Chatham eyes London AIM listing

Seabed mine developer Chatham Rock Phosphate proposes to list on the London stock exchange's alternative AIM board at the end of the year, once it gets its marine consent from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

Chatham proposes to suction-dredge loose phosphate nodules from the seafloor on the Chatham Rise, in about 400m of water, and has spent more than $25 million in research, development and applications during the past four years.

Chatham's managing director Chris Castle is in London and said the company had been investigating a capital raising and listing during recent months.

''The directors have decided it is preferable, in terms of restricting dilution and enhancing shareholder value, to have an initial public offering in London after we receive the marine consent,'' he said in a statement yesterday.

About 240 submissions were made to the EPA on Chatham's proposal, which will be subject to public meetings in Wellington and the Chatham Islands, before a decision is made, possibly by November.

Mr Castle said sufficient funds were being raised to meet the company's needs for the next few months.

Existing shareholders would have the opportunity to participate at the same price per share as the private placements being made, he said.

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