Mining has the capacity to deliver long-term jobs, specialist skills training, introduce new technologies, and provide critical tax revenues that support much needed public services. This was especially relevant to Predictive Discovery’s activities in Guinea – a country at the beginning of its development journey.
Organisations whose operations can visibly change the physical landscape, predictably face scrutiny from stakeholders, not least capital markets. Demonstrating that such investments provide a means to uplift local and national stakeholders from endemic poverty, whilst providing a long-term legacy of wealth creation, is the test facing responsible mining companies.
This is precisely the position in which Predictive Discovery (PDI) found itself when it asked Buchanan to support raising its profile with the global investment community and attract crucial development finance. Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, PDI has discovered the largest known gold deposit in West Africa in more than a decade. However, its operations in West Africa are located just outside a protected national park, and the company was keenly aware of the environmental sensitivities associated with its development plans.
In short, PDI needed to be confident it could attract potential investors with a compelling ethical narrative, one that unequivocally demonstrated its awareness of ESG-related risks and ongoing commitment to reflecting and supporting the environmental and social safeguards surrounding its operations.
Buchanan were tasked with assessing current progress and disclosures against industry benchmarks, including a critical evaluation and review of existing social and environmental activity, policies and risk awareness.
Drawing on this appraisal, we were able to craft an authentic ESG narrative that could drive a powerful capital markets engagement strategy, backed by a robust sustainability strategy, and supported by credible KPIs. The resulting investment was supported by some of the world’s largest institutional investment managers, and is enabling PDI to fund the development of its principal gold deposits and attain full mining exploitation licenses.
PDI now has the ESG performance, knowledge and communications toolkit to confidently showcase its responsible development progress to a sustainability-focused capital markets audience, with whom it needs to continually engage.
As a direct result of subsequent marketing activity, PDI generated a number of new investor introductions, and instead of raising the original target of A$30m, instead raised A$53m at A$0.18 per share. New investors included ESG-focused BlackRock, the world’s largest investment fund, who provided cornerstone investment for the transaction and has since become PDI’s second largest shareholder.
With Buchanan’s support and expertise, the company has also successfully executed its leadership diversity strategy by appointing a female Non-Executive Director with significant sustainability experience to its Board.
As well as supporting operational development, the capital is financing a comprehensive Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) – which de-risks the project for investors – and funding further exploration that could transform the existing 4.2m oz gold resource base into a fully-permitted Tier 1 mine. This prospect would provide significant socio-economic benefit to the country, whilst ensuring the preservation of the region’s valuable biodiversity.