earlier this year.

Reached by phone yesterday, Cambodia Gold Director John Hilton confirmed that the company has applied to the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) for two mineral exploration licences formerly held by Brighton Minerals, an Australian mining firm that entered voluntary administration in 2015 after being declared insolvent.

One licence covers three areas in Mondulkiri province – Kang Roland North, Antrong and Rapoah – with a combined total of 216 square kilometres. The licence was previously held by Brighton subsidiary Sun Hills Minerals. The other licence covers nearby Kang Roland South, a 137-square-kilometre tenement formerly held by Brighton subsidiary Summer Gold.

Preliminary exploration and test drilling on the tenements provided positive indicators of gold mineralisation, but much of the optimism surrounding the properties is due to their location. The tenements lie adjacent to Renaissance Mineral’s Okvau project, a 1.14-million-ounce gold deposit, and appear to have similar geological characteristics.

“Mineralisation that is the target of exploration on these concessions is likely to be similar to that found in the nearby Okvau deposit,” the prospectus said.

Renaissance Minerals, which ASX-listed Emerald Resources NL absorbed last year in a $96 million merger, holds a 10 percent stake in Riversgold.

Hilton, who is also a founder of Riversgold, said if Cambodia Gold is successful in its application for the former Brighton licences it could create synergies with Emerald’s existing operations.

“If we were able to find something it would be very attractive to Emerald and help with the development of their mine, and also provide more feed for their mill.”

MME spokesman Yos Monyrath confirmed the ministry has received applications for exploration licences from Cambodia Gold, though said a decision has not yet been made on whether it will reissue the mining licences that it revoked from Brighton subsidiaries Sun Hill and Summer Gold.

“Once we decide what to do with the licences, for instance to open them to bidders seeking exploration rights in the area, we will announce it,” he said. “Then any company, including Cambodia Gold, can submit an application to receive the licenses on a first-come-first-serve evaluation basis.”

Additional reporting by Hor Kimsay

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants