Mining explorers are being forced to become ever more innovative in the search for funding to keep drilling, with an equity raising in the current environment seen as a last and very dilutive resort.
To that end, Kalgoorlie-region focused gold and nickel junior Pioneer Resources (PIO) is trying to raise $2 million of exploration funds through convertible notes secured against repayments due from its neighbour, KalNorth.
Effectively, Pioneer, which has appointed Kimber Capital as broker for the raising, wants to bring forward two payments (in 2014 and 2015) owed by KalNorth by packaging up trade receivables as credit derivatives.
The notes will have a 10% coupon and are due to be paid back in three instalments out to March, 2015.
The $2.3m KalNorth owes is for the Western Mount Jewell asset, which Pioneer sold to KalNorth for $8m last year.
Pioneer and Kimber are hoping the name of KalNorth's main shareholder and chairman, Equitilink founder Laurence Freedman, will provide some added confidence that the repayments will be made. If the payments are made, noteholders get paid out or can convert their notes at market value.
If there is a default, Pioneer will appoint receivers to sell Mount Jewell and noteholders will be repaid with proceeds and with any shortfall to be repaid in Pioneer shares.