Formerly known as PlatSearch NL, Australian resources company Variscan Mines was incorporated in 1987, successfully establishing itself in eastern Australia, generating, exploring for and joint venturing mineral deposits in a volatile market driven by cyclical commodity prices.
From Australia to Europe
Ten years ago, Variscan began building a strong portfolio of investments in a number of ASX-listed entities while generating new exploration opportunities. Whilst continuing its exploration and joint venturing activities, the company commenced vending its projects into small junior explorers in return for equity, or placing these assets into Variscan controlled companies to take through to listing on the ASX.
In 2011, the company expanded its project search to incorporate more advanced opportunities and accelerate its goal of achieving a long-term cash flow. The search has seen Variscan branch out to form a wholly owned European subsidiary, Variscan Mines SAS, which employs a technically focused and experienced team to secure quality projects within the exciting region.
Exploration for a future in France
In June 2013, Variscan secured an exploration licence in Brittany, France — the first licence of its kind to be issued to a mining company in that country for over two decades. Variscan’s MD Greg Jones says, “France is of particular interest for us. It contains the same rocks that host the major European deposits, has a long history of exploration and production and strong, overt government support. However, the country has been overlooked by the resource sector and has had no significant mineral exploration or mining for a number of years.”
Shareholder support is founded on two-way communication
As is the case for many small ASX listed exploration companies, the biggest issue for Variscan Mines has been funding, but Greg and his team have met this challenge, finding strong support from shareholders. “It is vital to clearly outline the strategy, objectives and proposed work plans, followed by regular updates on progress and goal achievements. All the more important if you are an ASX listed entity with the disclosure rules and the continuing need to ask for financial support from your shareholders,” says Greg. “The key is good expectation management through effective communication — and listening.”