Britannia Gold NL - Annual Report 1997
The 1996-97 year particularly the latter half, has seen increased activity by Britannia Gold NL aimed at improving the Company's asset base and moving forward to producer status.
During the year Mr Ralph Bourn and Mr L E Quan resigned trom the Board to pursue other interests. The current Board would like to express our appreciation of the efforts of these Directors whilst members of the Board.
Messrs P J Alcock and R F Bevan were appointed to the Board in July and October 1996 respectively with Mr Bevan assuming the position of non-executive Chairman. Mr Alcock is also Exploration Manager of the Company. Dr M Ruane was appointed as a Director in February 1997. Mr Murray Stewart a founding Director of the Company continues as the fourth member of the Board.
The current year has had its mixture of highlights and disappointments. The limited success of the exploration at the Company's Blue Bar and Marble Bar prospects was very disappointing. Exploration by CRA Exploration at the Blue Bar prospect downgraded the tonnage potential of this prospect. Subsequently a combination of poor heap leaching characteristics and absence of an operating CII) plant in the area has hampered our efforts to mine the gold resource established earlier by the Company at the Blue Bar Project.
In January, the Company acquired the Jervois Range Copper-Base Metals Project in the Northern Territory. This project hosts significant copper and lead-zinc-silver mineralisation previously reported as several million tonnes of 2.5-3.0% copper with considerable potential to expand the resource base to a level which could be expected to support a viable mining operation.
Initial reverse circulation (RC) drilling in February provided excellent early results with intersections of 12 metres at 3.96% copper and 20 metres at 3.48% copper in the Marshall Reward area and 13 metres at 3.8% copper, 7.8% lead and 5.23% zinc on one horizon at the Green Parrot Prospect. RAB drilling late in the year indicated extensions to the Bellbird zone of copper mineralisation eight kilometres south west of the Marshall Reward area where a resource of 900,000 tonnes grading 2.2% copper had previously been reported. In-fill drilling will continue during the current field season aimed at providing an upgraded resource figure by 1997 year end.
In February 1997, the Company acquired 9.5 million shares in the listed exploration company, Welcome Stranger Mining Company NL (WSM) following the exercise of options previously acquired. This investment represents 18.5% of the capital of WSM. Subsequently, Messrsr R. F Bevan and M Ruane were appointed Directors of that Company. WSM has a number of advanced exploration projects in Western Australia including an indicated resource of 400,000 ounces of gold at its Broad Arrow Joint Venture with Golcifields Ltd and a 330,000 ounce inferred gold resource at its 100% owned Golden Eagle project near Nullagine, Western Australia. In addition to its promising gold prospects, WSM continue to develop a process route designed to commercially exploit its promising Lake Chandler Alunite (potash) project. Britannia Gold NL views this holding as a strategic investment in an undervalued Company which is close to production status.
The Company continued to acquire new mineral prospects by the application for ground in Western Australia and to rationalise other areas already held. A number of new Joint Ventures were established with other parties ft~nding exploration including Anaconda Nickel Ltd (Camperdown), Tectonic Resources Nt (Mt Elvire), Lynas Gold Nt (Lionel) and Tulloch Resources NL (Kookynie). The Company is se~king additional joint venture partners for areas recently acquired, with a view to conserving its cash reserves.
The Company raised $2.12 minion via a Placement of Shares and via a Rights Issue of Options in Mav 1997 with the assistance of stock brokers Wilbam Noall Ltd. The purpose of the issue was to retire debt associated with the Company's acquisition of its holdings in Welcome Stranger Mining Company NL and to replenish working capital.
At 30 June 1997, following the capital raising the Company had $770,000 in cash and deposits plus its shareholding in WSM which has a market value of approximately $1.9 million.
The Board are optimistic that the forthcoming year will provide new opportunities for the Company leading to production income and enhanced share value to shareholders.
We look forward to your interest and support in the corning year. The Board welcomes the opportunity to meet with you at the Annual General Meeting and discuss any aspect of the Company's activities which are of interest to you.
Britannia Gold NL