True North Copper debuts on ASX following Duke Exploration merger

Australian copper specialist True North Copper (ASX:TNC) has begun trading on the ASX under the ticker TNC following its merger with Duke Exploration (ASX:DEX). 

As part of the merger and listing process, the company recently completed an underwritten capital raising and a priority offer to existing Duke Exploration shareholders, raising a total of $37.3 million at $0.25 per share. The proceeds of the raise funded the company’s acquisition of its Mt Oxide Project, which was completed on 6 June 2023. 

Speaking to Mining.com.au, True North Copper Managing Director Marty Costello says the company’s motivation for its public listing was to give its investors ‘absolute certainty and transparency’ around the pathway for them to receive tradable shares. 

Managing Director says: “We made the decision to try and align with a group like Duke Exploration, who have got investors with interest in Queensland copper.

We thought there were good synergies between both outfits, and that also gave our shareholders absolute certainty that they’re going to be listing on the ASX.”

The company began trading with a market capitalisation of $115.4 million, a share price of $0.25, and zero debt. 

As of 3:00pm, True North’s shares were trading at $0.24. 

Commenting on the share price movement, Costello says: “There are multitudes of reasons why people sell, and we can’t control that. What we can control is out business plan.

What we can control is out business plan”

I think there’s probably a combination of it being the end of the financial year, selling — which typically happens. But what’s more important to me is actually the fact that the stock has rebounded and rebounded quite strongly back to sort of the $0.25 IPO price.”

In any case, Costello says the company’s ASX listing is the latest milestone in its ‘transformation’ into Australia’s next copper producer.

“With funds raised via our offer and our recently completed acquisition of the high-grade Mt Oxide copper-cobalt-silver project, we have all the assets in place to achieve this. 

This timing is excellent given the current price cycle for copper and expected supply deficit in the next few years”

This timing is excellent given the current price cycle for copper and expected supply deficit in the next few years. We have a large combined Indicated, Measured, and Inferred JORC resource base, containing 326,000 tonnes of copper, as well as significant cobalt, gold, and silver infrastructure, including a copper concentrator, solvent extraction plant and copper sulphate crystallisation plant. 

We plan to move into production in the second half of CY2023, subject to successful technical studies and further financing if required, while we will continue to explore our projects for opportunities to expand our resource base, with drilling commenced at Mt Oxide’s Vero Resource underway.”

True North expects its first sales from copper sulphate production over the coming weeks, with copper concentrate production expected to restart immediately following the completion of a restart study due in Q3 CY23.

In addition, Costello shares that the company is weeks away from its first cash flow out of the solvent extraction (SX) plant at the Cloncurry Project, which will continue once True North’s restart studies are finalised in mid-July 2023. 

The company’s portfolio includes the Cloncurry Hub, a package consolidated from various vendors centred around the Great Australia Mine Complex and associated infrastructure currently on care and maintenance, and its recently acquired Mt Oxide Project. 

True North Copper is an ASX-listed copper, cobalt, and critical minerals mining company headquartered in Cairns, Queensland.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au

Images: True North Copper Ltd
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.