Talbot backs PNG explorer

MACARTHUR Coal founder Ken Talbot is behind surprise private share placement in Goldminex Resources, totaling 6.75 million shares at some $A2 a share, at a time when the previous day’s close was $A1.60 – a 20% premium to the market price.

Staff Reporter

The buy gives the Talbot Group and associates a 19.54% stake in the junior explorer.

There has been considerable buzz within PNG industry circles over the unexpected deal, which took place in August and represented an immediate loss of capital for Talbot.

The deal saw the Talbot Group purchase 5.75 million ordinary shares at $2 per share, adding to an existing 5.9 million shares the Group owned before the current deal.

Talbot Group Investments managing director Denis Wood and Anne Wood have also made a private buy of 883,900 Goldminex shares at $1.9746 per share, but under the name of the Wood Investment Account.

Melbourne-based Goldminex has 45.8 million shares on the market, and Talbot Group Investments and the Wood account now have a combined 19.54% stake in the company.

Talbot Group Holdings recently sold 10% of MacArthur Coal to Korean steelmaker Posco for some $A424 million, leaving Talbot’s holding in the company he founded at 4.76%.

Talbot has offloaded his MacArthur shares after some allegedly controversial business dealings.

The Crime & Misconduct Commission charged former Queensland Government Industrial Relations Minister Gordon Nuttall with 35 counts of receiving secret payments of some $299,000 from Talbot when he was Macarthur chief executive, between October 2002 and September 2005.

A committal hearing over the matter is expected to continue in December.

Goldminex shares this year reached as high as $1.80, which came after the private placements, and last traded unchanged at $1.70 this morning.

The funds raised will be used to ramp-up exploration of its PNG tenements, which so far house virgin gold and copper plays at the Ogaudi project in the Owen Stanley Ranges and nickel sulphides at Veri Veri Creek.

Prospects at the former project – including Gossan Hill – lie southeast of a regional tectonic belt that hosts the world-class Grasberg, Ok Tedi and Porgera mines.

Exploration will include additional geophysical sampling prior to drilling planned for the December quarter.

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