Cadence Minerals plc (AIM/NEX: KDNC), is pleased to announce its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2020.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been deep and fundamental. The pandemic has driven huge changes in the way we work and live the long-term effects of which are hard to predict with any great degree of accuracy. The reaction by governments around the world has for the large part involved economic stimuli with central banks cutting interests and the launch of huge quantitative easing schemes.
It is the latter, and in particular, the stimulus packages in China that have been beneficial to our investment portfolio. . China’s impact in relation to the rapid increase in iron ore prices has been clear. It is still the world’s biggest buyer of industrial commodities, and the vast majority seaborne trade in iron ore goes there. Indeed, in the first week of June, China’s steel blast furnaces were operating at 92% of capacity, which is above the 80-85% rates considered normal. Currently, indicators of construction activity look strong and a pipeline of orders had already been building before the pandemic struck. In its aftermath, construction has been given an extra push by the Chinese Government’s stimulus package.
With this macroeconomic background, the directors believe that the Company’s investments have performed well. A detailed review of which was recently published in the annual report released in June 2020 and in further announcements subsequent to this date. We have provided some of the highlights from our investments over the period below.
The Company also raised £1.25 million of new funds (before expenses) from new and existing investors as announced on 21st August. These funds were raised for general working capital and to provide flexibility to the Company to repay loan notes from cash reserves rather than from its holdings in quoted investments.
Amapa, Iron Ore Mine (“Amapa”)
· Amapa was owned by Anglo American plc and Cliffs Natural Resources and consists of a large-scale iron ore mine, beneficiation plant, railway, and private port. In 2012 the operation produced 6.1 Mt of iron ore concentrate and reported operating profits from their 70% ownership in the Amapá Project of US$120 million (100% – US$171 million). Before its sale in 2012, Anglo American valued its 70% stake at US$462m in its 2012 Annual Report (100% – US$600m).
· The remaining major precondition for Cadence to make its initial investment into Amapa requires DEV Mineraço S.A’s (“DEV”) to reach a settlement agreement with the secured bank creditors (“Bank Creditors”). On completion of the conditions and the release of the Cadence escrow monies, Cadence will become a 20% shareholder in Amapa via our joint venture company which will own 99.9% of DEV.
· DEV, Cadence and Indo Sino Pty Ltd (“the Investors”) have continued a constructive dialogue with the secured the Bank Creditors, and the parties are currently negotiating the settlement terms as proposed by the Bank Creditors.
· Iron Ore Stockpile Shipment – as announced on the 21 August – Companhia Docas de Santana (“CDSA”), a public (municipal) company and the port operator requested some additional non-statutory contractual requirements and undertakings. DEV has provided the requested documentation and continues to liaise with the State of Amapa and SEMA (Secretaria de Estado de Meio Ambiente). Cadence understands that SEMA will provide the required documentation imminently. Cadence will provide an update once the first shipment is underway.
European Metals Holdings Limited (“EMH”)
· In late April 2020, EMH advised that shareholders had approved the investment of EUR 29.1 million by CEZ a.s. (“CEZ”) for a 51% equity interest in Geomet, EMH’s Czech subsidiary and holder of the Cinovec licenses at the Extraordinary General Meeting held on 23 April 2020. The investment of EUR 29.1 million will see the Cinovec project fully funded to the decision to construct.
· In June 2020, EMH European Metals advised that the Czech Ministry of the Environment had granted Geomet an updated Preliminary Mining Permit related to the Eastern part of the Cinovec deposit. The permit was issued for a period of 8 years. A Preliminary Mining Permit is a necessary legal pre-qualification before obtaining a Final Mining Permit and guarantees EMH the priority right to apply for and obtain a Final Mining Area and a Final Mining Permit.
Macarthur Minerals (“Macarthur”)
· Announced Moonshine Magnetite Mineral Resource upgrade
· RCR Mining Technologies appointed to examine rail unloading infrastructure solution at Esperance Port
· Proposal for development of a Commercial Track Access Agreement received from Arc Infrastructure
· lodgement of applications for land access to develop a 93km haul road from its Lake Giles Iron Project to a proposed rail siding adjacent to the Perth to Kalgoorlie rail line
· Finalisation of land tenure agreement for the development of its proposed Magnetite processing plant at Lake Giles
Bacanora Lithium Plc (“Bacanora”)
· Cadence owns a 30% stake in the Mexalit S.A. de CV (“Mexalit”) joint venture which forms part of the Sonora Lithium Project in Northern Mexico.
· In late May 2020, Bacanora provided an update which included. The Sonora government continues to maintain measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 which meant Bacanora’s Hermosillo pilot plant was placed in care and maintenance in late March 2020 after shipping samples to its engineering partners in order to maintain the Front End Engineering Design schedule. The pilot plant will remain closed until conditions are considered safe, and the Government lifts its restrictions.
· As a result of the return to work in China in late April 2020, the Ganfeng lithium test plant and project team resumed work on the Sonora flowsheet optimisation and process engineering. After the completion of the flow sheet engineering Ganfeng will provide Bacanora with an Engineering, Procurement and Construction style engineering proposal to produce downstream battery-grade lithium products from the Sonora Lithium Project.
Yangibana Rare Earth Project
· Cadence owns 30% of 3 Mining Leases, 6 Exploration Licences which form part of the Yangibana Rare Earth Deposit. Hastings Technology Metals owns the remaining 70%.
· Hasting’s signed long term binding Master Agreement with German Automotive Tier 1 supplier, Schaeffler technologies AG. Hasting’s obligation is to supply a substantial volume of MREC over an initial period of 10 years
· Total Yangibana Project CAPEX revised to A$449m from A$517mresulting in 13% or A$68M reduction in CAPEX based on Hydrometallurgical Plant relocation to the Pilbara
During the period the Group made a loss before taxation of £1.26 million (6 months ended 30 June 2019: £0.29 million year ended 31 December 2019: £2.27 million). There was a weighted basic loss per share of 1.336p (30 June 2019: 0.331p, 31 December 2018: 2.544p). As a result of unrealised foreign exchange differences, comprehensive loss for the period was £1.42 million (30 June 2019: £0.24 million, 31 December 2019: £2.04 million).
The total assets of the group decreased from £18.77 million at 31 December 2019 to £17.89 million. Of this amount £0.37 million represent the market value of our investments at the period end. Borrowings were reduced from £2.98m at 31 December 2019 to £2.08m at 30 June 2020.
During the period our net cash outflow from operating activities was £0.67 million, and our net cash position was up £0.12 million at £2.38 million.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
For further information:
|Cadence Minerals plc||+44 (0) 7879 584153|
|WH Ireland Limited (NOMAD & Joint Broker)||+44 (0) 207 220 1666|
|Novum Securities Limited (Joint Broker)||+44 (0) 207 399 9400|
Link here for the group financial statements