Friday, April 1, 2016

Cash-strapped mining minnow throws desperate switch to Hollywood

It's a sign of the times as the once in a century mining investment boom rapidly fades.

Cash-strapped resource companies are having to diversify to survive and some are taking unusual and perhaps desperate measures to stay in business.

The West Australian copper, platinum and gold explorer Artemis Resources has literally thrown the switch to Hollywood and will bankroll a B-grade action movie, "Tango Down" which is set to be released next year.

Listen to my report and interview with Ed Mead broadcast on "The World Today"

The $8 million investment from Artemis comes as the resources sector is being crunched  by record low commodity prices that are also damaging much bigger mining and energy players like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Woodside and Santos.

Artemis chief executive Ed Mead says the investment is all about providing a glimmer of hope to shareholders who have seen the value of their investments evaporate to 0.0001 cents a share.

"The opportunity present by Tango Down aligns with our commitment to deliver shareholder returns," Mr Mead told investors describing it as "an exciting investment opportunity".

Despite the bankrolling "Tango Downs", Mr Mead signaled it was more of a one-off sideshow rather than Artemis shelving its mining interests all together.

"We will continue to maintain our focus on our prospective gold and base metals projects in the West Pilbara region of Western Australia."

If "Tango Down" is successful. Artemis shareholders could benefit from 20 percent of all profits.

Artemis, which is current valued at just $3.6 million, is betting the film will gather a following given the cult status of writer and lead actor James C. Burns who is famous for the video games "Call of Duty Black Ops" 1 and 2.

But changing with the times is not new for struggling mining companies.

During the "dotcom" boom back at the turn of the century, small operators used their ASX listings to raise money for fledgling technology companies many of which disappeared when the dotcom flash turned to ash.

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