Gibb River Diamonds believes it will secure the remaining financing needed to start production at its Blina mine after blocking a hostile takeover, it said Monday.
The company’s ability to obtain investment had been hindered by Ron Brierley, a New Zealand-based investor and corporate raider who launched a hostile takeover bid in 2015, executive chairman Jim Richards explained. Brierley has since sold the remaining shares he held in Gibb, which totaled more than 14 million, with the final shares divested on Monday.
The miner has been seeking an investment of AUD 2.5 million ($1.7 million) it needs to move operations at the Western Australian deposit to the next phase. The company has already completed bulk sampling and trial mining at the deposit.
“The board of the company believes [Brierley’s involvement] has seriously impacted our ability to finance Blina,” noted Richards. “With [his] final exit, the board of Gibb believe the ability for the company to promote and finance the Blina diamond project is greatly enhanced.”
Last year, Gibb submitted an expression of interest to acquire Blina’s neighboring mine, Ellendale, once famous for the fancy-yellow diamonds it supplied to Tiffany & Co. The Western Australian government is slated to decide on the mine’s ownership by the end of the year.
Image: The Blina mine. (Gibb River Diamonds)