January 24, 2018 / 11:25 AM / 9 months ago

Cradle Arc's London listing to fund Botswana copper

LONDON (Reuters) - Copper producer Cradle Arc (CRA.L) embarked on a new London listing on Wednesday to fund production in Botswana, considered by miners as a safe African jurisdiction seeking to diversify its economy from its reliance on diamonds.

Formerly known as Alecto Minerals ALO.L, which ceased trading last July, Cradle Arc was renamed and relaunched on London’s AIM market for small companies with a placing price of 10 pence per ordinary share.

By 1030 GMT it was trading just above 11 pence.

The company raised 5.65 million pounds as part of the listing to support the Mowana Copper Mine in Botswana, it said in a statement. 

Production was halted at the mine in 2015, when copper prices fell in line with a wider commodity crash. Copper has risen by more than 50 percent from the lows of late 2015 to early 2016.

The Mowana mine resumed operations last March and is ramping up to an initial 12,000 tonnes a year of copper concentrate.

In addition to the Botswana copper mine, the company owns a gold asset in Zambia and has a joint venture gold project in Mali.

New mining listings have been on the rise since the end of the commodities slump, but many have struggled to attract funds from investors wary of companies that are often juniors still at the exploration stage with no production to generate revenue.

Cradle Arc stands apart because it already has production.

Another junior miner active in Botswana and planning a London listing this year is Minergy NUB.BT, owner of the Masama Coal Project. Masama is projected to produce 2.4 million tonnes of thermal coal for export mainly to South Africa and Asian markets.

Its CEO Andre Boje said he would have liked to list in South Africa, but London and Botswana are more certain regulatory environments and investors seeking high returns were keen on coal because prices have risen to nearly $100 a tonne. <0#GCLRCBPFBLVc>

“There has never been a better time to invest in coal,” he told Reuters on Tuesday while on a trip to London to meet investors.

Boje said the rush to lower-carbon energy had diverted investment from a mineral in demand in Africa and Asia, creating a shortfall and spurring prices.

Editing by David Goodman

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