The ASX is proving fertile ground for Canadian-listed miners and explorers who believe they will be more appreciated by local investors than if they had remained listed solely on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).
TSX-to-ASX "migrants" cite poor liquidity on the Canadian bourse, coupled with subdued investor interest in junior resource plays.
But for advanced explorer Golden Horse Minerals, the reasons for seeking a dual ASX listing are more fundamental: “all our assets are in Australia, our management team is in Australia and our shareholders are mostly in Australia,” says chairman and interim CEO Graeme Sloan.
Previously known as Altan Rio Minerals, the company focussed mainly on Mongolia and South America. A decade ago, the company turned its attention to the Southern Cross region, under the careful watch of then company chairman and WA gold legend John Jones.
Nestled between Perth and Kalgoorlie, the Southern Cross Yilgarn Greenstone Belt has produced 12 million ounces over the last century.
But Sloan says it has also been “incredibly” underexplored, mainly because of the disparate ownership of the tenements.
Golden Horse has sought to change all of that with an aggressive "land grab".
In February this year, Golden Horse entered an option to acquire 90 per cent of a 115 square kilometre tenement between Southern Cross and Bullfinch.
In June, Golden Horse bought Torque Metals’ Bullfinch project, adding an additional 572 square kilometres. Bullfinch includes workings around the old Withers mine, which has recorded bumper grades of up to 37.5 grams per tonne.
In August Golden Horse acquired the Ennuin Package, including a strategic prospecting lease within the historic 1.5-million-ounce Copperhead gold mine. It also picked up a series of historic underground gold mining operations known as Birthday (or variants on the name).
“We started off with about ten square kilometres of ground; we now have more than 900 square kilometres,” Sloan says.
“No one has been able to do that in Southern Cross’s long history of gold mining.”
Golden Horse’s main focus is on the 90 kilometre north-south strike of an area called the Fraser Shear Zone, home of the Southern Cross gold mines and million-ounce deposits.
Sloan says multiple shallow, high grade deposits could be converted to JORC-compliant status with minimum further work. This opens the way for one or more "starter" projects, based on low-cost open pit extraction and toll treatment at one of several third-party mills.
“We are in a good position to bring a number of the smaller ones to production fairly quickly – and on the back of that cash flow we will then expand into some of the bigger ones.”
The “bigger ones” include Pilot, an old mine operated by Troy Resources that produced 50,000 ounces up to 1994.
Pilot went as deep as 100 metres, but high-grade drilling results over 50 metres below the deepest workings suggest the deposit remains open at depth.
Recent work has also shown excellent potential immediately along strike, which could auger well for an expanded pit option.
Pilot has already delivered cash flow with the treatment of low-grade stockpiles that yielded 1578 ounces of gold, following toll processing at the nearby Marvel Loch plant.
Over the last year, the TSX-listed Patriot Lithium and Novo Resources have opted for a dual ASX listing, while Resouro Gold is preparing to do so.
Sloan says there is a “good chance” Golden Horse could gallop on to the ASX before the end of the year - external factors willing.
The company may carry out a capital raising as part of the ASX listing.
“We have some cracking assets including walk-up targets so it may make sense to raise some funds to bring them up to the next stage,” Sloan says.
Meanwhile, Golden Horse has bolstered its management ranks with a flurry of appointments.
The chairman and chief executive of the Australia-focused, TSX-listed Karora Resources, Paul Andre Huet becomes a non-executive director.
Also joining the board is Jonathan Lea, who has 35 years of project development and production experience (notably in the gold sector).
Martin Bouwmeester becomes chief financial officer and company secretary. Bouwmeester previously was CFO of the ASX-listed Orion Minerals and at Perseverance Corporation he played a key role in developing the monster Fosterville gold mine in Victoria.
Rounding out the executive suite, Travis Vernon joins as geology manager, having had extensive experience at Gold Fields Australia, Karora Resources, BHP and Barrick Gold.
Sloan says with the record gold price successful mine development is about managing factors within management’s control, such as costs and construction delays.
“We have deliberately bolstered our team with proven experience to make sure we are on top of this,” he says.
“We are ever mindful of costs and before we do anything we ask: does it make practical and economic sense and does it add shareholder value?”