MinQuest swaps minerals for a smartphone app

Another Australian mining company is making the switch to mobile apps in a bid to tackle a condition that affects more than 380,000 Australians.

Junior explorer MinQuest is abandoning its resources business to focus on Australian facial recognition technology.

MinQuest has agreed to buy pain management app developer ePAT, the brainchild of a Curtin University PhD student and two university employees.

ePAT has developed a smartphone app that uses facial recognition technology and other indicators to provide better pain assessment in patients who cannot communicate with their carers.

Initially, the app will be designed for patients with cognitive impairment, especially those with dementia, with the intention to follow up with an app designed for young children.

Demand for dementia care is already large and is projected to grow.

The condition affects more than 380,000 Australians at a cost to the economy of more than AU$4.9 billion annually and by the 2060s, spending on dementia is set to outstrip any other health condition.

There are 47.5 million dementia patients globally, a figure MinQuest says will nearly triple to 135 million by 2050.

ePAT's lead developer, Professor Jeff Hughes from Curtin University's School of Pharmacy, expects the app to be in use by mid-2017 once it is registered with Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The company will then look to get approval in major international markets, including the US, Hughes told AAP.

Hughes, who is also chief executive of ePAT, said the concept grew out of the work of PhD student Mustafa Atee around three and half years ago.

ePAT's key shareholders are Curtin University and co-inventors Hughes, Atee, and Dr Kreshnik Hoti.

The group pitched the app idea to several parties, including MinQuest, through capital consultant Patersons.

MinQuest said on Thursday it plans to sell its interests in copper and gold projects in Australia and Canada, subject to shareholder approval, before completing the ePAT deal.

Under the terms of the deal, MinQuest will issue 373 million shares to ePAT shareholders

MinQuest will also raise up to AU$500,000 via an interim capital raising to provide working capital and pay towards transaction costs.

Should the transaction proceed, ePAT will gain the chair and managing director positions in the company as part of three board seats, while MinQuest will retain a pair of board seats.

MinQuest is the latest in a succession of former resource companies to make the switch to technology.

Earlier this week, digital identification and verification firm TikForce finalised its reverse takeover of Palace Resources, a company previously involved in the exploration of resources in the South-East Asia region.

The Perth-based company began trading Tuesday morning after raising AU$4.5 million to complete the backdoor listing.

In December last year, Canadian data security firm Zyber Secure Mobile Solutions listed on the ASX following a reverse takeover of Perth-based Dourado Resources.

Another Canadian firm, Kabuni, popped up on the ASX last September following a AU$7 million reverse takeover of Magnolia Resources, a mineral exploration company based in Perth. The client and designer matching app's CEO and founder Neil Patel previously told ZDNet that his plan is to use the ASX listing to raise more funds before it can be listed on the Nasdaq.

Earlier this year, technology and entertainment company MSM commenced trading on the ASX after successfully raising AU$7 million as part of a reverse takeover of Minerals Corporation.

Hong Kong-based mobile games developer Animoca Brands was publicly listed in Australia in January last year, following a reverse takeover of another Perth-based mineral exploration company, Black Fire Minerals. Black Fire raised AU$2.4 million to fund the acquisition and recommenced trading as Animoca Brands Corporation Limited.

At the time of listing, CEO Robby Yung said his company chose the reverse takeover path because it allowed for the continued growth of the business and the potential for further IPO raising for the licensing of more intellectual property for games.

With AAP