In a brief announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange, the Perth-based Manhattan Corporation (ASX: MHC) announced that it would not proceed with the reverse takeover of Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd which holds an approved seabed iron sands project in the South Taranaki Bight.
Manhattan said it agreed to terminate the proposed acquisition, by way of amalgamation under the NZ Companies Act, of all the assets and undertaking of Trans-Tasman Resources.
“The parties have mutually agreed to terminate the merger implementation agreement for the transaction as signed and announced on January 232, 2018,” the announcement said.
“Manhattan is now pursuing an alternative mineral resource project acquisition.”
In a separate statement Manhattan detailed that it had struck a binding heads of agreement with another Perth-based explorer Helix Resources Ltd (ASX: HLX) to drill test Helix’ advanced Joshua copper porphyry project in Chile.
This announcement also revealed that the principal of Manhattan, veteran geologist Alan Eggers would step down from the board following consummation of the Chilean copper deal.
Eggers, A New Zealander, developed Manhattan as a Western Australian uranium explorer after a takeover during the uranium boom of the early 2000s of a Queensland uranium company he ran by Paladin Energy, which was a windfall result for shareholders and saw Eggers donate $1 million to Victoria University which he had attended.
Many shareholders of the sold Queensland uranium explorer supported the development of Manhattan which has made significant but remote uranium discoveries in the south-east of WA.
This project, however, has been politically stymied through the Australian Labor Party winning last year’s State election, and adopting a party policy of not approving any new uranium projects that had not already gained project development status.
Eggers and long-time associate, Kiwi lawyer John Seton, were also principal shareholders in Trans-Tasman, which is yet to announce its next move, at a time when anti-miners are appealing the approval of the South Taranaki Bight licences.
Under the new deal South American deal, Manhattan has the right to earn up to an 80% equity in Joshua by carrying out 8,000m of diamond drilling and completing a bankable feasibility study.
A recent technical review of Joshua well-known Australian geologist Robert Perring identified new drill targets for potential higher grade zones.
The company said it was proposed Perring will oversee and take on the role of technical advisor for the initial drilling and would join Manhattan’s board as a non-executive director.
Manhattan plans to raise up to $A3 million at $A0.005 per share, subject to shareholder approval which will result in a market capitalisation of about $A3.7 M.