Monday, January 18, 2010

Australians 'steppe up' in Mongolia

Australian exploration juniors are now eager to increase their activity in Mongolia, Ian McIlwraith reports in The Age:

"The latest is Windy Knob Resources which wants shareholders next month to approve getting out of gold exploration and into buying the Ovoot coking coal project ... It is the right kind of coal, but a comparatively high ash content of 13.8 per cent means it will need washing to lift its value. It also needs other mineral resources, like the nearby Burenkhan phosphate deposit, to be developed to justify the right infrastructure - or be faced with huge trucking bills should Ovoot become a producer.

"Windy has agreed to buy Ovoot by paying an initial $500,000 and a bucket of its own stock for all the shares in Mongolian company Khurgatai Khairkhan, which is controlled by 30-something Byambatseren Dorsjuren. Ms Byambatseren will only take 2 million of the 150 million Windy Knob shares for herself, with 146 million of them going to three other people, including close personal friend Gan-Ochir Zunduisuren who will also become a non-executive director. Mr Zunduiseren, who has an MBA from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology's business school, is a mining engineer by trade and one of four new directors who will go on the Windy Knob board if shareholders give the deal the nod.

"The others are David Paull and Neil Lithgow, from Red Island Resources which put together the deal, and David McSweeney, best known for Gindalbie Metals, who will become chairman. McSweeney's Big Fish Nominees has also agreed to underwrite almost 70% of a 100 million share placement to raise A$2.65 million. Red Island was last seen in 2008 stumping around Madagascar looking for uranium and a $4 million float here. It gets A$100,000 when the Mongolian purchase is settled and another $200,000 to cover costs."

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