Orion Minerals plans to raise A$25m ($19.5m) through share placement to advance the development of the Prieska Copper-Zinc Project and the Okiep Copper Complex project in South Africa.

It intends to raise the capital through a two-tranche placement to sophisticated and professional investors.

Subject to shareholder approval, the placement will comprise nearly 694.4 million shares to be issued at A$0.036 ($0.028) per fully paid ordinary share.

While the first tranche of about 490-million shares will raise A$17.6m ($13.99m) under the Orion’s existing placement capacity, the second tranche comprises 204-million shares, raising a further A$7.4m ($5.88m).

Orion managing director Errol Smart said: “This is a transformational capital raising for Orion which marks the culmination of many years of hard work, firstly to bring the Prieska project to the point where it is now one of the very few fully permitted and development-ready base metal projects anywhere in the world.

“Our more recent Okiep copper complex (OCC) transaction is also a game changer for the company, bringing an outstanding asset in a premier copper mining district into our portfolio, which we believe can be brought into production relatively quickly.”

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By GlobalData

The new capital will be used by Orion Minerals to advance the development-ready Prieska Copper-Zinc Project to a final investment decision (FID) scheduled in the latter half of this year.

The company also plans to undertake early-works and get a comprehensive project funding package.

Following the capital raise, the company will move ahead with resource evaluation and exploration work at the Okiep Copper Complex.

Additionally, the company plans to use the proceeds for progressing an exploration programme across various near-mine and regional exploration targets which were recently defined in the Areachap Province of the Northern Cape.

Earlier this month, Orion Minerals said it had secured an option for acquiring and consolidating dominant ownership of the Okiep Copper Complex.