Axiom Mining lands A$5M funding, enters strategic partnership with Anitua

isabel nickel

Axiom Mining | Proactive Investors

Axiom Mining has entered into a strategic partnership with Anitua Limited, which is providing A$5 million in funding to advance development of the Isabel Nickel Project in Solomon Islands.

The company has also been awarded costs of SBD$29.3 million (A$4.7 million) by the Solomon Islands High Court in relation to its victory over Sumitomo.

Anitua is one of Papua New Guinea’s most experienced companies and is a highly experienced exploration and mining services contractor in the Pacific region. Its clients include ExxonMobil, InterOil, Newcrest (Lihir Gold) and Ramu NiCo.

In addition to the unsecured loan of A$5 million, the two parties have also agreed to negotiate arms’ length commercial terms for a range of services to be provided by Anitua for the Isabel project.

This may include exploration drilling, construction, camp management and contract mining.

The loan is repayable either in cash or in fully paid ordinary shares in Axiom at $0.02 per share, at the sole discretion of Axiom by no later than 7th July 2015.

“This partnership is a strong endorsement of Axiom’s strategy to develop the nickel resources of Solomon Islands in a respectful and culturally sensitive manner,” chief executive officer Ryan Mount said.

“It gives Axiom immediate access to funds to achieve project milestones, while Anitua gets the opportunity to provide the Isabel Nickel Project with contract mining services at market rates.

“There is a natural synergy between Axiom and Anitua — both companies are experienced in working with local communities in the Pacific, with a focus on collaboration and capacity building to ensure successful long-term operations.”

Anitua chief executive officer Colin Vale added that the potential size of the deposit, Axiom’s ability to deliver on milestones and their collaborative approach with stakeholders gave Anitua the confidence to offer its services and provide capital for development of the project.

Court costs awarded

Following the Solomon Islands High Court dismissing in September Sumitomo’s claims, Axiom has now being awarded A$4.7 million in court costs.

The company will be entitled to recover the costs upon obtaining a favourable judgment in the appeal lodged by Sumitomo in the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands, which will be heard by a panel of three Commonwealth judges.

Axiom expects to be notified in January 2015 of a hearing date for the appeal.

Sumitomo is to provide the Court with an irrevocable and unconditional bank guarantee with a commercial bank in Solomon Islands by 16 January 2015 for the full sum of SBD$29.3 million.

It is also required to provide to the court with another irrevocable and unconditional bank guarantee with a commercial bank in Solomon Islands for the sum of US$177,200 (A$217,712) as security for Axiom’s costs of the appeal.

Axiom remains assured of the validity of its rights and will respond to the forthcoming appeal.

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Filed under Exploration, Solomon Islands

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