Venture minerals

Venture Minerals attracts institutional support for $6 million raising 

Critical minerals explorer Venture Minerals (ASX:VMS) has received firm commitments from NorthStar Impact Fund and Lion Selection Group for a collective contribution of $3.5 million to its current placement.

The company has raised $6 million to fund an 18-month strategy aimed at delivering a maiden resource and a subsequent resource upgrade for its Jupiter Rare Earths Project in Western Australia.

This comes after it secured its joint venture partner’s 30% stake in the Jupiter and the Brothers Project for $1.5 million in shares. 

NorthStar Impact Fund, which invests in companies with positive environmental and social outcomes, has committed $2.5 million to the placement.

Lion Selection Group (ASX:LSX), meanwhile, is contributing $1 million, with the investment marking its first backing of a critical minerals project.  

CEO Hedley Widdup says, to date, Lion has assembled a portfolio that is mainly gold, and gold-base metals focused companies because that’s where the investment firm has seen the least risk and highest value propositions over the last two years. 

“Valuations of critical minerals companies have reduced significantly from recent highs which has created opportunities for Lion,” he says.

“Adding Venture to the Lion portfolio provides exposure to a large, high-grade, shallow rare earth element project that is well located with respect to downstream processing that is under construction in Western Australia.”

Lion Selection will acquire 35.2 million shares previously held by Acuity Capital. 

Jupiter spans 40km2 about 230km inland of Geraldton in the Mid West region of the state.

Part of Venture’s strategy is to divest its Tasmanian assets and rebrand. 

The company announced last month it struck a deal to sell its Riley Iron Ore Mine, which is held by wholly owned subsidiary Venture Iron, to Goldvalley Brown Stone for $3 million in cash and the return of its $585,000 environmental bond.

Venture wants to avoid numerous dilutionary capital raisings usually associated with delivering a maiden resource and follow-on upgrades. 

Managing Director Philippa Leggat says the low-cost nature of the Jupiter discovery means that Venture can leverage exploration dollars very effectively and focus on these major milestones from one financing.

“The early institutional support for its strategy validates the importance of doing the work the right way. No short cuts. Build a solid foundation for Jupiter to rise from,” she says. 

“The idea is a ‘one-and-done’ capital raising with no going back to the market so we will be focusing on the metallurgy. This could be the only opportunity to get set or you’re buying on market.”

Under the placement, Venture will issue around 293 million shares at $0.019 each in two tranches. 

Non-executive Chairman Tim Lindley and non-executive director Nicholas Cernotta will subscribe for 10.5 million shares, contributing $200,000 to the placement. 

Venture is also offering shareholders the option to purchase $30,000 worth of new shares at the same price as the placement to raise an additional $1 million. 

Post capital raising, Venture will have about $12.1 million in cash.

Aitken Mount Capital Partners, Bell Potter Securities, and Evolution Capital acted as joint lead managers to the placement.

Write to Angela East at Mining.com.au 

Images: Venture Minerals 
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Written By Angela East
Managing Editor Angela East is an experienced business journalist and editor with over 15 years spent covering the resources and construction sectors and more recently working as a communications specialist handling media relations for junior resources companies.