Ortac raises £15m to re-dig mine

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Ortac Resources, an AIM-listed precious metals group, has secretly raised £15.5m to redevelop a mine that first produced gold more than 1,200 years ago.

The company's lead broker, Seymour Pearce, approached institutional investors for £8m, but demand to fund the Slovakian development has been greater than anticipated. The money will be used to drill its Kremnica site, where mining began in the 8th century, as management tries to establish that there is nearly double the recoverable gold in the area than is currently accounted for in its books. The study is expected to take place in the second half of this year.

Although Kremnica is Ortac's main focus, the company also owns an iron ore project in Brazil, called Rio Paranaiba.

A spokesman for Ortac declined to comment. Ortac shares closed at 1.66p on Friday, down 3.48 per cent on the start of the day's trading. This values Ortac at nearly £30m.