Tuesday saw Westgold (ASX:WGX) announce promising mining results at its WA operations and a new player in the corporate action for Silk Laser (ASX:SLA).
Westgold Resources (ASX: WGX) continues to produce good news from old mines in and around the Cue-Meekatharra area of WA’s Murchison region.
The company, which revealed earlier this month that it was getting more gold from its Bluebird mine near Meekatharra, told the ASX on Tuesday that recent drilling seems to have found new gold bearing areas deep under the old Great Fingall Mine near Cue.
Westgold said in its latest ASX update that “Three new drill holes support the recently revised geological model – the Great Fingall Reef is now interpreted to split into two parallel reefs (Upper Fingall and Lower Fingall) below the historic workings.”
“The Fingall Deeps drilling program has now been paused to allow completion of a new MRE (Mineral Resource Estimate) based on the revised geological model.
“Westgold expects to release this resource update in June and make a Final Investment Decision to recommence decline development at Great Fingall in July.
“It should be noted that a shallow, dry and intact modern decline exists at Great Fingall to a depth of approximately 160m below surface.”
Westgold said it has surplus underground fleet ready to rapidly deploy and pending a positive investment decision in July, development at Great Fingall could commence rapidly in the September quarter of this year.
The company said that what it called “outstanding assay results returned from positions supporting the new geological model including:
Five metres of 5.66% grams to the tonne (g/t gold from 869 metres (the so-called Upper Fingall reef) and 4.2 metres of 5.46g/t gold from 912.8 metres (the Lower Fingall Reef. There was also a small 1.3 metre intersection of 46.72g/t gold from 849.70 metres (Upper Fingall Reef; 5.50 metres of 16.68g/t gold from 925 metres (Lower Fingall Reef) and 10.06 metres of 3.02g/t gold from 949 metres (Upper Fingall Reef).
CEO Wayne Bramwell said the latest results at Great Fingall “herald a new future for this historic high grade mine.”
“Deep drilling has successfully returned high grade intercepts and defined twin parallel reefs, rather than the previously interpreted single reef.
“This new interpretation significantly de-risks development plans and has the potential to materially increase Mineral Resources and improve potential mine economics above prior estimates.
“Our confidence continues to grow in this near-term development target and pending a new Mineral Resource Estimate and a Final Investment Decision, we will be ready to recommence decline development in Q1, FY24,” he said.
He said on Tuesday “Great Fingall is an icon in Western Australia that has historically produced more than 1.2 million ounces of gold.”
Westgold shares rose nearly 2% to $1.96 at the close on Tuesday while the wider market was down a handful of points.
Hong Kong-listed EC Healthcare has made a $3.35 per share all cash offer for Silk Laser Australia (ASX: SLA), just topping Wesfarmers’ offer of $3.15 cash per share.
The Financial Review described EC Healthcare as a ‘minnow’ in one report on Tuesday afternoon online (presumably compared with Wesfarmers) but the non-binding offer looks very real for Australia’s largest network of laser hair removal and botox clinics.
In April, the Wesfarmers-owned Australian Pharmaceutical Industries made an agreed offer at $3.15 a share, a 30.2% premium to Silk’s then share price at the time.
That valued Silk Laser at around $A160 million and EC Healthcare’s mooted offer has raised that to $A178 million.
Now there’s a rival in the field and punters bid Silk shares up more than 12% to $3.37 at the close in expectation that Wesfarmers will lift its bid price.
Silk Laser said in a statement that the EC Healthcare (ECH) offer allows for the payment by Silk of a fully franked dividend of up to a maximum of 10 cents per share. If paid, the cash component of any such dividend will reduce the cash consideration under the EC Proposal.
(The API offer allows for the payment of a fully franked dividend of up to 10 cents a Silk share, which lifts the value of its offer.)
The EC Proposal is subject to a number of conditions including: the completion of confirmatory due diligence; unanimous recommendation from the SILK Board in support of the offer, with appropriate fiduciary carveouts; entry into a Scheme Implementation Agreement (including break fee, exclusivity provisions and market standard conditions (i.e. no material adverse change, no prescribed occurrences, no material acquisitions / disposals, no regulatory intervention, no dividends / distributions (other than the Permitted Dividend), shareholder and court approval and any matters arising from confirmatory due diligence); and all necessary regulatory approvals being obtained.
“After careful consideration and receiving advice from both its financial and legal advisers, the Silk Board has determined the EC Proposal to be a Superior Proposal to the API offer.
EC Healthcare had a market value of around $HK.5.4 billion (or roughly $A1 billion), Wesfarmers had a market value yesterday of nearly $A57 billion, so in terms of being able to buy Silk, Wesfarmers has the cash and size to snap it up.
EC Healthcare is listed in Hong Kong and describes itself Hong Kong’s largest, non-hospital, medical service provider. It had 147 clinics across Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau as at the end of last year.
API has an existing presence in this business in Australia so has the most to gain through opportunities for significant synergies.
It has an existing health division that currently includes skincare, cosmetic injecting and laser hair removal service Clear Skincare Clinics. Silk has a mix of company and franchised businesses under the single name. It’s based in Adelaide, Clear Skinclear is based in Sydney and Wesfarmers is based in Perth.
So what will Wilson Asset Management Group (WAM) do with its 9.3% stake in Silk? It has agreed to back the API deal in the absence of a better offer. Now there is a better offer, according to Silk’s board?