Highlands Pacific has secured a share placement agreement with Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) to raise $15 million for the company to spend on exploration activities at its Star Mountain project.
The agreement is subject to the Australian Stock Exchange waiving a rule that will give PNGSDP a right to participate in any future capital raisings on a pro-rata basis. Once the placement is completed, PNGSDP will own a 13% interest in the company.
Highlands Pacific managing director John Gooding says, “The relationship with PNGSDP has the potential to deliver significant benefits to Highlands Pacific, giving it the financial and technical backing of a very large investment company that has strong ties in Papua New Guinea and is the majority shareholder of Ok Tedi Mining (OTML).”
PNGSDP was established in 2002 when BHP Billiton sold its 52% stake in OTML. The organization is tasked with supporting and promoting sustainable development via projects aimed at benefiting Papua New Guinea’s communities, particularly those in the western province.
The Ok Tedi mine is in the western province’s Star Mountain region. It began operating in 1984 and is now the single largest contributor to the PNG economy. The mine is a major producer of copper concentrate for the global market, and supplies customers in Germany, India and the Philippines.