It’s never a bad thing for a publicly listed iron ore company to demonstrate it can earn the confidence – and cash – of prestigious and credible investors.
When Iron Road announced it had secured strong support from long-term institutional investors – including specialist resources investor The Sentient Group and the endowment funds of Columbia and Duke universities, which are based in the US – the market sat up and listened.
The credentials of all three investors are impeccable.
Columbia is among the handful of elite educational institutions in the world, associated with more Nobel laureates than any other. Duke, also among the world’s top 20, is internationally recognised for its academic connections to the land – it runs one of the largest private research forests in the US.
The Sentient Group, meanwhile, manages more than $2.3bn of investments in metal, mineral and energy assets across the globe.
The new funding will help pay for the definitive feasibility study for the Central Eyre Iron Project in South Australia and the acquisition of key land, on the way to realising a long-life operation producing 12.4mtpa initially and expanding to 20-25mt of high-quality iron concentrates a year.
The Sentient Group (34.3%) and Columbia University (7.2%) have both increased their holdings in Iron Road.
As managing director, Andrew Stocks, said: “The funds, secured from a diverse range of leading global institutions, are testament to the growing confidence in the project.”