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Liberty Silver looks to allow shareholders to sell some holdings

Since Liberty Silver’s suspension by the OSC was lifted Oct. 22, the junior miner’s shares fell as low as 53 cents on the TSX and closed Friday at 74 cents.

Della Rollins/The Globe and Mail

Liberty Silver Corp., a junior silver miner whose stock was suspended from trading by Canadian and U.S. regulators in October, has filed a prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that allows current shareholders to sell some of their holdings.

The document lists 28 different shareholders who are looking to sell a combined 3 million common shares and 9.6 million warrants in a secondary offering. Unlike a treasury offering, in which the proceeds flow to the company's coffers, any money raised from this sale would go directly to the sellers.

"We are not selling any shares of common stock in this offering and therefore will not receive any proceeds from the sale of common stock hereunder," Liberty noted in its prospectus, adding that it will only bring in money if the warrants being offered are ultimately exercised.

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However, Geoffrey Browne, Liberty's chief executive officer, said in an e-mailed statement that the filing doesn't necessarily mean that shares or warrants will change hands immediately. In the e-mail, he noted that "nobody is looking to sell" and added that "the filing of [the prospectus] was a contractual agreement" with a company who sold Liberty Silver some properties this summer. As part of that deal, Liberty promised to file the prospectus within 30 days of the transaction's closing.

The prospectus outlines the shareholders looking to sell, as well as the number of shares each party is offering. Look Back Investments, which holds 6.5 million warrants, is looking to sell the largest position. The Panama-based firm invested $3.25-million (U.S.) in Liberty in December, 2011, and is run by Robert Genovese, a mining promoter who refers to himself as "Bobby G."

Mr. Genovese has been active in Liberty this year. In late August, he launched a campaign to promote the company by sending out e-mails and press releases that said Liberty is well-suited for a pending "silver rush." In the month-and-a-half after the first press release went out, Liberty's shares jumped to a high of $1.58 (Canadian) from 75 cents.

After such a big run, during which trading volumes more than quadrupled, the SEC abruptly suspended trading in Liberty shares south of the border, where they are traded over-the-counter. The regulator cited "a lack of current and accurate information about the company concerning, among other things, the control of its stock, its market price, and trading in the stock." The Ontario Securities Commission ultimately followed suit, and trading was suspended on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Since the OSC suspension was lifted Oct. 22, Liberty's shares fell as low as 53 cents on the TSX and closed Friday at 74 cents.

Liberty is exploring the Trinity Silver project in Nevada, which had its high-grade silver ore extracted by another firm in the 1980s. Since it started looking for remaining low-grade ore in 2007, Liberty has spent just $1.5-million (U.S.) on exploration. At its peak in October, Liberty was worth about 85 times that amount. As of Sept. 30, it had $875,000 in cash.

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About the Author
Reporter and Streetwise columnist

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University. More


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