Jewellery Quarter-based gold exploration firm Hummingbird Resources has raised £25.5 million on its admission to AIM to fund its work in Liberia.
Hummingbird is the biggest holder of licences to look for the precious metal in untapped areas of the jungle in eastern Liberia, part of a geological zone which makes up one of the richest gold mining areas in the world.
Independent experts have vouched that the exploration firm, part of the historic bullion firm Stephen Betts Group, is sitting on potential gold resources which could be worth more than $1 billion in the West African country.
The placing gives Hummingbird a market capitalisation of £89.1 million after the company issued ordinary shares at £1.67 per share.
Liberum Capital acted as nomad and joint broker and Mirabaud Securities acted as joint broker.
Law firm Cobbetts advised Hummingbird on the transaction, with partner Charles Bond leading a team comprising David Brennan, Dominic Prentis, Donna Fitzpatrick and Sophie Cooke.
Hummingbird Resources chief executive Daniel Betts said: "The highly prospective region of eastern Liberia represents one of the most exciting mineral exploration areas in West Africa and our position as holder of the largest area of mineral exploration ground in the region provides an excellent opportunity for substantial resource growth.
"Hummingbird draws on the experience of over 250 years of family involvement in precious metals.
"Work to date has already defined a total NI 43-101 compliant resource of 812,000 Oz gold at the Dugbe licence.
"The funds raised in connection with today’s admission to AIM will help the company further develop through the continued and systematic exploration of its licence areas.
"We aim to improve our understanding of the targets we have already identified and to discover further significant gold resources in the region."
Daniel Betts is part of a Midland family that has been smelting, refining and dealing in precious metals in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter for 250 years.
Cobbetts partner Charles Bond said: "Hummingbird has made notable progress through it exploration of eastern Liberia and is now in a position to take its projects to the next stage of exploration and drilling.
"Its admission to AIM will provide the additional capital to allow the company to realise its ambitions. It’s proof of the talent, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit of a Midlands family.
"There is renewed optimism surrounding AIM and this latest admission represents further interest in the market from basic materials companies.
"Our pipeline suggests that this trend will continue into 2011."