Aspire Mining has signed a binding agreement with SouthGobi Resources, a Mongolian coal producer, that encompasses a $20.1m placement and strategic partnership.

Under the agreement, SouthGobi will acquire a 19.9% strategic holding in Aspire through the issue of 105.7 million shares, representing a premium of 8% to the seven-day VWAP of Aspire shares.

The seven-day VWAP represents the trading period since Aspire released its maiden 330m JORC Resource at its 100% owned Ovoot Coking Coal Project.

The significant cash injection from SouthGobi will provide cornerstone funding and strategic partnership benefits to accelerate the exploration and development of Ovoot through to the feasibility study.

The partnership will involve SouthGobi providing technical and other assistance to further the development of Ovoot; assistance and advice in relation to governmental and regulatory issues; and other assistance as reasonably requested from time to time in order to fast-track the development of the Ovoot project.

Aspire is engaged in developing quality coking coal projects in Mongolia and the company has three quality coal projects in the country.