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Copper and zinc mine development company Orion Minerals has raised $1.35-million under its share purchase plan (SPP), with strong support from shareholders, particularly those in South Africa.

The SPP of the Sydney- and Johannesburg-listed company, headed by CEO Errol Smart, forms part of a broader capital raising to advance the company’s early production strategy at its South African base metal projects in the Northern Cape.

In May, Orion took a pivotal step towards the development of its permitted flagship Prieska copper/zinc mine after signing non-binding term sheets with Triple Flag for an $87-million secured funding package. In addition to working closely with Triple Flag, Orion is also continuing to progress discussions with banks, leading development financing agencies, and other financing institutions in relation to funding the Prieska development.

Importantly, very positive progress has also recently been made towards a funding package with a leading development financing agency following an extended period of due diligence and negotiations, the company stated in a stock exchange news service (SENS) announcement.

The successful completion of the capital raising, together with other funding sources, would put Orion in a strong position to progress towards development of near-term production assets in the second half of 2022, helping to realise its vision of becoming an integrated producer of future-facing metals in South Africa, SENS added.

Smart hailed what he described as “particularly strong support from our South African shareholder base, which was a great result and reflects Orion’s positive standing in the local community”.

He added that Orion was also continuing discussions with other potential funding partners, strategic investors and development finance agencies to progress its base metals development strategy in South Africa.