AN exploration company seeking to mine what could be a multi-billion dollar seam of gold north of Bathurst is just months away from being listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Grasmont Mining executive chairman Ian Morwood has taken out exploration licences covering around 150 square kilometres of unexplored territory known as the Western Flank, just a few kilometres from the original Gold Rush fields at Hill End.
He first came across the target site in 2010 when he was struck by the sight of a bare stretch of land in the middle of dense bushland - a sign, he said, of gold sulphides and copper sulphides coming up through the soil.
That set him on the path of a decade-long campaign to determine what might be beneath the ground and after initial sampling produced positive results, Mr Morwood is finally ready to chase the capital he needs to fund the next stage of the project, including drilling exploration and building tracks into the bushland site.
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Mr Morwood hopes to raise $300 million through an initial public offering (IPO) on the Australian Stock Exchange, with the stock likely to be listed in August.
Before that, Mr Morwood will embark on a "roadshow" taking the Grasmont Information Memorandum to some of Australia's largest institutional investors - mostly superannuation firms - seeking support for the IPO.
"The stockbrokers will determine the opening price on the stock exchange after we do the roadshow but I would expect it will open around $3," Mr Morwood said.
"What I would really like, though, is for half of the investors to be institutional investors and the other half to be retail investors, or mums and dads, because the opportunity is there for everyone to get on the bandwagon."
The information memorandum Mr Morwood has produced to sell the IPO calls the western area of the Hill End Goldfields "an unexplored province, with extraordinary gold and copper potential".
"[It stands] between two of the richest gold areas in Australia, if not the world," the memorandum states.
"It is part of the historical and fabled Hill End goldfield and is less than 100 kilometres from Newcrest's $100 billion Cadia Ridgeway gold/copper mine. But somehow it has managed to escape exploration until now."
The Information Memorandum concludes with the pitch that "Grasmont believes it has, at Hill End, an unexplored, world-class gold/copper province with the potential for ... mines worth over $100 billion and life cycles of 60 years or more".
Mr Morwood has a family history in gold mining.
"My great grandfather came out in 1853 to the Bendigo goldfields and my grandfather was born on the Argyle goldfields so I grew up with those stories," he said.
"When I retired I decided to visit some of those goldfields and that's how I ended up in Hill End."
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