One-time gold maestro Joseph Gutnick is officially back on the acquisition hunt, declaring his stake in junior Blackham Resources as the first step in what could be a string of investments in West Australian gold stocks.
In his first foray into the WA gold sector for a decade, Mr Gutnick said his stake in Blackham, announced yesterday, was simply "a great opportunity".
The deal marked his return to the Yandal gold belt, an area he described as his "first love".
As revealed by WestBusiness yesterday, Mr Gutnick will become Blackham's biggest shareholder, taking on 15.8 million shares at 21¢ each at a cost of $3.32 million.
He is paying a 37 per cent premium to its five-day average price.
Mr Gutnick, through his Melbourne-based company Great Central, also committed to $10 million of convertible notes, priced at about 25¢-a-share from 2018.
Blackham shares exploded on the news yesterday, jumping 10¢, or more than 66 per cent, to 25¢.
Speaking to WestBusiness during a business trip around Asia, Mr Gutnick said he saw Blackham and its Matilda gold mine near Wiluna as one of the best value early opportunities he had ever seen.
"We've been looking around for a while and we happened to get together (with Blackham management)," Mr Gutnick said.
"We really liked the ground they've got . . . it's elephant country for gold.
"And I'm returning to an area which is my first love, as they say."
Mr Gutnick is no stranger to the Wiluna area, storming into the headlines in 1995 after buying the Jundee and Bronzewing gold deposits through a $173 million cash and share deal with veteran prospector Mark Creasy
After the controversial takeover of Mr Gutnick's company Great Central Mines by Normandy Mining (now Newmont Mining) in 2000, Mr Gutnick has been largely absent from the WA scene.
Mr Gutnick, describing himself as the eternal gold bull, said he was now on the lookout for more opportunities.
"But they've got to be pretty good," he said. "Blackham has 1.5 million ounces and yet it struggles to get funds.
"Australian institutions have been apathetic towards helping these companies.
"If it were in another part of the world they'd be all over them. I think the Australian market is very indifferent to stocks at the moment.
"It's been going on for a while. If you've got access to funds there's a lot of good ground around."
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