Wednesday, June 27, 2012

PNGSDP buys 13% of Highlands Pacific

THE PNG Sustainable Development Program, majority shareholder of the giant Ok Tedi mine, has subscribed 13.04% private share placement in Highlands Pacific for US$15 million, chief executive officer David Sode announced on Monday.
Highlands Pacific also announced on Monday that it had entered into a share placement agreement with PNGSDP, which invested US$15 million into Highlands.
The placement allows PNGSDP a seat on the Highlands Pacific board.
“The assets of Highlands Pacific represent good value at the agreed price,” Sode said.
“Two of the Highlands Pacific assets -- the Star Mountains exploration assets and the share of the Frieda River development property -- have potentially large synergies with the company’s interests in the future of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd, and in North Fly development.
“The synergies include the use of the North Fly power resources being developed by PNG Energy Developments Ltd (PNGSDP’s joint venture with Origin Energy Ltd), the use of the education and training facilities of the Star Mountains Institute of Technology in Tabubil, and the use of town facilities in Tabubil.“The effective use of these synergies will materially assist the Star Mountains and Frieda River mining developments, and enhance PNGSDP’s development interests in the North Fly.
“PNGSDP looks forward to working with Highlands Pacific to advance the shared interests of the two companies.”
Managing director of Highlands Pacific John Gooding said on Monday: “As stated the other day the relationship with PNGSDP has the potential to deliver significant benefits to Highlands, giving it the financial and technical backing of a very large investment company that has strong ties in Papua New Guinea and is the majority shareholder of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd.”
Highlands Pacific said under the agreement, PNGSDP would subscribe for 102,930,373 fully paid ordinary shares to raise US$15 million (A$14.9 million equivalent), which results in an issue price of approximately A$0.145 per share.
Upon completion of the placement, Highlands Pacific will have approximately US$23 million in cash reserves and will be well placed to continue its exploration programme at Star Mountains for the next 18-24 months.
As part of the agreement, Highlands will appoint a PNGSDP nominee to the Highlands’ board of directors.
The placement will be undertaken by Highlands under its 15% limit and at the completion of the placement PNGSDP will hold a 13.04% interest in the company.
The placement will be conditional on Highlands obtaining a waiver from ASX Listing Rule 6.18 to grant PNGSDP a right to participate on a pro-rata basis in any future capital raisings.
It is anticipated that this waiver will be granted shortly and following the receipt of this Highlands will receive the placement funding from PNGSDP.
The rights attaching to this fall away should PNGSDP’s shareholding in Highlands drop below 10%

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