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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
The TSX Venture Exchange added 5.44 points to close at 747.35 Wednesday. Harry Pokrandt's first capital pool shell, Baltic I Acquisition Corp. (BLTC: halted), plans to acquire an Eritrean mining junior, Alpha Exploration Ltd., for the shell's qualifying transaction. The acquisition terms are not yet available.
Alpha Exploration owns 100 per cent of the 1,028-square-kilometre Kerkasha property in southwestern
Eritrea. Since 2018, the company has spent $5.2-million on exploration, including drilling, at Kerkasha. Assays include 49 metres of 2.42 grams per tonne gold, 1.10 per cent copper and 6.83 g/t silver. Alpha believes there could also be lead and zinc at the property. Previous operators have focused on gold. In connection with its going public, Alpha must raise $4-million by private placement. Financing terms are not yet available.
On closing of the QT, the president and chief executive officer of the resulting issuer will be Michael Hopley, a geologist from South Africa. From 2004 to 2016, he was the president and CEO of Sunridge Gold Corp., which owned a 60-per-cent interest in the Asmara copper-zinc-gold-silver project in Eritrea. (The other 40 per cent was held by Eritrean National Mining Corp.) In his first four years with Sunridge, the stock traded between 50 cents and $3.95. In his next four years there, the stock traded between five cents and $1.65. Finally, in his last four years with the company, the stock spent most of its time between 15 and 30 cents. Sunridge had spent a total of $80-million on exploration at Asmara over the years. Its work included the completion of a feasibility study. In 2016, the company sold its Asmara interest for $65-million (U.S.) cash to China's state-owned Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Development Corp. Ltd. That same year, Sunridge paid a return-of-capital distribution of 39 cents a share and then delisted. In the 12 years that he was at Sunridge, Mr. Hopley's salary climbed to $250,000 from $90,000.
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