Multi-billionaire Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has raised eyebrows by turning white knight and taking a 19.9 per cent, $17.95 million stake in struggling gold junior Apex Minerals.
Mr Forrest's investment vehicle The Metal Group will pay a 50 per cent premium (at 30 cents per share) to Apex's recently completed rights issue.
Apex's shares have been in free-fall dropping by more than 65 per cent since it ended a month-long trading suspension in early March.
The company recently completed a $22.2 million rights issue to help it establish sustainable production at its underperforming Wiluna mine in Western Australia.
Apex's costs of production outstripped the high price it received for its gold in the December quarter.
Gold analyst Keith Goode, of Eagle Research Advisory, questioned why Mr Forrest would back a mine and processing plant he described as tired and said had had a "whole load of issues" for many years.
Wiluna is located more than 400km north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
"I'm surprise Twiggy has gone in for 20 per cent, he probably wants to be in a gold company," he told AAP.
"Who knows what he's up to ... everyone regards the Wiluna mine as a dog."
Another analyst pointed out that $18 million was "pocket change" for Mr Forrest, whose net wealth is estimated at about $6.9 billion.
However there were still better options than Apex, Mr Goode said.
The other problem was that Apex did not own the tenements around the mine, he said.
Apex said in a statement that Mr Forrest's Metal Group would advise it on future investor marketing, financing and corporate activities, such as potential acquisitions and joint ventures.
"The investment agreement demonstrates The Metal Group's confidence in Apex's assets, the recently appointed management team and the significant opportunity to transform the company into a competitive and sustainable mid cap gold producer," it said.
The Metal Group also recently provided a $4.0 million short term debt facility to Apex and undertaken due diligence on the company.
Mining industry entrepreneur Joe Gutnick's former exploration director Eduard Eshuys took over Apex as executive chairman last month.
The announcement did not inject investors with any more confidence, with its shares closing 9.5 cents, or 31.7 per cent, weaker at 20.5 cents.
Mr Forrest's latest cash injection comes about a fortnight after he also agreed to underwrite a $20 million capital raising to help fund development of Poseidon Nickel's Windarra project in Western Australia.
Poseidon has also entered into an $8 million unsecured bridge loan with Forrest Family Investments.