Indian PGM float attracts £14m

Richard Healey, chairman of Platinum Mining Corporation of India (PMCI), says investors have offered to put up £14 million at 22p for the company’s AIM float placing, as against an original target of £8 million.

WH Ireland is broker and nominated adviser to Dorset-based PMCI, which is valued at £39 million at the placing price. With experienced mining figure Dr Steven Newbery as managing director and a board including former Warburg mining chief and current Falkland Gold director Rob Weinberg, Healey, himself an ex-boss of Morgan Crucible’s international arm, says PMCI aims to take advantage of India’s recently liberalised mining scene.

The company has 70 per cent of a joint venture with local company Ferro Alloys Corporation (FACOR) to exploit the Boula deposit in India’s north-eastern state of Orissa, which has a tradition of mining. Earlier French studies in the 1990s suggested 680,000 oz of platinum group metals (PGMs) were contained in part of the deposit, while chromite stockpiles left over from previous mining are thought to contain nearly 25 million tonnes with ten grammes of PGMs per tonne of ore.

Under Indian rules, to obtain final transfer of the Boula mining rights, PMCI must first delineate an up-to-date resource estimate and submit a mining plan. To this end, the joint venture, which is committed to spend some £20 million on the project, hopes to have a bankable feasibility study completed by the third quarter of next year, when the decision to mine will be taken.

Healey sees India’s economic growth prospects as underpinning the Boula project. Metals group Johnson Matthey plans to build a PGM-using catalytic converter plant nearby.

Leslie Copeland

Leslie Copeland

Leslie was made Editor for Growth Company Investor magazine in 2000, then headed up the launch of Business XL magazine, and then became Editorial Director in 2007 for the online and print publication portfolio...

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