Shares of Platinum Group Metals (TSX: PTM; NYSE-MKT: PLG) got a boost on the final trading day of 2013 after the company announced that it had completed a $175-million equity raise at $1.18 per share.
The proceeds will help fund the company’s second development phase at its WBJV1 platinum project in South Africa’s Bushveld complex, exploration and engineering work at its Waterberg joint-venture project and exploration at its Waterberg Extension project.
BMO Capital Markets and GMP Securities led the team of underwriters for the bought-deal financing that included CIBC World Markets, RBC Dominion Securities, Barclays Capital Canada, PI Financial Corp., Raymond James and Dundee Securities.
The financing couldn’t have come at a better time. In mid-October, Platinum Group Metals shares took a hit after Africa Wide Mineral Prospecting and Exploration, a subsidiary of Wesizwe Platinum, announced that it would not fund a US$21.8-million cash call for its 26% share of the WBJV1 platinum project. Platinum Group Metals owns 74% of the low-cost, high-grade project in the Western Limb of the Bushveld complex.
Edward Sterck of BMO Capital Markets in London says in a research note that the equity raise “substantially derisks the development of the conventionally mined WBJV1, whilst clearing the way for further evaluation of the mechanized, mining amenable — and somewhat unique — Waterberg project.”
He says that “barring unforseen further delays or cost inflation, the raised gross amount of $175 million should be sufficient to cover the completion cost of the WBJV1 to net-positive cash flow, including any cost overrun requirement on the project-finance facility.”
The company reported that assays from drilling on the Waterberg Extension project, adjacent and north of its Waterberg deposit, intersected 53 metres averaging 5.26 grams per tonne of platinum, palladium and gold (1.40 grams per tonne platinum, 3.59 grams per tonne palladium and 0.27 gram gold per tonne) from 556 metres to 609 metres in hole 8.
The hole is 340 metres northward along strike from the previously announced hole 2 at the Waterberg Extension project, which returned 15.6 metres grading 3.16 grams platinum, palladium and gold (1.11 grams platinum, 1.92 grams palladium and 0.13 gram gold) and 1,600 metres directly along strike from the Waterberg joint-venture project deposit.
The Waterberg Extension project and the Waterberg deposit are distinct from one another. Platinum Group Metals holds an 87% stake in the Waterberg Extension project and a 49.9% stake in the Waterberg project. Its joint-venture partners in Waterberg are Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., and Mnombo, a private-empowerment partner, holding the balance.
Platinum Group Metals’ shares were trading at $1.20 at press time. The company has 453 million shares outstanding.
Sterck of BMO Capital Markets has a $1.50-per-share target price.
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