Danakali goes after new project as “vultures” on the prowl

Danakali explored the use of filtered seawater at Colluli. (Image courtesy of Danakali.)

Danakali (ASX: DNK) warned shareholders on Friday of “predatory activity” by unidentified groups currently approaching investors with “vulture” share purchase offers for their stakes in the company as little as A$0.01 each.

The company, which last year sold its 50% stake in the Colluli potash project in Eritrea to Chinese buyers for $121 million (A$154.7 million), returned nearly 90% of the proceeds to shareholders mid-January.

Danakali now has cash reserves of about A$38 million, or about A$0.11 a share. This means shareholders are being offered less than 10% of the underlying value of their shares, it said.

The Australian miner noted in a separate statement it was already exploring a range of new liquidity options for shareholders. These include an off-market share buyback and further distribution of the firm’s cash reserves in the form of a capital return.

The alternatives are part of Danakali’s efforts to get its shares re-listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Its latest proposal to resume trading was rejected.

“We believe the extended suspension of our shares puts our shareholders in a difficult position and we will now explore other options to achieve additional liquidity while continuing to engage with the ASX,” executive chairman Seamus Cornelius said in a statement.

“From what we can ascertain, most of the activity has originated offshore and potentially beyond the reach of Australian regulators. Any shareholder who has received such an offer should contact Danakali directly,” he noted.

The Perth-based miner said it had taken the first steps to pursuing a new project in Eritrea by applying to an exploration licence covering 1,537 km². Preliminary work at the property shows the area may be prospective for copper and gold, the company said.

Danakali noted it would report back to shareholders on the outcome of the board’s work and talks in coming weeks.