Axiom Mining (ASX:AVQ) has raised $1.1 million through a private placement as it focuses on its West Guadalcanal and Isabel Nickel projects in the Solomon Islands.
Work is underway for a drilling campaign on West Guadalcanal which has returned promising exploration results to date.
The company also advised that oral closing submissions are being made this week for the lengthy court battle with multi-billion dollar refining giant Sumitomo Metal Mining Company over the Isabel Nickel Project in the Solomon Islands.
These are expected to be completed by Wednesday, 2 July 2014, with judgment expected to be handed down at a date yet to be determined by the Court.
"We are encouraged with how the High Court trial has proceeded and that it is now coming to an end," Axiom chief executive officer Ryan Mount said.
"We are also pleased to have been able to successfully advance exploration on our West Guadalcanal Project this year, which has shown the project's high grade potential and will progress us towards drilling."
A decision has also been made to transition its Vietnam operations to maintenance mode due to delay in the implementation of Vietnamese mining law.
Axiom has raised a 1.1 million through a private placement of shares priced at $0.018. This includes an attaching option exercisable at $0.02 on or before 30 September 2014.
The funds will be used for ramping up exploration efforts on the West Guadalcanal Project and general working capital.
It will also be used to complete the Isabel Nickel Project trial and ensuring that the company is able to recommence exploration and drilling program on Santa Isabel Island immediately, in the event the company is successful in the High Court proceedings.
The company has recently assayed broad zones of gold from trenching at the West Guadalcanal Project including 34 metres at 1.11 grams per tonne gold and 16 metres at 1.93g/t gold.
This confirmed highly anomalous gold-in-soil geochemistry as a large target zone of mineralisation with high gold grade potential.
Epithermal style mineralisation is hosted by veins and matrix infill of a brecciated and silicified limestone host.
The company noted that with the increasing evidence of the potential of its West Guadalcanal Project and the delay in the implementation of Vietnam mining law, it has decided to focus on assets with highest potential for shareholder value.
"Our Solomon Islands tenements include the promising gold project in West Guadalcanal and the world-class nickel deposits on Santa Isabel Island," Mount said,
"We have decided to transition our Vietnam operations to maintenance mode to enable us to efficiently focus our resources and efforts in the Solomon Islands.
"We will also be executing a plan to efficiently add value to our Australian mineral portfolio."
He added that Axiom still believed that Vietnam offered great potential for resource development and had taken steps to maintain avenues for re-commencing exploration in future if circumstances permit.
The Isabel Nickel Project is 80% owned by Axiom via local subsidiary Axiom KB Limited that includes the Kolosori and Bungusule tenements, which contain the largest nickel laterite deposits in the Pacific.
Previous operator Kaiser Engineering had concluded that the historic and non-JORC resources of159 million tonnes at 1.045% nickel and 0.07% cobalt were sufficient to operate a heap leach mine for 15 years at a process rate of 2,800 tonnes per day.
Axiom has previously indicated that they intend to evaluate the entire tenement at Kolosori to a depth of 20 to 30 metres and define a JORC resource.
With the capital raising, Axiom will have considerable assets for exploration in the Solomon Islands.
Exploration at the Guadalcanal West project have been promising while Isabel hosts world-class nickel deposits.
Funds raised from the capital raising will be used for drilling at Guadalcanal West and potentially recommence exploration and drilling at Isabel Nickel.
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