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Pacific American to renew focus on energy, steel markets

An ASX corporate minnow looking to find a strategic partner to advance a significant coking coal project in Canada believes it will be in a position to activate its confirmed alliance with a leading Austrian renewable power equipment maker after concluding a A$1.8 million fund raising.
Pacific American to renew focus on energy, steel markets Pacific American to renew focus on energy, steel markets Pacific American to renew focus on energy, steel markets Pacific American to renew focus on energy, steel markets Pacific American to renew focus on energy, steel markets

Elk Valley coal in British Columbia. Image: Teck

Staff reporter

Pacific American Holdings chairman Geoff Hill says the company has appointed a CEO for Singapore-registered GP Hydro, a 50-50 joint venture with hydropower turbine manufacturer Global Hydro Energy (GHE), and is ready to add to a pipeline of microgrid hydro and hybrid power projects identified in the Pacific region and Australia.

The JV is targeting agriculture, mining and government markets for solar, wind, hydro and hybrid power projects.

GHE has been in business for over a century making and installing turbines, and is supplying "plug-in" prefabricated, automated power plants with ratings from 100kW to 25MW around the world. GP Hydro will exclusively market and sell GHE's smarT mobile hydro turbines in the Pacific region, with the partners initially committing US$500,000 each to market development subject to certain milestones being reached.

"Our plan is that within the first 12-18 months the company would have secured a number of projects and within the first 24 months we will become an income generating business when these projects come on line," Hill said.

"We firmly believe this is achievable as infrastructure spending accelerates, countries move towards zero emission targets and with a product suite that has proven competitive advantages over its rivals."

Pacific American has outlined more than 300 million tonnes of JORC resources in nine seams at 100%-owned Elko in British Columbia's East Kootenay Coal Basin, Canada's main metallurgical coal producing district. The project is understood to have attracted interest from traders, and iron ore and coal producers.

"Raw materials for steel making remain in high demand based on the number of transactions and the value of those transactions that investors have made in the region," Hill said. Pacific American "continues to be encouraged by the calibre of companies that have shown interest in Elko, including site visits and detailed review of the projects extensive dataset".

"We are specifically looking for partners what can help advance the project towards pre-feasibility study stage through both investment and participation."

Work with leading Canadian engineering services group Stantec over the past 12 months indicated A$2-5 million was needed, in stages, to advance the project to PFS.

"Elko is an extermely large resource and the company has focused on the western side of the property to bring the project into PFS," Hill said.

"Our spend will focus on in-the-ground activity. We have been very successful to date in identify a 303MT JORC resource. We know we can repeat this type of success and we know that Elko remains a significant resource in the area.

"We are looking for a partner who believes in the fundamentals that support long term growth in steel production and the bulk commodities required to produce steel, and who wants to develop the project through BFS and into operation."

Pacific American launched a 1-for-1 non-renounceable rights issue in April to raise A$1.799 million.

"The company has received strong interest from our major shareholders who are supportive of the rights issue, including from myself who will be participating in the rights issue," Hill said. "This is an opportunity all our shareholders to invest in PAK at a very attractive price and strengthen their position in the company as it moves into the renewable energy space."