Adelaide, Aug 9, 2006 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Cashed up gold and base metals explorer, Shield Mining Limited, has announced a A$1.5 million Initial Public Offer ahead of its listing on the Australian Stock Exchange next month.

The Company - a spin-off of the gold and base metals interests of ASX-listed Mauritanian iron ore developer, Sphere Investments Limited - already holds approximately A$4.4 million in cash reserves injected into it by Sphere.

Proceeds from the capital raising will top up this amount to fund Shield's aggressive exploration program for the next three years as a new African focussed gold and base metals explorer, and for further project acquisition.

Shield currently holds five permits that cover an area of 7,381km2 in the northern region of Mauritania. Another six Group 2 permit applications currently under application cover a total area of 7,575km2. All of the target areas identified by Shield have significant exploration potential for mesothermal gold and base metals and iron oxide copper gold.
Terms of the IPO

Under the IPO, which opens next Monday, 14 August 2006, Shield is offering up to 7.5 million ordinary shares at 20 cents each to raise up to a total of A$1.5 million.

Sphere proposes to make an in-specie distribution of 25.427 million shares to its existing shareholders, with eligible shareholders registered on Sphere's share register by next Monday, 14 August 2006, being entitled to a Priority Offer in the Shield IPO.

Applicants may apply for a minimum subscription of 10,000 shares (A$2,000).

If the IPO is fully subscribed, Shield Mining will have a market capitalisation of approximately A$6.5 million, with the Company expected to list on the ASX on 27 September 2006.

"It is encouraging to note that the prices of gold and base metals commodities such as nickel, zinc and copper have increased markedly in recent years due to robust growth in newly industrialising countries," Shield's Chairman, Mr Alex Burns, said today.

"Of particular relevance, and one of the reasons for exploring for gold and base metals in Mauritania, is the opening and commissioning of two gold/copper mines in the country, at Tasiast and Guelb Moghrein," Mr Burns said.

"These new projects show the potential for commercial discovery and mine development within much of Mauritania which is now starting to attract serious foreign direct investment in its mining sector."

Shield's Managing Director, Mr David Netherway, said Mauritania offered huge mineral potential and it was heavily under explored.

"To our advantage, Shield will be a highly cashed up explorer, has an exploration program in a highly favourable mining climate in Mauritania, and has assembled a strong management team at a time senior mining personnel are in short supply," Mr Netherway said.

"We plan to enhance our exploration agenda by looking at acquiring other permits and assets."

Mr Netherway has nearly 30 years experience in mining, being a former President and Chief Executive Officer of Toronto-listed Afcan Mining Corporation, a China focused gold mining company. He has held senior management positions in Golden Shamrock Mines, Ashanti Goldfields and Semafo Inc., helped develop and operate the Iduapriem, Siguiri, Samira Hill and Kiniero gold mines in West Africa, and has mining experience in Australia, India, Nepal, Oman and Malaysia.

Mr Burns said Sphere still planned to later this year, separate off its oil and gas interests in Mali into a separate listed vehicle to enable Sphere to focus solely on its advanced Guelb el Aouj iron ore project and other substantial iron ore assets in Mauritania.

The offer of these shares is made in the Prospectus dated 4 August 2006. Anyone wishing to acquire such shares will need to complete the application form accompanying the Prospectus which can be downloaded from the company's website at

About Sphere Investments Limited

Sphere Investments Ltd (ASX:SPH) is an iron-ore exploration and development company. The Company’s principal project is the Guelb el Aouj Iron Ore (magnetite) Project in Mauritania, West Africa.



Kevin Skinner
Senior Consultant

231 South Road
Tel: (08) 8234 9555
Fax: (08) 8234 9566
Mob: 0414 822 631

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