The Namibia-focused exploration and development company Auryx Gold, which will list on the TSX at the beginning of July, brings together an interesting mix of people.
The chairperson of the new company is Bongani Mtshisi, who is BSC Resources CEO, while Tim Searcy, who founded Luna Gold Corporation, and Nautilus Minerals, is its president. Heye Daun takes up the role of Africa president and operations director, having most recently worked for the Bright Group, an adviser to and shareholder in Auryx. Prior to that, he was a resources analyst at Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa.
Other advisors and shareholders include Toronto-based PowerOne Capital Markets, Pinetree Capital, Rosseau Asset Management and Macquarie Bank.
Auryx bought the Otjikoto gold prospect located in north-central Namibia from Teal Mining & Exploration, after a competitive bidding process. Teal is equally owned by Brazil's Vale and South Africa's African Rainbow Minerals.
Otjikoto contains nearly two-million indicated and inferred gold ounces, and has "excellent potential to expand its existing resource", Auryx says. The company adds that it has an "extensive deal pipeline for complementary acquisitions".
The property is the same geographical area as AngloGold Ashanti's Navachab, Namibia's only gold mine, which produces 80 000 oz/year. Meanwhile, Gold One (which changed its name from Aflease Gold in 2008) holds a prospecting right over the nearby Etendeka deposit, while Canada's Teck Resources has prospecting joint ventures with companies including TSX Venture Exchange-listed Helio Resources and TSX-listed INV Metals.
Daun tells Mining Weekly Online that "there are definitely many permutations possible here" for discussing potential synergies with the others in the neighbourhood, but that Auryx's focus for now will remain on bedding down the new company, progressing with exploration programmes and, ultimately, project development.
The company could scarecly have chosen a better time to bring a gold project to the market, with the price of the yellow metal threatening to again reach new records, having soared to above $1 260/oz earlier in the month.
Auryx, should it be brought into production, would generate revenue in Namibian dollars, a currency that is pegged to the South African rand. The rand/gold price has remained above R300 000/kg for most of June, having only once previously breached that level back in early 2009.
Auryx itself was formed after the reverse takeover of BSC by Toronto-based Tova. Before the listing, Auryx expects to raise C$45-million, most of which would go towards paying Teal for Otjikoto and then drilling the project.