CHATHAM ROCK PRESSING ON WITH BID
Spurned would-be seabed miner Chatham Rock Phosphate is looking to raise more than $750,000 to reapply for an environmental consent, while continuing its bid for a reverse takeover to list on the mining friendly Toronto stock exchange.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in mid February stopped Chatham Rock Phosphate (CRP) in its tracks when it declined a marine consent for it to suction dredge phosphate nodules from the seafloor in about 400m of water on the Chatham Rise.
At the time, the EPA cited key reasons for the rejection as destruction by the dredge’s drag head of the seabed habitat, its inability to rejuvenate and the effects of the plume of returned sediment to the ocean, overall causing significant and permanent adverse effects on the seabed environment.
CRP managing director Chris Castle released two notes to the market last week seeking support, specifically from the farming community, to raise $776,000 in order to reapply for marine consents and rebuild the company during the next 12 months.
Chatham Rock once had a market capitalisation of $40million but after the EPA decision that plunged to $3.7million and even after recently rasing $713,000, it had since ”drifted” to $2.45 million, Mr Castle said.
”Assuming CRP is granted permission to extract phosphate from the Chatham Rise, it will provide … an ethical local source of phosphate with some strong environmental benefits, specifically being low runoff, low cadmium [content] and with a low carbon footprint,” he said in a statement.
After CRP had spent more than $30million on research and development, its shares tanked after it was declined marine consent, from 20c to 1.3c, but had since been trading around 0.6c.
Mr Castle said CRP’s last application was turned down by the EPA on ”limited and unexpected” grounds which he considered ”erroneous” and a resubmission would be dealt with ”more robustly” by the EPA.
Mr Castle said a reverse takeover of New Zealand gold prospecting company Antipodes Gold (formerly Glass Earth Gold) was proceeding, which through its existing listing on Toronto’s Ventures exchange would assist with fundraising in Canada.