Shanta Gold Limited (LON:SHG) announced late afternoon Friday that its “significantly oversubscribed” was supported by both existing shareholders and new investors.

The exploration group said that, as a result of the significant demand generated during the bookbuild process, the participants in the placing agreed on a pro-rata basis to take part in a secondary trade to acquire 54,650,211 ordinary shares owned by Barrick Gold Corporation at the issue price.

The Barrick shares represent 6.4% of the company’s existing issued share capital. Following completion of the secondary trade Barrick Gold will no longer have any beneficial interest in Shanta’s ordinary shares, the group noted. 

READ: Shanta Gold produces nearly 20,000 ounces of gold from New Luika during the third quarter

Shanta said the placing, direct share subscription and an offer for subscription for retail investors via PrimaryBid raised gross proceeds of £32.2mln (approximately US$42.1mln) through the issue of an aggregate of 194,884,309 new ordinary shares at a price of 16.5p each. Shanta shares closed trade on Friday at 16.60p.

The accelerated bookbuild process was undertaken by Liberum Capital, Tamesis Partners and Cormark Securities Inc acting as joint bookrunners. It comprised the placing of 184,717,113 new ordinary shares to raise approximately £30.5mln (US$39.9 mln) and the subscription of 3,161,674 new ordinary shares to raise approximately £0.5mln (US$0.7mln).

In addition, the PrimaryBid offering was comprised of a subscription for 7,005,522 new ordinary shares to raise approximately £1.2mln (US$1.5mln).

When announcing the fundraising on Thursday, the East Africa-focused gold producer, developer and explorer had said that all of its directors had indicated an intention to participate in the share subscription, up to an aggregate amount of about £270,000.

The funds raised will pay for infill drilling, expansion drilling, technical studies and working capital over the next 36 months at the company’s West Kenya Project, it added.

“Shanta has an outstanding portfolio of gold assets with exceptional growth prospects. The proposed fundraising will allow the company to accelerate exploration at West Kenya which is a new gold district hosting what is believed to be the highest grade underground gold deposit in Africa,” Eric Zurrin, the chief executive officer of Shanta commented in Thursday’s statement.

“This financing enables exploration work to commence and accelerate the process of demonstrating the potential significant value of the West Kenya Project. This financing is in the best interests of all shareholders to realise value across our entire portfolio,” he added.

 — Adds final fundraising detaiis, closing share price —