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UK Investor Magazine – Cadence Minerals: A Small Company making a Big Difference in Amapa, Brazil

From UK Investor Magazine

By Alan Green

On December 29, Cadence Minerals (AIM: KDNC), a mining investment company listed in London, announced that it had completed all the preconditions to invest into and acquire an initial 20% of the integrated Amapa iron mine, railway and port in North Eastern Brazil.

When we talked to Cadence CEO, Kiran Morzaria, via zoom on Christmas Eve just after the settlement agreement had been signed, he was understandably in good spirits.  His home office is dominated by two framed pictures, one of the head gear at a mine and the second of the three miners drilling a narrow-vein ore body. Kiran relates that these pictures are from a mine that he helped restart and rehabilitate in 2008, and which remains in production, further extending its 100-year history. Morzaria relates the story:

“These images remind me of two key things; the first is that the right asset, proper jurisdiction, and right people make all the difference. The second is that however hard I am working here, there others working in far tougher conditions, so the least I can do is put in that extra mile and ensure we can move the asset forward for all our stakeholders.”

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There is no doubt that the team involved in the Amapa transaction have put in the hard yards. The process started back in September 2018, when Cadence partnered with commodity trading firm Indo Sino to form a joint venture. Cadence and Indo Sino then engaged with thelocal authorities and commercial courts to acquire Amapa mine owner in administration, DEV Mineração S.A.

A plan was put forward by Cadence to bring the former Anglo American owned Amapa mine,railway and wholly owned port at Santana (complete with 1.39 Mt of iron ore in three stockpiles) out of administration and ultimately back into production. Naturally the process came with some unique challenges. Morzaria explains:

“The judicial restructuring plan was a tough process. Not only did it set some key legal precedents, it also faced challenges from competing investors. This delayed the creditors meeting by one week, and yet despite this, we got over 90% of the creditors, by value to approve our restructuring plan.”

The history of the Amapa iron ore mine goes back to its discovery and ownership by a Brazilian conglomerate, which it then packaged with the massive 6 billion tonne Minas-Rio iron ore deposit and sold on to Anglo American for US$5.5 billion. For Anglo, Amapa was a relatively small transaction, and was certainly not part of the company’s long term strategic focus and plan. As a result, Amapa was sold to Brazilian company Zamin Ferrous in 2013, but during the finalisation of this sale, the company’s wholly owned port suffered a landslide which curtailed exports. Zamin Ferrous then negotiated a lower price, but the absence of a port prevented any meaningful product export and consequently DEV went into administration.

Before its sale in 2013, Anglo American valued its 70% stake in Amapá at US$866 million (100% US$1.2 billion). Anglo impaired the asset in its 2012 Annual Accounts to US$462 million (100% US$660 million).

Given its history, to most smaller listed companies, the challenge of bringing Amapa back to life would in most cases have represented a bridge too far. However, Cadence saw an opportunity, as outlined by Morzaria:

“Once we understood the legal process in Brazil, we saw an opportunity for significant upside for our shareholders. The not inconsiderable technical and existential risks typically associated with developing a mineral resource asset were largely mitigated. The mineral resource was auditable, the mining and processing technology are established, the product mix is well known, and there is a well-trodden path to obtain the required operating licenses, with several key licenses being granted before our investment.”

“Moreover, and critically, although the asset is not a large one in terms of global production, it is very significant for the state of Amapa. Our estimates suggest that once we reach our production targets, it will represent some 3.5% of the state GDP and could contribute some 4,200 jobs to the local and national economy. These facts helped to focus support at local and governmental levels and ensured our efforts didn’t become ensnared in in red tape. A government working committee has also been set up to work with us to troubleshoot any critical issues along our path to production.”

The investment proposition to bring Amapa out of administration sees Cadence acquire a 27% interest by investing US$6 million over two stages in the JV company. The first stage is for20% of the JV, the consideration for which is US$2.5 million. The second stage of investment is for a further 7% of the JV for a consideration of US$3.5million. The funds for the first stage of investment are currently held in a judicial trust account of the commercial court of Sao Paulo.The agreement also gives Cadence a first right of refusal to increase its stake to 49%.

As the various pre-conditions set out by the commercial court of Sao Paulo were met, in 2020, DEV received permission to start shipping the iron ore stockpiled at Santana port, which immediately started generating cash. By the end of August 2021, DEV had shipped three cargoes of approximately 143,000 wet tonnes of iron ore. The net proceeds from shipment went to pay labour and small creditors, while also providing funds to invest into the recommissioning of the assets, the upgrading of the Mineral Resource Estimate and commencement of the pre-feasibility Study.

Move forward to December 2021, and with  the preconditions set out by the courts met and satisfied, the final hurdle was to agree a settlement with the banks – no easy task giventhat the team were negotiating with different state owned and private banks, in two jurisdictions, with varying degrees of organizational complexity and internal compliance hurdles. Nonetheless,with Credit Committee approval announced in October 2021, the final settlement with the banks was agreed and signed in December, triggering the initial US $2.5 million investment and a 20% stake for Cadence in the Amapa project.

The final settlement is a remarkable achievement by any standards: in combination with the other unsecured creditors the settlement terms meant that DEV was now only paying 45 cents in the dollar.

After the completion of the feasibility study and project financing, the rehabilitation of the mine,railway and port is expected to take between one and half to two years, following which the mine plans to produce over 5 million tonnes of 65% iron ore. From an investor and shareholder perspective, the financials really highlight and put into perspective what Cadence has achieved here. Assuming that the targets are hit and a current 65% iron ore price (US$ 145 / tonne in Dec 2021) is achieved, gross revenues could be circa US$725 million per annum. With solid demand for iron ore showing little sign of slowing as we go into 2022, quite rightly Cadence shares should see a re rating as investors run the slide rule over the Amapa numbers.

While there is no doubt Amapa is a landmark achievement, the rest of the Cadence portfolio also continues to deliver impressive returns. Cornerstone stakes in projects such as the Cinovec Lithium and Tin Project via AIM listed European Metals Holdings (AIM: EMH) in the Czech republic generated a £3.54 million return in the first 6 months of the year, with pre- tax profits of £2.84 million.

In particular, Cinovec, owned by European Metals Holdings and Eastern European utility giant CEZ is set to become a major European and Global lithium supply hub to meet the boom in batteries and electric vehicles, with demand anticipated to grow exponentially in the coming years.

Cadence also has a range of other ‘passive’ investments, including several ASX listed lithium assets, plus joint ventures at the Yangibana Rare Earths project in Australia, the Sonora Lithium project in Mexico and a hard rock lithium exploration assets 2 km away from Core Lithium’s (ASX:CXO) mining projects in the Northern territories of Australia.

Despite this exceptionally impressive asset portfolio, along with other micro-cap investors and explorers, the sector malaise has seen Cadence shares drift during the second half of 2021, currently rating the company on a modest £32m market cap.

Nonetheless CEO Morzaria remains enthused by the opportunities he expects to materialise in 2022.

“Our shareholders have stuck with us over what has been a hugely frustrating period”

“The completion of the first phase at Amapa marks a huge achievement for everyone involved, and we are really excited about the possibilities in Brazil in 2022” 

A recent visit to Amapá left a deep impression on Morzaria, who reported back to the markets in a live interview from the port at Santana.

“I was delighted to see the rapid progress on the ground, driven by a highly motivated local management team and staff. The rate of reconstruction and recommissioning work already completed gives our board huge confidence in what can be achieved next year.”

There is no doubt that bringing Amapá back to life has in cycling parlance represented a Tour de Brazil equivalent for Cadence. Regardless, Morzaria and his team have now completed the mountain section, and with several stage victories, look set for a great team result as they transition from micro-cap explorer and investor to mid-tier iron ore producer. Solid Cadence!

Cadence Minerals #KDNC – Option Granted to Castillo Copper (ASX/LON: CCZ) to Acquire the Litchfield and Picasso Lithium Projects in Australia.

Cadence Minerals (AIM/NEX: KDNC; OTC: KDNCY) is pleased to announce that Castillo Copper (ASX/LON: CCZ) (“Castillo”) has entered into a 90-day option agreement with Lithium Technologies Pty Ltd (“LT”) and Lithium Supplies Pty Ltd (“LS”), in which Cadence owns a 29% shareholding, to acquire  subject to due diligence  the Litchfield and Picasso Lithium Projects in the Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia (WA) respectively.


  • ASX and London listed Castillo has a 90-day option to acquire – subject to due diligence – the Litchfield and Picasso Lithium Projects.
  • Consideration for 100% of the holding companies which hold these assets (plus others) is up to AUS$ 3 million in equity of Castillo.
  • Castillo is an Australian-based explorer primarily focused on copper across Australia and Zambia. The group is embarking on a strategic transformation to morph into a mid-tier copper group underpinned by its core projects.
  • The Litchfield Lithium Project is contiguous to Core Lithium’s (ASX: CXO) strategic Finniss Lithium Project which has JORC compliant ore reserves (7.4Mt @ 1.3% Li2O), with production slated to start in 2H 20221. There is potential for lithium pegmatite bodies along Litchfield’s north-west boundary.
  • The Picasso Lithium Project in WA is proximal to Liontown’s Resources’ (ASX: LTR) Buldania Project, with a JORC compliant resource at 14.9Mt @ 0.97% Li2O3 and has mapped pegmatites that potentially host lithium mineralisation.

Cadence CEO Kiran Morzaria added: “The potential acquisition by Castillo provides Cadence with an exposure to developing copper assets which complements our already substantial lithium portfolio. Moreover, given Castillo’s established in country leadership and cash position we see this potential acquisition by Castillo as the best strategic approach to maximize returns for our shareholders. We look forward to seeing Castillo develop these assets further.”

Castillo’s Managing Director Simon Paull commented: “Acquiring prospective lithium projects, which complement the copper assets, arguably provides Castillo with a strong comparative advantage moving forward. In focusing on developing copper and lithium projects, the Board is positioning Castillo to potentially create significant incremental value from the transition towards renewable energy sources and accelerating demand for electric vehicles globally.”


LT and LS each own 50% of Synergy Prospecting Pty Ltd (“Synergy”) and have granted Castillo a 90-day option to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of LT and LS and by implication 100% of Synergy.

During this 90-day period, Castillo will be conducting due diligence on all three entities to ensure the underlying assets are in good standing and there are no material adverse issues. Under the terms of the option agreement, Castillo can exercise its right to acquire LT, LS, and Synergy at any time during the 90-day period.

Castillo Copper Limited is an Australian-based explorer primarily focused on copper across Australia and Zambia. The group is embarking on a strategic transformation to morph into a mid-tier copper group underpinned by its core projects:

  • A large footprint in the in the Mt Isa copper-belt district, north-west Queensland, which delivers significant exploration upside through having several high-grade targets and a sizeable untested anomaly within its boundaries in a copper-rich region.
  • Four high-quality prospective assets across Zambia’s copper-belt which is the second largest copper producer in Africa.
  • A large tenure footprint proximal to Broken Hill’s world-class deposit that is prospective for zinc-silver-lead-copper-gold.
  • Cangai Copper Mine in northern New South Wales, which is one of Australia’s highest grading historic copper mines.

The primary assets of Synergy, which are wholly owned, comprise the Litchfield Lithium Project (EL31774) in NT and Picasso Lithium Project (E63/1888) in WA. In addition, Synergy has an application in NT – EL31828 – known as the Alcoota Lithium Project, which comprises ground proximal to Alice Springs. Castillo will need to undertake further geological due diligence on this application.

LT and LS also hold applications for six lithium properties in San Luis Province, Central Argentina. Again, Castillo will need to undertake further geological due diligence on these applications.

Further details on these assets and all the applications and permits are contained on our website here

Option terms & consideration

The terms of the 90-day option are as follows:

  • A$50,000 non-refundable deposit in cash on formally granting the option that will go directly to Synergy for working capital purposes.

Upon exercising the option within the 90-day period, the binding consideration terms are as follows:

  • A$1m script payment in CCZ shares will become payable to the Vendor Group based on the 14-day WVAP calculated from the date of which the option agreement is announced to the ASX. Note, the Vendor Group will be subject to a 6-month voluntary escrow period for 50% of the shares and 12-months for the 50% balance from the date of settlement. In addition, both parties agree to sign off on a binding term sheet.

Incremental consideration terms are applicable if the following milestones are achieved:

  • A$1m script payment in CCZ’s shares to the Vendor Group based on the 14-day WVAP if two drill-holes produce assayed intercepts greater or equal to a true width of at least 10m @ 1.3% Li2O.Note, the two holes will be at least 100m apart, but not greater than 200m.
  • A$1m script payment in CCZ’s shares to the Vendor Group based on the 14-day WVAP if a JORC compliant total inferred resource of at least 7Mt @ 1.3% Li2O is modelled by SRK Consulting.
  • In the event of commercial mining operations commencing a 2% NSR will be payable to the nominees of the facilitator.


For further information: Cadence Minerals plc


+44 (0) 7879 584153

Andrew Suckling

Kiran Morzaria

WH Ireland Limited (NOMAD & Broker)

James Joyce

+44 (0) 207 220 1666

Darshan Patel

Novum Securities Limited (Joint Broker)

Jon Belliss

+44 (0) 207 399 9400

Qualified Person

Kiran Morzaria B.Eng. (ACSM), MBA, has reviewed and approved the information contained in this announcement. Kiran holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial Geology) from the Camborne School of Mines and an MBA (Finance) from CASS Business School.

Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements in this announcement are or may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as ”believe” ”could” “should” ”envisage” ”estimate” ”intend” ”may” ”plan” ”will” or the negative of those variations or comparable expressions including references to assumptions. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts but rather on the Directors’ current expectations and assumptions regarding Cadence Minerals Plc’s future growth results of operations performance future capital and other expenditures (including the amount. nature and sources of funding thereof) competitive advantages business prospects and opportunities. Such forward-looking statements reflect the Directors’ current beliefs and assumptions and are based on information currently available to the Directors. Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements including risks associated with vulnerability to general economic and business conditions competition environmental and other regulatory changes actions by governmental authorities the availability of capital markets reliance on key personnel uninsured and underinsured losses and other factors many of which are beyond the control of Cadence Minerals Plc. Although any forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are based upon what the Directors

believe to be reasonable assumptions. Cadence Minerals Plc cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with such forward-looking statements.

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