ASX resource sector entrepreneur Dr Michael Ruane has lent A$1.5 million to Empire Resources for it to invest in NTM Gold, a gold explorer near Leonora in Western Australia that’s already backed by Ed Eshuys’ DGO Gold and which is currently in the process of raising funding totalling nearly $3.9 million.

Michael Quinn | 12 July 2019

Empire Resources’ investment will see it hold nearly 9% of NTM, with DGO having a stake of about 12%.

Other shareholders in NTM include Ausdrill, which prior to the raising held 8%.

Ruane gained control of Empire late last year when he forced the exit of previous directors’ Chris Banasik and Brett Fraser.

Empire’s long-standing managing director David Sargeant was replaced by Sean Richardson earlier this month.

Empire has various exploration assets in WA and said earlier this year it was assessing opportunities in the Eastern Goldfields complimentary to its existing portfolio.

Its current focus is the Hub prospect with aircore drilling in April outlining mineralisation striking over 1000m and featuring “high grades and depth continuity”.

Subsequent drilling confirmed the Hub has the potential to host a “significant mineralised body” and be a “game changing discovery” for the company.

Eshuys gained a seat on NTM’s board in March following DGO increasing its stake past 10%.

DGO has various big picture exploration plays in WA and is also an equity investor in De Grey Mining.

Eshuys was a key executive for Joe Gutnick in the 1990s and was involved with the exploration teams that worked on the Plutonic, Bronzewing, Jundee, Rosemont and Quarters gold discoveries. He was also the MD of St Barbara last decade.

Ruane is currently an executive director of potash contender Reward Minerals – in which he holds a 33% stake – and was recently involved with Metaliko Resources, a company that merged with potential Bronzewing re-developer Echo Resources in 2017.

He is also a significant shareholder in Intermin Resources, which has merged with Macphersons Resources and is aiming to become a gold producer near Kalgoorlie called Horizon Minerals.

NTM’s shares were trading this week at 3.4c, capitalising the company at $14 million. The $3.9 million fund raising is pricing new shares at 3.25c.’-orbit-with-ntm-investment