Oriole Resources (LSE:ORR) has raised a whopping £1.869 million to progress two early-stage gold projects in Cameroon. 

On Wednesday, the Africa-focused explorer placed £1.576 million worth of shares at 0.34p, a 15% discount to the previous day’s close. However, given the popularity of the issue, it decided to raise a further £293,000 in a subsequent private raise.  

The placing marks a huge step forward for the AIM-listed company, which currently has a market cap of just £3.6 million.

And adding to the attractive investment case is an experienced management team headed by CEO Tim Livesey, a 30-year industry veteran and former exploration manager for Eurasia at the $47bn market cap Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:GOLD).

Bibemi and Wapouzé

Oriole said its new funds would be used to support ongoing exploration at Bibemi and Wapouzé, its two recently renewed high-grade gold exploration opportunities in Cameroon.

The centrepiece will be a maiden 3,000m drill programme, and in an update on Thursday Oriole announced that equipment is now being moved on site ahead of a planned Q4 2020 kick-off date.

In the release, Livesey described the programme as “a significant step” for the company, adding:

“We have worked up these targets, with encouraging results from the very beginning, and we are eager to test the vertical extent of the mineralisation identified to date. At Wapouzé the possibility of defining yet further drill targets exists and we hope to develop our understanding of the area during the upcoming field season to allow for a drill programme to be planned there for 2021.”

In total, Bibemi and Wapouzé cover 380km2 of Pan-African greenstone belts in the north-east of Cameroon. Rock chip sampling taken in Q3 2018 across the central Bakassi project area produced exciting grades like 135.4g/t gold, 119.7g/t gold and 117.2g/t gold.

The team is now on the ground, with further targeting underway at the northern end of Bakassi, which remains open along strike. 

Oriole made an important point in a recent RNS, too. Namely, that African exploration is often undervalued by the market at the early stage, with interest rising sharply on the release of news updates throughout drilling campaigns.

This could be highly promising for investors over the coming months once the drill enters the ground in Cameroon.

Along with these two early-stage projects, Oriole also owns the more advanced Senala gold project in Senegal, where $2.3bn Canadian giant Iamgold (NYSE:IAG) has the option to spend $8m to earn a 70% interest.

Meanwhile, its applications for eight further licenses in central Cameroon covering 3,500sq km in highly prospective terrain for gold mineralisation are pending.

And backing all of this up is something that few explorers can boast – a profitable balance sheet.

In its interim half year results to 30 June 2020, Oriole revealed an after-tax profit of £320,000, compared to an after-tax loss of £750,000 across the same period in 2019. 

The company also has several additional interests and options in Africa and Turkey-based companies that could deliver even more cash flow moving forward. 

For example, early October drill results from the Hesdaba epithermal gold project in Djibouti, where Oriole holds a 11.80% interest through Thani Stratex Djibouti, offered quality intersections such as 16m grading 3.84g/t gold. 

With work pushing forward in Cameroon and so much more value in the background, shareholders are now reporting high confidence in the long-term outlook for Oriole’s shares.

Author: Mark Sheridan

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