The FINANCIAL -- The EBRD has become a shareholder in Kincora Copper Limited, a copper exploration company active in Mongolia, with the acquisition of a 6.16 per cent stake for the equivalent of approximately €940,000 through a private placement. Kincora is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. Its main shareholders are Origo Partners (24.5 per cent), the company’s management and a number of natural resource specialist institutional investors.
The company holds a number of licences in the Ömnögovi region in southern Mongolia, which contains important gold and copper resources including the underexplored Devonian copper belt. These resources include the Oyu Tolgoi deposit, operated by Rio Tinto, which is one of the world’s largest copper operations and the Tsagaan Suvarga deposit, currently under development by the Mongolia Alt Corporation. The EBRD is providing finance for both projects, according to EBRD.
Despite growing interest, the Ömnögovi region remains widely untapped and offers substantial opportunities for Mongolia’s overall economy through the discovery and development of the next generation of mineral deposits. With a population of just over 3 million and a size of 1.5 million km2, Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth. Extreme climate conditions have a severe impact on the living conditions, but the country’s natural resources offer attractive opportunities for local and international investors.
By investing in Kincora, the Bank is promoting modern copper porphyry drill testing and a district scale reconnaissance exploration programme in the Devonian copper belt, alongside high environmental and social management standards and practices. The EBRD funds will be solely used by Kincora’s Mongolian subsidiaries to support an extensive drilling programme and potential further explorations at two key Devonian-age prospects.
Eric Rasmussen, Director, Natural Resources commented: “We are pleased to support the exploration plans of Kincora with an equity investment. It is strategically important for Mongolia to attract quality investors into metals and minerals exploration in order to realise the high potential for mining.”
Sam Spring, Kincora’s CEO, commented: "We are delighted to welcome the EBRD as a shareholder. The Bank has unique knowledge of, and relationships in Mongolia and has provided finance to assist the development of the two existing economic copper projects in the Devonian belt. In the last two months, Kincora has attracted two new significant investors who are well known in the industry and has undertaken extensive due diligence.”
Mongolia became an EBRD country of operations in 2006. The Bank is currently the largest multilateral investor in the country with about €1.42 billion (US$ 1.7 billion) invested in 92 projects in the private sector to date. The EBRD is one of the largest natural resources investors in the country and is playing a pioneering role in the development of renewable sources of energy such as wind farms.