Mr. Brian Miller reports
ASTRA EXPLORATION CLOSES $2.4 M PRIVATE PLACEMENT WITH STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS FROM MICHAEL GENTILE, CFA, PETER MARRONE and NEW VENTURES EQUITY FUND, LP
Astra Exploration Inc. has closed the non-brokered private placement previously announced on June 7, 2022, by issuing 12 million units for gross proceeds of $2.4-million.
The offering consisted of 12 million units at 20 cents per unit, with each unit consisting of one common share and one common share purchase warrant. Each warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one common share at an exercise price of 26 cents for a period of 24 months from the date of closing.
The company is very pleased to announce strategic investments from the following parties:
Michael Gentile, CFA, who subscribed for five million units of the offering and now owns 23.75 per cent of Astra on a partially diluted basis;
Peter Marrone who subscribed for 1.65 million units of the offering and now owns 8.5 per cent of Astra on a partially diluted basis;
New Venture Equities Fund LP, a private-equity-style investment fund managed by Goodman & Company Investment Counsel Inc. (NVEF), which subscribed for two million units of the offering and, when combined with its shares owned prior to this financing, owns 14.5 per cent of Astra on a partially diluted basis;
In addition, management and insiders of Astra subscribed for a combined one million units of the offering. Management who owned 26 per cent of the company prior to this financing now owns 20.4 per cent of the company.
New strategic investors Mr. Gentile and Mr. Marrone
Mr. Gentile is considered to be a leading strategic investor in the junior mining sector and holds significant positions in a select group of high-potential junior companies. He recently founded Bastion Asset Management in Montreal, Que., and was previously a senior portfolio manager at Formula Growth Ltd.
Mr. Gentile stated: "In a very short period of time, Astra has moved the Pampa Paciencia project to a level where they have demonstrated the potential for significant scale and high grades in an area with excellent infrastructure and a history of mining. The drill targets for the phase 2 program are well defined, have been largely derisked by the phase 1 drill program and could be very significant for the company. I am equally pleased to have both Peter Marrone and NVEF as strategic cornerstone investors alongside me in this offering. Their patient long-term capital and strong mining acumen and background will be invaluable assets to Astra going forward. With a market [capitalization] of only $5-million prefinancing and a tightly held share structure with management and the three strategic investors announced today owning about 67 per cent of the company on a partially diluted basis, Astra is set up for success."
Mr. Marrone is the executive chairman at Yamana Gold, which he founded in 2003 and which recently announced it is to be acquired by Gold Fields Ltd. He has a long record of successful mining start-ups and investments with more than 35 years of mining, business and capital market experience.
Mr. Marrone stated: "I am very impressed by how management has been able to define structure and grade with such a limited amount of exploration expenditure and near to surface, which portends very well for the project, as drilling now turns to deeper areas. These low-sulphidation epithermal systems are normally impressively large once discovered. The discovery has been made, and that alone is impressive. Equally, its analogue to El Penon has not escaped me. The similarities are obvious. Management has impressed me in making this discovery in such an efficient way, and with management including the exploration geologists who were in the early discovery years of El Penon, this has impressive upside."
Brian Miller, chief executive officer of Astra, commented: "The demand for this offering and the quality of investor attracted has been incredible, especially in these challenging markets. This group of three cornerstone investors consists of highly accomplished professionals recognized for excellence in critical industry disciplines, including geological expertise, risk management, capital markets, entrepreneurship and strategy. Their collective vote of confidence sends a very positive message regarding Astra's potential as an investment opportunity. Further, access to such a network greatly expands Astra's investor audience as it prepares for the phase 2 drill program at Pampa Paciencia this season."
About Pampa Paciencia
Pampa Paciencia is a 3,840-hectare road access low-sulphidation epithermal (LSE) gold-silver project located within an active mining district fewer than 15 kilometres from two major mines (Sierra Gorda and Spence) and five kilometres from the Faride LSE mine.
Astra has completed property-wide mapping and sampling, geophysical surveys, and localized trenching, and in doing so, has defined a vein boulder field of over approximately 75 per cent of the project area. The veins do not outcrop as the majority of the project area is covered by a thin layer of gravels and caliche, but the vein float can be used to identify areas of high prospectivity.
Initial drill results defined gold mineralization in the Paciencia vein system, which is a thick LSE vein structure averaging 10- to 20-metre thickness over a strike length of approximately 1.4 kilometres. Exploration results continue to indicate a large LSE system under thin cover, with two known zones of gold mineralization near surface, which are open along strike and at depth (see May 2 and May 25, 2022, press releases).
Use of proceeds and resale restrictions
The net proceeds from the offering will be used to finance exploration activities and for general working capital purposes.
The company will pay a cash finder's fee to Dundee-Goodman Merchant Partners and Agentis Exempt Market Dealer Limited Partnership of $67,500 and $48,750, respectively, on a portion of the proceeds and in accordance with applicable securities laws and the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange.
The common shares and purchase warrants issued in this offering will be subject to a statutory hold period of four months plus one day from the date of issuance. Some securities issued in this offering may be subject to additional restrictions. The offering is subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval.
Certain directors and officers of the company have participated in the offering. Participation of insiders of the company in the offering constitutes a related-party transaction as defined under Multilateral Instrument 61-101. The issuance of securities is exempt from the formal valuation requirements of Section 5.4 of MI 61-101 pursuant to Subsection 5.5(b) of MI 61-101 and exempt from the minority approval requirements of Section 5.6 of MI 61-101 pursuant to Subsection 5.7(b) of MI 61-101.
Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada 2022 participation
Astra is attending the PDAC in-person convention hosted in Toronto, Canada, from June 13 to June 15. Visit us in the investors exchange at booth 3,316.
About Astra Exploration Inc.
Astra is an exploration company based out of Vancouver, B.C. Astra is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of epithermal gold-silver properties in Chile, and is building a portfolio of high-quality projects. Astra's current focus is the development of the Pampa Paciencia project.
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