June 20, 2019 / 6:34 AM / 6 months ago

Resolute Mining determined to grow as adds London listing

* Says London a magnet for African mining investors

* Listing takes up some of the space left by Randgold

By Barbara Lewis

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - Australian-listed gold miner Resolute Mining lists on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday to broaden its investor base and pursue its ambition to be a high-tech, pan-African gold producer, partly through acquisitions.

New listings have been scant in London, where uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the European Union has impacted decision-making. The junior mining sector, hit by concerns about sustainability and political risk, has found it particularly hard to raise money.

The Resolute listing fills some of the gap left by Randgold, which dropped out of the London market following its merger, completed at the start of this year, to form Barrick Gold .

That merger provides the kind of critical mass that attracts the passive, index-based institutional investors dominant on the London market, analysts said.

Resolute Mining’s market capital based on its Australian listing is around $562 million, Refinitiv data shows, but CEO John Welborn has ambitions to grow.

“We are looking for the right project to construct or operate,” he said. “We are looking at inorganic opportunities.”

The company has stakes ranging from 11% to 27% in six gold exploration companies: Orca Gold, Oklo Resources , Mako Gold, Manas Resources, Loncor Resources and KiloGold.

These span countries including Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Welborn said in principle he did not favour dual-listings, but for an African-focused company, London was the obvious market.

“The reality is London has been the centre of investment in the African continent. I don’t think it’s going to be affected by short-term factors,” he said.

He said Resolute is set apart by its use of technology as it ramps up its Syama mine in Mali, which is the world’s first purpose-built, fully-automated underground gold mine and has capacity to produce 300,000 ounces of gold annually.

The company also owns the Ravenswood Gold Mine in Australia and the Bibiani Gold Mine in Ghana.

Resolute’s Australian listing is unchanged and the company has not raised any additional funds or issued any new shares. ($1 = 1.4558 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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