How does a $30m company score a $70m earn-in deal?

PolarX has been plugging away at its huge Alaska Range Project since 2017 with a focus on three core prospects
7th June 2019
Resources Rising Stars

PolarX has been plugging away at its huge Alaska Range Project since 2017 with a focus on three core prospects — Zackly, Mars and Saturn (reports Stockhead).

The Mars and Saturn porphyry targets could be absolutely gigantic – which is why PolarX needed deep pockets to help fund exploration.

The Saturn magnetic body, for example, is comparable in scale and geometry to Grasberg, one of the world largest copper-gold mines.

It has vertical extent of 3km.

In February, PolarX told Stockhead that it had signed a confidentiality agreement with a major mining company “with a view to them investing in PolarX”.

Now we know who that major player is – Lundin Mining.

The $4.71 billion market cap Lundin Mining is a diversified Canadian base metals miner with operations in Chile, the US, Portugal and Sweden.

But it wasn’t the only potential partner knocking on the door, Bojanjac told Stockhead on the sidelines of the Resources Rising Stars conference on the Gold Coast.

“There was seven or eight — and every single one of them contacted us,” he says

There were bigger companies in the mix, but Lundin is “about the right size”, says Bojanjac.

“A billion-dollar discovery here moves the dial for them. They looked at several-hundred projects before committing to this one.”

PolarX has secured an initial $4.3m investment from Lundin for 14.3 per cent of the company.

But that’s not all. The deal includes an exclusive option to earn a 51 per cent interest in PolarX’s Saturn and Mars porphyry copper gold targets by staged spending of US$24M on exploration and staged payments to PolarX of US$20M.

That’s a potentially game changing $70m deal for PolarX, which currently has a market cap of just $30 million.

Importantly, the advanced Zackly copper gold prospect is excluded from the earn‐in area.

PolarX will use the $4.3m to fund an exploration program on Mars and Saturn, to be completed by the end of 2019. Lundin will then make decide whether it wants to enter into the three‐year earn‐in period for a joint venture.

“We will start the season with $8.5m — 50 per cent will go into those porphyry targets,” says Bojanjac.

“Between Lundin and PolarX we can maximise the chance of finding this thing quickly.”

 

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