Accessing Zimtu Capital’s connections to opportunities

Mar. 22, 2011 4:09 AM ET
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Long/Short Equity

Contributor Since 2009

 Booth # 2819 • • 604.681.1568

Ryan Fletcher

Investors are seldom able to invest in, or participate in, resource companies before they hit the public markets. Through a unique business model that involves working with management teams to build new resource issuers and investing in early, private and seed-level opportunities, Zimtu Capital (TSXV: ZC) is indirectly opening an area of the market that has traditionally not been widely available to the public.

Resource Intelligence: Could you discuss briefly what Zimtu does?

Ryan Fletcher: Zimtu Capital is a publicly listed investment issuer that is focused on private, micro- and small-cap resource companies. The company provides a unique way for investors to participate in, and profit from, the public company building process. Zimtu utilizes its capital to help create and grow exploration companies and provides technical, governance and capital expertise where required to maximize their full potential.

We have funded or launched several companies and currently hold equity investments in a number of publicly traded companies. The success of many of these companies and Zimtu’s long-term results and business execution has earned loyalty among our shareholders, partners and associates.

RI: How do you spot these opportunities?

RF: From our team’s years of experience in the venture markets, we are continually brought different opportunities for review. In early-stage companies, there needs to be three main components: project, management and money. Each prospect is evaluated on a case by case basis to identify areas where Zimtu can help to add benefit. This could include making introductions to an existing management team or presenting acquisition opportunities.

RI: What minerals are you exposed to?

RF: Through our current investments, our shareholders are exposed to a number of commodities including rare earths and rare metals, potash, coal, copper and gold. We believe that we are in a bull market for commodities and that being exposed to a number of metals is important.

Drilling at Western Potash Corp’s Milestone Property in south-eastern Saskatchewan

RI: What successes have you had to date?

RF: Zimtu is pleased with a number of the companies we have helped to launch. Several years ago, we were in involved with the early development of rare earth explorer Commerce Resources, gold explorer Evolving Gold, and potash explorer Western Potash.

Last year Zimtu was involved in a number of transactions which included Quantum Rare Earth Development’s acquisition of the Elk Creek Niobium-REE Project in Nebraska.

RI: What have you found has been the most successful component of Zimtu’s business model in the last year?

RF: Zimtu’s management team made a call to put greater attention on rare earth and rare metal projects. That has proven to be a smart decision.

In addition, we expanded our business model to include property vending. We identified or acquired a number of mineral properties, and helped to connect them with public resource companies. Projects are usually acquired on a 50-50 basis with geological and prospecting partners. Within the last year, we have completed 17 such transactions, which have added significantly to our equity assets.

RI: What are your milestones for this year?

RF: Particularly due to our mineral property transactions, our asset base has grown considerably in 2010. We intend to build on the strong foundations and continue the momentum in 2011. I would like to see us expand our partnerships with geological and prospecting partners as well as increase the number of different metals we are exposed to.

Dan Mershon (Wolcott LLC), Erin Chutter (Quantum Rare Earth) and Ryan Fletcher (Zimtu Capital) at Quantum Rare Earth’s Elk Creek Project, which Zimtu helped launch

RI: What are the company’s major shareholdings?

RF: Our core holdings include Western Potash, Commerce Resources, Quantum Rare Earth, Triple Dragon Resources and Equitas Resources.

Western Potash was a major shareholding of ours in 2008 when they completed their initial public offering, and that is still true today. The company has experienced great success at their Milestone property in Saskatchewan and recently completed a positive preliminary economic assessment and $20-million bought-deal financing.

Commerce Resources is also a major shareholding. Zimtu is actually the former parent company of Commerce. They have been very active in the exploration of rare metals and rare earth elements and are focusing their attention on two major projects: the Blue River Tantalum-Niobium, and the Eldor Rare Earth Projects.

Another one of our major shareholdings is Quantum Rare Earth. We originally helped to acquire the Elk Creek deposit which was later sold to Quantum. The Elk Creek deposit will be explored for its potential regarding the rare metal niobium as well as rare earth elements. The property is one of the largest known carbonatites in North America, and was previously explored by MolyCorp in the 1980s.

RI: What do you feel will be the biggest challenge you will face?

RF: Our experience has taught us that management is the key component to the long-term success of an exploration company. I believe the biggest challenge we will face is continuing to find management teams that we believe have the required strengths in geology and finance to be successful.

RI: I see that Zimtu Capital has less than 10 million shares issued and outstanding.
Why so few?

RF: Yes, that is correct. There are 9.9 million shares outstanding in the company. At the moment we have no plans for future financings. The company is well-funded, and currently has the cash flow to continue to execute our business plan.

Investor Highlights:

  • Stage: Investment Company – Venture Capital
  • Market cap: $20.1 million
  • Share price: $2.10 as of February 23, 2011
  • Commodity: Rare Earths/Rare Metals, Potash, Precious and Base Metals, Coal
  • Cash & equity: $25 million as of February 18, 2011


  • Successful track record of asset growth
  • Provides exposure to pre-IPO investments
  • Upside from current equity holdings and core positions
Disclosure: No Positions

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