Papua Mining’s future in the balance

Gold and copper explorer Papua Mining PLC said on Friday that its loss for the year narrowed and that it is aiming to secure funding for its mines in Papua New Guinea.

For calendar 2016, pretax loss narrowed to USD8.2 million from USD10.2 million the previous year.

The value of Papua Mining’s assets fell to GBP2.3 million from GBP9.6 million.

At the end of 2016, the company had USD453,517 in cash, up from GBP286,891.

Chairman Michael Jolliffe said Papua’s financial resources are limited, and the company is in talks with investors to provide additional funds.

Jolliffe stressed there was no guarantee that the discussions will be successful and should Papua fail to secure funds, he could “not cannot guarantee that the company will be able to continue trading indefinitely”.

During the year, Papua finished additional exploration on the Mt Visi licence and relinquished two additional licences which “had not shown sufficient promise in the initial exploration programmes”.

Papua currently holds six exploration licences granted by the Papua New Guinea government, which are located in the central part of New Britain Island and total 1,400 square kilometres.

Jolliffe said that greenfield exploration programmes such as the company’s in Papua New Guinea have been “very much out of favour amongst the investing community in the last few years”.

“Nonetheless, the work we have carried out has confirmed our belief that we are close to discovery of a copper porphyry system near surface at Mt Visi. Notwithstanding the currently depressed view that the market takes of early stage projects such as ours, we firmly believe that this will change in due course as the lack of recent exploration activity globally leads to an inevitable dearth of new projects to take to production,” he said.

“At that time, the technical attractiveness of what we have established at Mt Visi, and also at Tripela, will be recognized, thus presenting an opportunity to realise true value for the shareholders,” Jolliffe added.

He said that raising finance in current market conditions has been “extremely difficult” and so the company is aiming to preserve the work they have done in Papua New Guinea “for the benefit of the shareholders until such time as the realisation of that value may be achieved in the way most advantageous to the shareholders”.

Shares in Papua were down 9.4% to 1.20 pence on Friday.


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Filed under Exploration, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

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