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   Gold/Mining/EnergyRare Earth Elements and Exotic Metals


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To: LoneClone who wrote (15825)4/18/2019 1:35:26 PM
From: LoneClone
   of 17122
 
[Niobium/Scandium/Titanium] Niocorp's New Mine Design Expected to Deliver Higher NPV, Stronger Investment Returns, Accelerated Cash Flows, Longer Mine Life, Lower Risk, and a Further Reduction of Environmental Impacts to NioCorp’s Elk Creek Project

globenewswire.com


April 16, 2019 05:59 ET | Source: NioCorp Developments Ltd
video-release

Figure 1: Video Animation of the Elk Creek Mining Plan

See this video showing a :90 animation of Nordmin’s proposed mining plan for the Elk Creek Project.
NioCorp Developments Ltd
Figure 2

Cumulative Operating Cash Flow Comparison
NioCorp Developments Ltd
Figures 3, 4 and 5

NioCorp’s Planned Commercial Products
NioCorp Developments Ltd
Figure 6

2019 FS Life of Mine Gross Revenue Contribution by Product
NioCorp Developments Ltd
FIGURE 7

Desalination Technologies Eliminate Need for a Discharge Waterline to the Missouri River
NioCorp Developments Ltd
Figure 8

2019 FS CAPEX Breakdown
NioCorp Developments Ltd
Figure 9

2019 FS OPEX Breakdown
NioCorp Developments Ltd
Figure 10

2019 FS Total Projected Revenue & Operating Cash Flow ($M)
NioCorp Developments Ltd
Figure 11

2019 FS Project Cashflow ($M)
NioCorp Developments Ltd
Figure 12

2019 FS Initial Capital Spend ($M)
NioCorp Developments Ltd

New Plan to Treat Water Onsite Instead of Discharging to the Missouri River Provides a Major Advance in Environmental Performance and Eliminates the Need for Any Further NEPA-Level Permits

Mining Plan Utilizes “Artificial Ground Freezing” Technology and Targets Higher-Grade Ore for Initial Mining, Which Helps to Increase Expected Operating Cash Flow by 23.6% in the First Five Years of Operation

NioCorp to Host Conference Call / Webcast on Monday, April 22, 2019 to Discuss Results

CENTENNIAL, Colo., April 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NioCorp Developments Ltd. ("NioCorp" or the "Company") (TSX: NB; OTCQX: NIOBF) today released the details of a new design for the underground mine at its Elk Creek Superalloy Materials Project (the “Project”) in southeast Nebraska, as well as the results of an updated NI-43-101 Feasibility Study (“2019 FS”). This work completes a critical milestone and further de-risks the Project for project financing.

The 2019 FS update is expected to deliver higher Net Present Value (“NPV”), stronger investment returns, accelerated cash flows, a longer mine life, higher production of all of NioCorp’s planned products in the first 10 years of operation, and a further reduction in execution risk and environmental impacts as compared to the previous project Feasibility Study, which was completed in 2017 (“2017 FS”). An update to the Project’s Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserve estimate1 also was completed, which results in the following: Probable Mineral Reserve tonnage is expanded by 14.7%; tonnage in the Indicated Mineral Resources category is higher by 101.5%; and contained Niobium, Scandium and Titanium in the Indicated Mineral Resources category are higher by 63.9%, 67,4%, and 67.6%, respectively,

NioCorp To Host Conference Call and Webcast on Monday April 22, 2019

NioCorp will host a conference call and live webcast on Monday, April 22, 2019, at 10 a.m. Mountain, featuring Mark A. Smith, NioCorp’s CEO and Executive Chairman, and Scott Honan, President of Elk Creek Resources Corp., to discuss the results of the new Elk Creek mine plan, revised 2019 Feasibility Study, and the Project’s updated Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve. Details on the conference call and webcast are provided below and participants can register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6302297693868155395.

2019 Elk Creek FS Expected to Deliver Higher NPV, Stronger Returns, Accelerated Cash Flows, Longer Mine Life, Reduced Risk, and Fewer Environmental Impacts

(Comparisons below are to 2017 FS. All currency figures in US $ unless otherwise noted.)

  • Pre-tax NPV (8% discount rate) increases by 12.0% to $2.57 billion, and after-tax Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) improves to 25.8%, which is an 18.9% increase.

  • Gross revenue over Life of Mine (“LoM”) of $20.8 billion is 16.2% higher.

  • Cumulative revenue of $2.9 billion over the first 5 years of operation is 17.0% higher, and cumulative 10-year revenue of $5.8 billion is 9.2% higher.

  • Cumulative operating cash flow3 over the first 5 years of operation of $1.83 billion is higher by 23.6% and increases over the first 10 years of operation to $3.46 billion, a 12.9% increase.

  • Cumulative EBITDA2 over the first 5 years of operation of $1.9 billion is 16.5% higher, and cumulative EBITDA over 10 years of $3.8 billion is 6.4% higher.

  • Tonnage in the Project’s Probable Mineral Reserve has increased by 14.7%. Tonnage in Indicated Mineral Resources has increased by 101.5%.

  • Contained Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium in the Project’s Indicated Mineral Resource have increased by 63.9%, 67.4%, and 67.6%, respectively.

  • Mine life has increased from 32 years to 36 years, and the after-tax payback period from the onset of production has been reduced to 2.86 years.

  • Environmental impacts and associated permitting risks are reduced further from the previous 2017 FS, including the utilization of artificial ground freezing technologies for mine shaft sinking, onsite water treatment that eliminates process water discharge, and the elimination of previous plans to discharge excess water into the Missouri River.
Table 1
At A Glance: Improved Economics
(US $millions)2017 FS2019 FSChange
Pre-Tax NPV (8% discount rate)$2,291$2,56412.0%
After Tax IRR21.7%25.8%18.9%
Gross Revenue, LoM$17,906$20,80716.2%
Net Pre-production Capital Expenditures (“CAPEX”)2$1,008$879-12.9%
LoM OPEX (US$/mt)$179.99$196.419.1%
After-Tax Payback Period (yrs.)3.682.86-22.4%
Mine Life (yrs.)323612.5%


To view Figure 1, please visit the following link: globenewswire.com

To view Figure 2, please visit the following link: globenewswire.com

The mine design, 2019 FS update, and an update to the Project’s Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve were completed by the Nordmin Group of Companies (“Nordmin”), with technical inputs from other experts.

“This new design for the Elk Creek Project’s underground mine is expected to deliver a higher NPV, stronger investment returns, accelerated cash flows, a longer mine life, reduced permitting risk, and even greater improvements in overall environmental performance than the previous plan,” said Mark A. Smith, CEO and Executive Chairman of NioCorp. “This new mining plan and Feasibility Study update is a major step forward in the effort to advance the Elk Creek Project to financing, construction, and commercial operation.”

“Pre-tax NPV of $2.57 billion is 12% higher than in the previous Feasibility Study. After-tax IRR goes from 21.7% to 25.8%, an increase of 18.9%, so investment return is significantly improved. Life-of-mine revenue of $20.8 billion is higher by 16.2%. Of particular note is the fact this mining plan contributes to boosting our expected operating cash flows in the first five years of operations by 23.6% and helps to increase them by 12.9% over the first 10 years. Generating more cash on an accelerated basis should increase the Project’s economics.”

“I’m also pleased to see the stronger environmental performance this mining plan delivers to the Project,” Mr. Smith said. ”By deploying well-established technologies such as artificial ground freezing and desalination, we can now treat the slightly salty water that naturally exists deep underground in the ore body and remove the salt, allowing us to avoid having to discharge this bedrock water into the Missouri River. We also will be recycling virtually all of the water that we will be using in our processing. These are significant environmental advances of which our entire team is proud. Treating this water also eliminates the need to obtain any further NEPA-level environmental permits from the U.S. government. That further de-risks the Elk Creek Project in the eyes of long-term, strategic investors.”

“Net pre-production CAPEX has decreased by 12.9%, while total up-front CAPEX is up by 5.1%,” Mr. Smith said. “This increase is driven in part by the need for additional and larger water treatment equipment, by price inflation in construction materials and processing inputs over the last two years, and by the decision to target higher-grade ore at lower elevations in the mine earlier in the Project’s operational life. Targeting higher-grade ore helps to boost our expected operating cash flows over the first 10 years of operations. This trade-off should be attractive to strategic investors. In particular, strategic investors are likely to be clearly focused on the long-term financial returns of this critical minerals project as well as on the environmental benefits to society that our critical minerals promise to deliver. This mining plan and Feasibility Study update strengthen the value proposition of this investment even further.”

“Inflation in the construction materials sector, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index, has risen by 8.8%4 since our 2017 Feasibility Study was conducted,” Mr. Smith noted. “The fact that costs are rising for raw materials, processing inputs, machinery, and other components of our production facility is one reason why we are pushing hard to secure projecting financing and move to construction as rapidly as possible.”

Scott Honan, President of Elk Creek Resources Corp., the NioCorp subsidiary that will develop and operate the Project, said: “Completing the design engineering of a new underground mine is a large undertaking, and I am pleased with the success of this effort. This mine plan accelerates expected revenue generation in the first 10 years of operation while also delivering increased environmental performance. It paves the way for us to accelerate our ongoing work to complete detailed engineering of the surface processing facilities, where our goal is to find additional efficiencies and process improvements beyond those we have already incorporated into the Project. This mine plan advances us that much closer to a construction start, and our team is very excited to be able to build and operate this high-value critical minerals mine.”

Chris Dougherty, Chairman of the Nordmin Group of Companies, said: “Nordmin is pleased to bring added value to NioCorp’s Elk Creek Project. Through optimizing the mine plan, we have enhanced the Project’s economics while the use of ground freezing and other changes in underground development has further reduced the Project’s environmental impact. Our review indicates the potential of further enhancement of the Project value through expansion and definition of the deposit, beyond the increases that we identified in the report. The Elk Creek deposit is an exceptional deposit with a clear and well-defined plan that is backed by the work of many of the best engineering and geology minds in the business. We are very proud to be a part of this project and part of the NioCorp team.”

2019 FS Summary Details

The 2019 FS financial model is based upon a mine life of 36 years with an annual steady state ore throughput rate of 1,009,000 metric tonnes (“mt”). At this rate, the Elk Creek Project is estimated to generate $20.8 billion in gross LoM revenue and $370 million in averaged annual EBITDA3 over its operating life. Below are some highlights of the 2019 FS findings.


Table 2

Elk Creek Project 2019 FS Highlights
(Currency in US$’000s)
Description2017 FS2019 FSChange
Pre-Tax NPV (8% discount)$2,291$2,56412.0%
Pre-Tax IRR24.3%27.3%12.4%
After-Tax NPV$1,666$2,09825.9%
After-Tax IRR21.7%25.8%18.9%
After-tax payback period from production onset (yrs.)3.682.86-22.3%
Net pre-production CAPEX2$1,008$879-12.8%
Mine Life (yrs.)32.036.012.5%
Life of Mine ("LoM") Gross Revenue$17,906$20,80716.2%
Niobium$5,695$7,86038.0%
Scandium$11,896$12,5325.4%
Titanium$316$41431.3%
Averaged Annual EBITDA3 over LoM$370$370--
Averaged EBITDA Margin3 (EBITDA as % of total revenue)69%67%-3.4%
LoM OPEX (US$/mt)$179.99$196.419.1%
Effective Tax Rate24.1%17.5%-27.3%


Table 3

Elk Creek Project Operational Summary
Description2017 FS2019 FSChange
Ore Mined (kt)31,66136,31314.7%
Mining Rate (mt/d)2,7622,7640.1%
Nb2O5 Grade0.79%0.81%2.3%
Scandium Grade (g/mt)71.5865.71-8.2%
TiO2 Grade2.81%2.86%1.9%
Processing Rate (kt/y)1,0091,009--
Average Recovery, Nb2O582.4%82.4%--
Average Recovery Sc93.1%93.1%--
Average Recovery TiO240.3%40.3%--
Realized Product Prices
Nb ($/kg Nb as Ferroniobium)$39.60$46.5517.5%
Sc2O3 ($/kg as Sc2O3)$3,675$3,6760.0%
TiO2 ($/kg as TiO2)$0.88$0.9912.4%
Payable Metal
Nb (mt)143,824168,86117.4%
Sc2O3 (mt)3,2373,4105.3%
TiO2 (mt)359,128418,84116.6%


Table 4

Life of Mine Operations and Financial Profile
Operating Year123456789102030
Production
Niobium (mt-Nb)4,9745,0954,9014,6594,6564,6514,4834,7014,6824,6624,6864,677
Scandium (mt-Sc2O3)1121091039596919710010410010088
Titanium (mt-TiO2)12,62912,55412,11711,78211,60312,11611,75311,56812,25912,00911,92012,041
Realized Pricing
Niobium ($/kg)$45.46$45.46$45.46$45.46$45.46$45.46$45.46$45.46$45.46$46.06$47.00$47.00
Scandium ($/kg)$3,985$3,486$2,988$3,086$3,186$3,384$3,584$3,734$3,735$3,750$3,750$3,750
Titanium ($/kg)$0.99$0.99$0.99$0.99$0.99$0.99$0.99$0.99$0.99$0.99$0.99$0.99
Gross Revenues ($M)$685$622$544$518$529$533$562$598$614$601$608$562
Total OPEX ($M)($201)($196)($197)($198)($199)($191)($199)($196)($207)($206)($204)($193)
EBITDA ($M)$484$427$347$320$330$342$363$402$406$395$404$368
EBITDA Margin71%69%64%62%62%64%65%67%66%66%66%66%
Operating Cash Flow ($M)$484$427$335$289$294$299$310$341$346$338$322$291
EBT ($M)$224$207$161$151$179$216$255$292$293$281$290$268
Net Income ($M)$224$207$149$120$142$173$202$232$233$223$207$191
Net Income Margin33%33%27%23%27%32%36%39%38%37%34%34%



Production Profile and Gross Revenue

When in operation, the Project is expected to be the sole producer of Scandium oxide and a commercial version of Niobium, known as Ferroniobium, in the U.S., and one of only a handful of producers in the world of these critical and strategic materials. The 2019 FS assumes a 10-month commissioning and ramp up period to the facility’s nameplate production capacity from first ore, while the 2017 FS assumed a nine-month period for the same activity. Estimated production and revenues in the 2019 FS are as follows:

To view Figure 3, 4 and 5, please visit the following link: globenewswire.com

Table 5
2019 FS Production Summary
Average Annual Production Over Run of Mine5
DescriptionTonnes/YearRevenue/Year
($ millions)
Ferroniobium7,220$219
Scandium Trioxide95$348
Titanium Dioxide11,642$12
Life of Mine Revenue Breakdown6
DescriptionRevenue
($millions)
Proportion of Revenue
Ferroniobium$7,86037.8%
Scandium Trioxide$12,53260.2%
Titanium Dioxide$4142.0%
TOTAL$20,807100%
Note: Totals may not sum due to rounding.

Increased Revenue From Niobium

In the 2019 FS mine plan, Niobium production generates more revenue as a percentage of total revenue than in the 2017 FS, as shown in Figure 6 below. This result is driven by the updated mine plan’s targeting of higher niobium grades in the early years of mining operations and because commodity pricing for Niobium has increased since the issuance of the 2017 FS.

To view Figure 6, please visit the following link: globenewswire.com

Improved Environmental Performance

The new mine plan further reinforces the environmental performance of the Elk Creek Project. Together with previously disclosed environmental and process innovations incorporated in the 2017 FS, the Project now incorporates these following strategies and technologies designed to minimize environmental impacts of operation:

  • Zero Process Liquid Discharge: The Elk Creek facility will now operate as a Zero Process Liquid Discharge facility, with no releases of process liquids. Instead, both naturally occurring, brackish (slightly salty) water produced during mining operations, and water used in ore processing, will be treated onsite for use in operations. A solid salt will be produced from water treatment operations which will be stored onsite.

  • No Wastewater Discharge to the Missouri River: By treating water onsite, the Project no longer intends to transport water for discharge into the Missouri River. This will release the Project from having to obtain a specific NPDES water quality discharge permit from the State of Nebraska, as well as an additional Section 404 permit, and a Section 408 permit, from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Section 408 permit would have required completion of an Environmental Assessment study, a process that is governed by the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) and involves review by multiple federal government agencies.
  • Additional Protection of Groundwater Resources Through Artificial Ground Freezing: The Project’s new mine plan will utilize artificial ground freezing as part of the process of sinking the Project’s production and ventilation shafts. Artificial ground freezing creates a temporary frozen barrier that helps to protect groundwater resources in the area while shaft-sinking operations are underway.

  • Avoidance of Permanent Impacts to Federally Jurisdictional Waters: NioCorp designed the layout of the Elk Creek Project to minimize or avoid permanent impacts to any federally jurisdictional waters and/or wetlands on the property. This reduced the Project’s expected environmental impacts and allowed the Project to secure a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Nationwide Permit program, a much more efficient and less expensive process than an individual Section 404 permit. No other NEPA-level federal permits are now expected to be required for the Project.

  • Recycling of Reagents Used in Mineral Processing: Metallurgical and process breakthroughs that NioCorp accomplished in 2016 and 2017 ( see this previous announcement) are expected to help reduce the volume of material planned for disposal in the Project’s tailings storage areas. As more of this material is recycled, the environmental footprint of the Project is reduced.

  • Utilizing Tailings as Underground Mine Backfill: NioCorp plans to fill underground voids concurrently with mining operations using a paste backfill material that contains mine waste material that typically would be stored in above-ground mine tailings storage areas.


  • To view Figure 7, please visit the following link: globenewswire.com

    Capital Expenditures (“CAPEX”)

    As detailed in Table 6 below, the net pre-production CAPEX is $879 million, which includes a contingency of 10.33%6 and a pre-production net revenue credit of $265 million, which is generated during a six-month production ramp-up period (versus a three-month ramp-up in the 2017 FS) and is net of pre-production capital and operational costs. Total upfront CAPEX for the Project is $1.14 billion, a 5.1% increase over the 2017 FS and which reflects the following: additional and larger water treatment equipment; higher costs due to inflation between 2017 and 2019; replacing a ventilation raise system with a ventilation shaft sinking method using proven artificial ground freezing methods to mitigate water inflow risks for this requirement; and higher capital costs incurred by initially mining at greater depths where ore grades are higher.


    Table 6
    2019 FS CAPEX Breakdown
    (US $millions)2017 FS2019 FS Change
    Direct Costs
    Preproduction CAPEX$71$8316.2%
    Mining CAPEX$179$25744%
    Processing CAPEX (excluding water treatment)$343$3677.1%
    Water management CAPEX7$100$6-94%
    Water Treatment8$24$68180%
    Tailings$20.2$21.46.1%
    Site prep$30.6$40.62.6%
    Indirect Expenses
    Mining$21.9$23.78.1%
    Mining EPC$12.3$16.030%
    Processing$34.1$33.4-1.8%
    Processing EPC$64.5$62.6-2.9%
    Site$7.2$7.42.7%
    Water management9$10.8$8.5-20.8%
    Owners Costs$38.4$33.6-12.4%
    Commissioning
    Mining$0.7$1.4102%
    Processing$13.0$13.32.7%
    Contingency$109$101-7.3%
    Sub Total$1,088$1,1435.1%
    Net Pre-Production Revenue($79)($265)234%
    TOTAL $1,008$879-12.9%


    To view Figure 8, please visit the following link: globenewswire.com

    Operating Expenditures (“OPEX”)

    Operating expenditures over the life of mine in the 2019 FS are higher than the 2017 FS as a result of several factors, including but not limited to the following: (1) NioCorp intends to use a contract mining model as opposed to self-perform mining operations; (2) prices for some consumables used in surface processing facilities are higher than quotes received in 2017; and (3) water management costs for the Project are higher as a result of the more intensive water treatment and related operations outlined in the 2019 FS.

    Table 7
    OPEX Summary

    2017 FS2019 FS

    LoM Costs
    ($millions)
    Cost / TonneLoM Costs
    ($millions)
    Cost / Tonne
    LoM Operating Costs
    Mining Costs$1,244$39.30$1,563$43.04
    Processing Costs$3,285$103.77$3,875$106.70
    Water Management & Infra$251$7.92$609$16.78
    Tailings Management$46$1.44$72$1.99
    Other Infrastructure$212$6.68$199$5.47
    G&A$268$8.47$301$8.29
    Other Expenses$136$4.31$229$6.30
    Subtotal OPEX$5,442$171.89$6,847$188.56
    Royalties/Annual Bond Premium$257$8.10$285$7.84
    Total All-In OPEX$5,699$179.99$7,132$196.41


    To view Figure 9, please visit the following link: globenewswire.com

    Financial Performance

    The financial performance and valuation of the Project were conducted using a discounted cash flow (DCF) methodology over its 36-year mine life and an 8% discount rate. The 2019 FS projects a pre-tax NPV of $2.57 billion and an after-tax IRR of 25.8%. Gross revenue is $20.8 billion.

    To view Figure 10, please visit the following link: globenewswire.com

    Figure 11 below shows the total cumulative net cash flow (after tax) over the 36 modeled life of mine. Total cumulative net cash flow, after tax, is $9.8 billion. Figure 12 below shows the initial capital spend over the first 44 months of the Project.

    To view Figure 11, please visit the following link: globenewswire.com

    To view Figure 12, please visit the following link: globenewswire.com

    Sensitivity Analysis

    A sensitivity analysis was conducted as part of the 2019 FS to determine the effect of key variables at a plus-or-minus 30% on the Project’s base case of pre-tax NPV of $2.57 billion and IRR of 27.3% and a base case of after-tax NPV of $2.10 billion and IRR of 25.8%. The results of this analysis are shown below in Tables 8 and 9.

    Table 8
    Pre-Tax NPV & IRR Sensitivity Analysis ($B)
    Pre-Tax-NPV-30%-25%-20%-15%-10%-5%Base5%10%15%20%25%30%
    Nb Price$1,947$2,050$2,153$2,256$2,359$2,462$2,564$2,667$2,770$2,873$2,976$3,079$3,182
    Sc2O3 Price$1,560$1,728$1,895$2,062$2,230$2,397$2,564$2,732$2,899$3,066$3,234$3,401$3,568
    TiO2 Price$2,531$2,537$2,542$2,548$2,553$2,559$2,564$2,570$2,575$2,581$2,586$2,592$2,597
    Operating Costs$3,086$2,999$2,912$2,825$2,738$2,651$2,564$2,478$2,391$2,304$2,217$2,130$2,043
    Capital Costs$2,913$2,855$2,797$2,739$2,681$2,622$2,564$2,506$2,448$2,390$2,332$2,274$2,216

    Pre-Tax IRR-30%-25%-20%-15%-10%-5%Base5%10%15%20%25%30%
    Nb Price23.2%23.9%24.6%25.3%26.0%26.7%27.3%28.0%28.7%29.3%30.0%30.7%31.3%
    Sc2O3 Price20.3%21.5%22.7%23.9%25.1%26.2%27.3%28.5%29.6%30.7%31.8%32.8%33.9%
    TiO2 Price27.1%27.2%27.2%27.2%27.3%27.3%27.3%27.4%27.4%27.5%27.5%27.5%27.6%
    Operating Costs30.6%30.1%29.6%29.0%28.5%27.9%27.3%26.8%26.2%25.6%25.1%24.5%23.9%
    Capital Costs37.7%35.5%33.5%31.7%30.1%28.7%27.3%26.1%25.0%24.0%23.0%22.2%21.3%


    Table 9
    After-Tax NPV & IRR Sensitivity Analysis ($B)
    After Tax NPV-30%-25%-20%-15%-10%-5%Base5%10%15%20%25%30%
    Nb Price$1,594$1,678$1,763$1,847$1,932$2,016$2,098$2,180$2,262$2,343$2,425$2,506$2,588
    Sc2O3 Price$1,292$1,427$1,562$1,697$1,832$1,966$2,098$2,228$2,357$2,486$2,615$2,744$2,872
    TiO2 Price$2,072$2,076$2,081$2,085$2,089$2,094$2,098$2,103$2,107$2,111$2,116$2,120$2,124
    Operating Costs$2,480$2,417$2,353$2,290$2,226$2,162$2,098$2,034$1,967$1,900$1,833$1,767$1,699
    Capital Costs$2,446$2,388$2,330$2,272$2,214$2,156$2,098$2,040$1,982$1,924$1,866$1,808$1,750

    After Tax IRR-30%-25%-20%-15%-10%-5%Base5%10%15%20%25%30%
    Nb Price21.9%22.6%23.3%23.9%24.6%25.2%25.8%26.4%27.0%27.6%28.2%28.8%29.4%
    Sc2O3 Price19.3%20.5%21.6%22.7%23.7%24.8%25.8%26.8%27.8%28.8%29.8%30.7%31.7%
    TiO2 Price25.6%25.6%25.7%25.7%25.7%25.8%25.8%25.8%25.9%25.9%25.9%26.0%26.0%
    Operating Costs28.7%28.2%27.7%27.3%26.8%26.3%25.8%25.3%24.8%24.3%23.8%23.3%22.8%
    Capital Costs36.3%34.1%32.1%30.3%28.6%27.2%25.8%24.6%23.5%22.4%21.5%20.6%19.8%



    Mineral Resource Estimate Update

    A component of the 2019 FS update included an update to the Project’s Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve, with the results shown below.

    Table 10
    February 19, 2019 Mineral Resource Summary
    ClassificationCut-off NSR
    (DIL)(US$/mt)
    Tonnage
    (x1000 mt)
    Nb2O5
    Grade
    (%)
    Contained
    Nb2O5
    (mt)
    TiO2
    Grade
    (%)
    Contained TiO2
    (mt)
    Sc Grade
    (ppm)
    Contained Sc
    (mt)
    Indicated180183,1850.54981,0922.153,940,41957.6510,562
    Inferred180103,9920.48498,8641.811,886,18147.384,928
    Source: Nordmin, 2019. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimates. Totals may not sum due to rounding.

  • Mineral resources are reported inclusive of the mineral reserve. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimate and have been used to derive sub-totals, totals and weighted averages. Such calculations inherently involve a degree of rounding and consequently introduce a margin of error. Where these occur, Nordmin does not consider them to be material.
  • The reporting standard adopted for the reporting of the MRE uses the terminology, definitions and guidelines given in the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (“CIM”) Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (May 10, 2014) as required by NI 43-101.
  • CIM definition standards for mineral resources and mineral reserves (May 2014) defines a mineral resource as:
  • "(A) concentration or occurrence of diamonds, natural solid inorganic material, or natural solid fossilized organic material including base and precious metals, coal, and industrial minerals in or on the Earth's crust in such form and quantity and of such a grade or quality that it has reasonable prospects for economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade, geological characteristics and continuity of a mineral resource are known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge".
  • Historical samples have been validated via re-assay programs, and all drilling completed by NioCorp has been subjected to QA/QC. All composites have been capped and then composited where appropriate, and estimates completed used ordinary kriging. The concession is wholly owned by and exploration is operated by NioCorp Developments Ltd.
  • The project is amenable to underground longhole open stoping mining methods. Using results from metallurgical test work, suitable underground mining and processing costs, and forecast product pricing Nordmin has reported the mineral resource at an NSR cut-off of US$180/mt.
  • Economic Assumptions Used to Define Mineral resource Cut-off Value:
  • Diluted NSR (US$) = Revenue per block Nb2O5 (diluted) + Revenue per block TiO2 (diluted) + Revenue per block Sc (diluted)


    Diluted tonnes per block

  • Price assumptions for FeNb, Sc2O3, and TiO2 are based upon independent market analyses for each product.
  • Price and cost assumptions are based on the pricing of products at the "mine-gate", with no additional down-stream costs required. The assumed products are a ferroniobium product (metallic alloy shots 0.65Nb?0.35% Fe), a titanium dioxide product in powder form, and scandium trioxide in powder form.
  • The "reasonable prospects for economic extraction" requirement generally implies that the quantity and grade estimates meet certain economic thresholds and that the mineral resources are reported at an appropriate Cut-off Grade (“CoG”), considering extraction scenarios and processing recoveries. Based on this requirement, Nordmin considers that major portions of the project are amenable for underground extraction with a processing method to recover FeNb (as the saleable product of Nb2O5), TiO2, and Sc2O3 products.
  • The result of positive indications from the company's metallurgical testing and development program, titanium (TiO2) and scandium (Sc) were added to the mineral resource Statement in February 2015. Both metals can be recovered with simple additions to the existing process flowsheet and would provide additional revenue streams that would complement the planned production of ferroniobium.
  • Nordmin has provided reasonable estimates of the expected costs based on the knowledge of the style of mining (underground) and potential processing methods (by 3rd party Qualified Persons).
  • Mineral Resource effective date February 19, 2019.
  • Nordmin completed a site inspection of the deposit by Glen Kuntz, BSc, P.Geo., Consulting Specialist - Geology/Mining, an appropriate "independent qualified person" as this term is defined in NI 43-101.

  • February 19, 2019 Mineral Resource Details
    ParameterValueUnit
    Mining Cost50.0US$/mt mined
    Processing125US$/mt mined
    General and Administrative5.0US$/mt mined
    Total Cost180US$/mt mined
    Nb2O5 to Niobium conversion69.6%
    Niobium Process Recovery82.36%
    Niobium Price39.60US$/kg
    TiO2 Process Recovery40.31%
    TiO2 Price0.88US$/kg
    Sc Process Recovery93.14%
    Sc to Sc203 conversion153.4%
    Sc Price3,675US$/kg
    Calculated CoG NSR diluted 6 %180US$/mt



    Mineral Reserve Estimate Update

    An update to the Project’s Mineral Reserve was conducted, and the results are shown below.

    Table 11
    February 19, 2019 Mineral Reserve Summary
    ClassificationTonnage
    (x1000
    mt)
    Nb2O5
    Grade
    (%)
    Contained
    Nb2O5

    (mt)
    Payable
    Nb

    (mt)
    TiO2
    Grade
    (%)
    Contained
    TiO2

    (mt)
    Payable
    TiO2

    (mt)
    Sc
    Grade
    (ppm)
    Contained
    Sc

    (mt)
    Payable
    Sc2O3

    (mt)
    Proven









    Probable36,3130.81293,321168,8612.861,039,050418,84165.72,3873,410
    Total Proven and Probable36,3130.81293,321168,8612.861,039,050418,84165.72,3873,410
    Source: Nordmin, 2019. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimates. Totals may not sum due to rounding.

    • Nordmin has reported the mineral reserve based on the mine design, mine plan, and cash-flow model utilizing an average cut-off grade of 0.788% NB205 with an NSR of $500/mt.
    • Nordmin considers that the mineral reserve is amenable for underground extraction with a processing method to recover FeNb (as the saleable product of Nb2O5), TiO2, and Sc2O3 products.
    • The economic assumptions used to define Mineral Reserve cut-off grade are as follows:
    • Annual life of mine (LoM) production rate of ~7,220 tonnes of FeNb/annum,
    • Initial elevated five-year production rate ~ 7,351 tonnes of FeNb/annum
  • Mining dilution of ~6% was applied to all stopes and development, based on 3% for the primary stopes, 9% for the secondary stopes, and 5% for ore development.
  • Mining recoveries of 95% were applied.
  • Price assumptions for FeNb, Sc2O3, and TiO2 are based upon independent market analyses for each product.
  • Price and cost assumptions are based on the pricing of products at the "mine-gate", with no additional down-stream costs required. The assumed products are a ferroniobium product (metallic alloy shots 0.65Nb?0.35% Fe), a titanium dioxide product in powder form, and scandium trioxide in powder form.
  • The mineral reserve has an average LoM NSR of $538.63 /tonne.
  • Nordmin has provided detailed estimates of the expected costs based on the knowledge of the style of mining (underground) and potential processing methods (by 3rd party Qualified Persons).
  • Mineral Reserve effective date February 19, 2019. The financial model was run post-February 2019, which reflects a total cost of $198.31 (Table 7) versus $189.91 (February 19, 2019 Mineral Reserve Details Table above). Nordmin does not consider this a material change.
  • Price variances for commodities is based on updated independent market studies versus earlier projected pricing. The updated independent market studies do not have a negative effect on the reserve.
  • Nordmin completed a site inspection of the deposit by Jean- Francois St-Onge, P.Eng, Associate Consulting Specialist - Mining, an appropriate "independent qualified person" as this term is defined in NI 43-101.

  • February 19, 2019 Mineral Reserve Details
    ParameterValueUnit
    Mining Cost43.55US$/mt mined
    Processing108.16US$/mt mined
    Water Management and Infrastructure13.71US$/mt mined
    Tailings Management1.35US$/mt mined
    Other Infrastructure6.96US$/mt mined
    General and Administrative8.65US$/mt mined
    Royalties/Annual Bond Premium7.53US$/mt mined
    Total Cost189.91US$/mt mined
    Nb2O5 to Niobium conversion69.6%
    Niobium Process Recovery82.36%
    Niobium Price39.60US$/kg
    TiO2 Process Recovery40.31%
    TiO2 Price0.88US$/kg
    Sc Process Recovery93.14%
    Sc to Sc203 conversion153.4%
    Sc Price3,675US$/kg
    Next Steps

  • File the updated NI-43-101 Technical Report for the Project on SEDAR within the next 45 days and post on www.niocorp.com.

  • Secure project finance necessary to move the Project to construction and commercial operation.

  • Submit a construction air permit application to the State of Nebraska, along with other permit applications that will be needed for construction.

  • Make formal awards of Engineering, Procurement, and Construction contracts.

  • Continue detailed engineering for the Project’s mine and surface facilities.



  • NioCorp Conference Call / Webcast on Monday, April 22, 2019

    NioCorp will host a conference call and live webcast on Monday, April 22, 2019, starting at 10 a.m. Mountain, featuring Mark A. Smith, NioCorp’s CEO and Executive Chairman, and Scott Honan, President of Elk Creek Resources Corp., to discuss the results of the new Elk Creek mine plan, Feasibility Study update, and the Project’s newly updated Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve.

    Those wishing to participate in the live webcast, where presentation slides will be shown and questions can be submitted during the webcast, can register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6302297693868155395. Those wishing to participate via a listen-only phone line can use the call-in numbers and access codes listed below.

    COUNTRYListen-Only Call-In NumberAccess Code
    US(213) 493-0005433-576-565
    Australia+61 3 8488 8990433-576-565
    Austria+43 7 2081 5389433-576-565
    Belgium+32 28 93 7003433-576-565
    Canada+1 (647) 497-9385433-576-565
    Denmark+45 32 72 03 72433-576-565
    Finland+358 923 17 0557433-576-565
    France+33 971 072 671433-576-565
    Germany+49 692 5736 7318433-576-565
    Ireland+353 15 360 755433-576-565
    Italy+39 0 230 57 81 73433-576-565
    Netherlands+31 202 251 018433-576-565
    New Zealand+64 4 974 7212433-576-565
    Norway+47 23 16 23 28433-576-565
    Spain+34 912 71 8490433-576-565
    Sweden+46 853 527 819433-576-565
    Switzerland+41 225 4599 62433-576-565
    United Kingdom+44 330 221 9922433-576-565



    Technical Disclosure

    The technical information in this news release and the forthcoming FS update has been reviewed and approved by Mr. Chris Dougherty, P.Eng, Consulting Specialist and Chairman (Nordmin Group of Companies), Mr. Gregory Menard, P.Eng., CET, PMP, Senior Mechanical Engineer (Nordmin Engineering Ltd.) and Mr. Glen Kuntz, P.Geo., Consulting Specialist - Geology/Mining (Nordmin Engineering Ltd.), and Mr. Joshua Sames, B.S., PE, Senior Consultant (SRK Consulting), Mr. David Winters, PE, SE, MBA, Senior Consultant (TetraTech), each of whom is a "qualified person" under National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI-43-101").

    The Mineral Resource and Reserve Estimates were completed by Mr. Glen Kuntz, P. Geo, Consulting Specialist - Geology/Mining (Nordmin Engineering Ltd.) and Mr. Jean- Francois St-Onge, P.Eng, Associate Consulting Specialist - Mining and Vice President (Optimize Group Inc.). Both are independent Qualified Persons in accordance with the requirements of National Instrument (NI) 43-101 and they have approved the disclosure herein.

    All other technical information in this news release has been approved by the following Qualified Professionals: Mr. Adrian Brown, PE, Consultant (Adrian Brown Consultants); Mr. Joshua Sames, B.S., PE, Senior Consultant (SRK Consulting); Mr. John Tinucci, PhD, PE, Principal Geotechnical Engineer (SRK Consulting); Mr. Mark Willow, M.Sc, C.E.M., SME-RM, Principal Environmental Scientist (SRK Consulting); Mr. Chris Dougherty, P.Eng, Consulting Specialist and Chairman (Nordmin Group of Companies); Mr. Gregory Menard, P.Eng., CET, PMP, Senior Mechanical Engineer (Nordmin Engineering Ltd.); Mr. Eric Larochelle, B.Eng., President (Specialty Metals & Hydrometallurgy); Mr. David Winters, PE, SE, MBA, Senior Consultant (TetraTech); Mr. Sylvain Harton, P.Eng., President (Metallurgy Concept Solutions); and Mr. Orest Romaniuk, P.Eng, Senior Engineer (Zachry Group).

    The relevant qualified persons have reviewed and verified the data disclosed, including sampling, analytical and test data underlying the information contained in the disclosure.

    Endnotes


    Non-GAAP Financial Measures: This news release includes certain forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures, including EBITDA and Free Cash Flow. These non-GAAP financial measures are included in this news release because these statistics are key performance measures that management uses to monitor performance, to assess how the Company is performing, to plan and to assess the overall effectiveness and efficiency of operations. These performance measures do not have a standard meaning within GAAP and, therefore, amounts presented may not be comparable to similar data presented by other mining companies. These performance measures should not be considered in isolation as a substitute for measures of performance in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliations of these forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are not provided because the Company is unable to provide such reconciliations without unreasonable effort, due to the uncertainty and inherent difficulty of predicting the occurrence and the financial impact of such items impacting comparability and the periods in which such items may be recognized. For the same reasons, the Company is unable to address the probable significance of the unavailable information, which could be material to future results.

    SEC Standards Regarding Mineral Resources and Reserves. Estimates of mineralization and other technical information included or referenced in this news release have been prepared in accordance with NI 43-101. The definitions of proven and probable mineral reserves used in NI 43-101 differ from the definitions in SEC Industry Guide 7. Under SEC Industry Guide 7 standards, a "final" or "bankable" feasibility study is required to report reserves, the three-year historical average price is used in any reserve or cash flow analysis to designate reserves and the primary environmental analysis or report must be filed with the appropriate governmental authority. As a result, the reserves reported by the Company in accordance with NI 43-101 may not qualify as "reserves" under SEC standards. In addition, the terms "mineral resource", "measured mineral resource", "indicated mineral resource" and "inferred mineral resource" are defined in and required to be disclosed by NI 43-101; however, these terms are not defined terms under SEC Industry Guide 7 and normally are not permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. "Inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian securities laws, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, except in rare cases. Additionally, the disclosure of "contained pounds" in a resource is permitted disclosure under Canadian securities laws; however, the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute "reserves" by SEC standards as in place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measurements. Accordingly, information contained or referenced in this news release containing descriptions of the Company's mineral deposits may not be comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements of United States federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.

    @NioCorp $NB $NIOBF #Niobium #Scandium #ElkCreek #Nordmin

    For More Information

    Contact Jim Sims, VP of External Affairs, NioCorp Developments Ltd., 20-639-4650, jim.sims@niocorp.com

    About NioCorp

    NioCorp is developing a superalloy materials project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce Niobium, Scandium, and Titanium. Niobium is used to produce superalloys as well as High Strength, Low Alloy ("HSLA") steel, which is a lighter, stronger steel used in automotive, structural, and pipeline applications. Scandium is a superalloy material that can be combined with Aluminum to make alloys with increased strength and improved corrosion resistance. Scandium also is a critical component of advanced solid oxide fuel cells. Titanium is used in various superalloys and is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics and is also used for aerospace applications, armor and medical implants.

    Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

    Neither TSX nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this document. Certain statements contained in this document may constitute forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the results of the feasibility study, including, but not limited to, metal price and exchange rate assumptions, cash flow forecasts, projected capital and operating costs, metal or mineral recoveries, mine life and production rates; the Company’s potential plans and operating performance; the estimation of the tonnage, grades and content of deposits, and the extent of the resource and reserves estimates; potential production from and viability of the Project; the future ability to obtain permits and the nature of the permits required; estimates of future production and operating costs; improvements in environmental performance and the reduction in environmental impacts; estimates of permitting submissions and timing; the timing and receipt of necessary permits and project approvals for future operations; access to project funding, exploration results, and expected filing of the NI 43-101 Technical Report. Such forward-looking statements are based upon NioCorp’s reasonable expectations and business plan at the date hereof, which are subject to change depending on economic, political and competitive circumstances and contingencies. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause a change in such assumptions and the actual outcomes and estimates to be materially different from those estimated or anticipated future results, achievements or position expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause NioCorp’s plans or prospects to change include risks related to the Company's ability to operate as a going concern; risks related to the Company's requirement of significant additional capital; changes in demand for and price of commodities (such as fuel and electricity) and currencies; changes in economic valuations of the Project, such as Net Present Value calculations, changes or disruptions in the securities markets; legislative, political or economic developments; the need to obtain permits and comply with laws and regulations and other regulatory requirements; the possibility that actual results of work may differ from projections/expectations or may not realize the perceived potential of NioCorp’s projects; risks of accidents, equipment breakdowns and labor disputes or other unanticipated difficulties or interruptions; the possibility of cost overruns or unanticipated expenses in development programs; operating or technical difficulties in connection with exploration, mining or development activities; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of diminishing quantities of grades of reserves and resources; and the risks involved in the exploration, development and mining business and the risks set forth in the Company’s filings with Canadian securities regulators at www.sedar.com and the SEC at www.sec.gov. NioCorp disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

    1See endnote regarding Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource.
    2Net pre-production CAPEX includes a 10.33% contingency and a pre-production net credit of $265 million for revenue generated during the six-month production ramp-up period minus pre-production capital and operational costs.
    3See endnotes for discussion of the use of non-GAAP financial measures.
    4Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2019 data.
    5Run of Mine,” or ROM, is defined as the period of time during which the mine is fully operational and excludes the periods of time when the mine is conducting its initial production ramp or is ramping down to closure. “Life of Mine,” or LOM, encompasses the entire expected operational life of the mine, including ramp-up and ramp-down production periods.
    6Project contingency percentage is calculated on all features of the project excluding the water treatment plant, which is quoted on a design-build-operate basis and incorporates its own contingency.
    7Water management CAPEX of $100 million in the 2017 FS were primarily attributable to the cost of constructing the then-planned waterline to the Missouri River and costs associated with pre-production dewatering wells and hydrogeological investigations. 2019 water management CAPEX encompasses hydrogeological investigations.
    8Water treatment includes direct costs of the Project’s water treatment systems.
    9Indirect expenses for water management in the 2017 FS included hydrogeologic investigations and installation and testing of prototype water pumping wells. In the 2019 FS, these costs encompass the indirect costs of building the Project’s water treatment facility.


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    To: LoneClone who wrote (15826)4/18/2019 1:37:19 PM
    From: LoneClone
       of 17122
     
    Scandium International Mining Receives Notice That Nyngan Mine Lease Has Been Determined Invalid


    newsfilecorp.com

    Reno, Nevada--(Newsfile Corp. - April 18, 2019) - Scandium International Mining Corp. (TSX:SCY) ("Scandium International" or the "Company") has received notice from Counsel for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (the 'Department') that, due to a procedural issue within the Department, the Company's Mine Lease Grant, ('ML 1763'), pertaining to the Nyngan Scandium Project in New South Wales, Australia, previously issued by the Department on 4 October 2017, is invalid.

    The Department has determined that its internal procedures failed to properly and fully consider an affected landowner's 'Agricultural Land' objection prior to the grant of ML 1763, as specified by applicable Law.

    The Department has not changed the formal 'granted' status of ML 1763 on its electronic public record system (TAS), but that is now expected to occur.

    As the Company's mine lease application ('MLA 531') submitted in 2016 covering the entire area originally requested has not been validly determined by the Department, the mine lease application remains in force and pending.

    The Department has not yet completed its review and determination of the validity of the landowner's objection, as per applicable Law, but has advised the Company that it is continuing with its ongoing formal review.

    The Department's ultimate decision on validity of the landowner objection will then determine the outcome on the pending application (MLA 531). If the landowner's objection is not upheld by the Department, then the Department will proceed to grant a new Mining Lease to the Company.

    The Company believes that the viability of the project is not dependent on land related to the current objection and can proceed based exclusively on surface rights owned by the Company.

    The Company is currently in ongoing discussions with the affected landowner, and is also in process of filing other MLA documents that could potentially address issues central to this matter.

    George Putnam, CEO of Scandium International Mining Corp. commented:

    "The determination by the Department as to the validity of the agricultural land objection has not been made, and remains at the heart of this matter. The Company (with Counsel) has provided the Department with extensive comments on the objection and will press for an early, accurate and fair decision in this regard. The Company remains committed to building the Nyngan Scandium Project, regardless of the decision by the Department."

    ABOUT SCANDIUM INTERNATIONAL MINING CORP.

    The Company is focused on developing its Nyngan Scandium Project, located in NSW, Australia, into the world's first scandium-only producing mine. The project owned by our 100% held Australian subsidiary, EMC Metals Australia Pty Limited.

    The Company filed a NI 43-101 technical report in May 2016, titled "Feasibility Study - Nyngan Scandium Project". That feasibility study delivered an expanded scandium resource, a first reserve figure, and an estimated 33.1% IRR on the project, supported by extensive metallurgical test work and an independent, 10-year global marketing outlook for scandium demand.

    Willem Duyvesteyn, MSc, AIME, CIM, a Director and CTO of the Company, is a qualified person for the purposes of NI 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical content of this press release on behalf of the Company.

    For inquiries to Scandium International Mining Corp, please contact:

    Edward Dickinson (CFO)
    Tel: (775) 233-7328

    George Putnam (CEO)
    Tel: (925) 208-1775

    Email: info@scandiummining.com

    This press release contains forward-looking statements about the Company and its business. Forward looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and include, but are not limited to statements regarding any future development of the project. The forward-looking statements in this press release are subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the Company's actual results or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by forward looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, without limitation: risks related to uncertainty in the demand for scandium, the possibility that results of test work will not fulfill expectations, or not realize the perceived market utilization and potential of scandium sources that may be developed for sale by the Company, and risks associated with permitting. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions and expectations of the Company's management at the time they are made, and other than as required by applicable securities laws, the Company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions or expectations, or other circumstances, should change.

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)


    To: LoneClone who wrote (15827)4/18/2019 1:44:03 PM
    From: LoneClone
       of 17122
     
    Millennial Lithium Announces Approximately 100 Percent Increase to 4,200,000 Tonnes in Measured and Indicated Lithium Resources at Pastos Grandes

    newsfilecorp.com

    Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - April 17, 2019) - Millennial Lithium Corp. (TSXV: ML) (the "Company"), is pleased to report an updated lithium ("Li") and potassium ("K") resource statement for its Pastos Grandes brine project in Salta province of Argentina. The NI 43-101 resource statement, detailed in Table 1 below, includes 4,120,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate ("Li2CO3") equivalent (LCE) and 15,342,000 tonnes of potash ("KCl") equivalent in the Measured and Indicated Resource categories, with an additional 798,000 tonnes of LCE and 2,973,000 tonnes KCl in the Inferred Resource category. Compared to resource estimates completed by Montgomery & Associates in its previous report titled Measured, Indicated and Inferred Lithium and Potassium Resource Estimate Pastos Grandes Project Salta Province, Argentina and dated December 22, 2017, the updated resources represent an almost 100% increase in the Measured and Indicated LCE tonnage (2017 value of 2,131,000 tonnes LCE).

    Farhad Abasov, President and CEO of Millennial Lithium, commented on the updated resources for the Pastos Grandes Project: "We are very excited to see from calculations by our hydrogeological consultants Montgomery & Associates, an approximately 100% increase in the Measured and Indicated lithium resources estimate over the 2017 Measured and Indicated Li resources. This sizable increase in our resource positions Millennial as one of the most prospective lithium brine projects in the world with the potential for a significant lithium operation. The Company now has significant Measured and Indicated lithium resources which, on the completion of ongoing studies, have the potential to be converted to Probable and Possible reserves in support of our Feasibility Study on the Company's planned lithium carbonate processing operation. Our development work continues with the Feasibility Study and the construction of the pilot processing plant, both slated for completion in Q2."

    Table 1. Updated Pastos Grandes Brine Resource Statement

    Phase II Resource
    Category
    Brine Volume
    (m3)
    Avg. Li
    (mg/l)
    In situ Li (tonnes)*Li2CO3
    Equivalent

    (tonnes*)
    Avg. K
    (mg/l)
    In situ K
    (tonnes)*
    KCl Equivalent (tonnes)*
    Measured9.5E+08446425,0002,262,0004,7344,508,0008,597,000
    Indicated8.6E+08406349,0001,858,0004,1143,357,0006,745,000
    M+I1.8E+09427774,0004,120,0004,4408,045,00015,342,000
    Inferred3.5E+08428150,000798,0004,4571,559,0002,973,000


    *Cut-off Grade = 300mg/L Lithium
    *Tonnages are rounded to the nearest thousand
    The reader is cautioned that mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability


    The resource estimate was prepared in accordance with the guidelines of National Instrument 43-101 and uses best practice methods specific to brine resources, including a reliance on core drilling and sampling methods that yield depth-specific chemistry and effective (drainable) porosity measurements. The resource estimation was completed by independent qualified person Mr. Michael Rosko, M.Sc., C.P.G. of the international hydrogeology firm E.L. Montgomery and Associates (M&A).

    The resource is defined over a 45 square kilometer footprint using results from rotary and core drilling and depth-specific packer sampling. In addition, the brine was also sampled during long-term (21 days) and short-term pumping (72 hours) tests. The new measured, indicated, and inferred resource was derived from geological and grade/width block models derived from 15,135 metres of core and rotary drilling. The average spacing between core holes is less than 1 km. Geophysical surveys were used to assist with location and anticipated depths for the core holes, but also to identify potential fresh water and to extend the inferred resource. Over most of the basin, the brine resource occurs to within 1 metre of surface and its thickness is defined by the extent of drilling. The maximum depth drilled was 641 metres near the center of the mining concessions, bottoming in a sandy aquifer. The deepest brine sample was obtained at a depth of 641 metres and had a Li concentration of 495 milligrams per litre.

    The chemistry of the Pastos Grandes brine is judged to be very favourable. Brine density and the ratios of magnesium and sulfate to lithium are:

    • Density of the brine ranges between 1.20 and 1.22 g/cm3
    • Average Magnesium/Lithium ratio: 6.2
    • Average Sulphate/Lithium ratio: 19.3
    Based on the geologic model, approximately 76% of the brine volume in this resource is hosted by predominantly silty and sandy units and 21% by mixed halite. The balance is hosted in gravel or clay dominated units.

    The total contained lithium and potassium values are based on measurements of effective (drainable) porosity distributed throughout the aquifer volume that defines this resource. This method of porosity determination is designed to estimate the portion of the total porosity that can theoretically be drained by pumping; however, these in situ estimates may differ from total extractable quantities. The porosity of the resource volume varies with geology but to date effective porosity has been predictable within distinct hydrostratigraphic units; the average for the entire saturated aquifer considered in the resource is approximately 11%.

    Portions of the resource located in the clastic sediments at the margins of the salar have been demonstrated to have fresh and brackish water overlying brine. In these areas, fresh water inflow from the surface mixes with salt water in the basin; the resulting lower density fresh water and brackish fluid float on top of the more dense brine before entering the salar margins.

    Resource Estimation Methodology

    A total of 15,135 metres of drilling from 33 holes was evaluated for this resource estimate calculation. Other core holes and wells were drilled but were shallower. A total of 144 drainable porosity results and 311 depth-specific brine sample analyses were used in the computations, not including QA/QC samples or composite samples obtained during pumping tests. The average spacing of vertical samples for brine chemistry analysis was variable with an average of 25 metres for depth-specific brine samples. Of the 33 holes used for the resource analysis, all were terminated due to drill limitations (hydrogeologic basement was not encountered). The total thickness of the basin and the total thickness of saturated sediments are unknown. Based on drilling, additional brine-bearing aquifer material is likely to exist below 600 metres in the concession area.

    The consultants chose to estimate the updated resource using Leapfrog Edge, a well-known 3-dimensional block modeling software tool. Hydrostratigraphic units have variable thickness and were determined by the consultants based on observed lithology and anticipated similar hydraulic properties.

    The values for drainable porosity and grade (lithium and potassium values) for each hydrostratigraphic unit were derived from direct measured values from the well. The unit thicknesses combined with the areas yield a volume. The volumes combined with the drainable porosity values, representing the amount of fluid available from the formation yield the volume of brine. Applying the grade, represented as lithium carbonate and potassium chloride equivalents reported as weights by volume of brine then provides the estimated resource for each block, which are then summed.

    The primary analytical laboratories for the data used in this resource are NORLAB in Jujuy, Argentina and SGS Laboratory in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Both laboratories are accredited to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO14001:2004 for their geochemical and environmental labs for the preparation and analysis of numerous sample types, including brines.

    The porosity determinations were made by Core Laboratories of Houston, Texas and Geosystems Analysis (GSA) of Tucson, Arizona. Core Laboratories is a leading provider of proprietary and patented reservoir description, production enhancement and reservoir management services. Core Laboratories has demonstrated that its Quality Management System is in compliance with certification to ISO 9000:2008. The scope of this registration is: providing state of the art petrophysical and geological analysis and interpretation of core samples from rock. GSA has gained abundant experience since 1994 in methods used by Core Laboratories and has provided services to various other lithium projects located in Argentina and globally.

    Qualified Person

    The resource evaluation work was completed by Mr. Michael Rosko, M.Sc., C.P.G. of Montgomery and Associates Consultores Limitada ("M&A"). Mr. Rosko is a Registered Geologist (C.P.G.) in Arizona, California, and Texas, a Registered Member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, and is a qualified person (QP) as that term is defined by NI 43-101. Mr. Rosko and hydrogeologists from M&A have been on site multiple times during the various phases of drilling and sampling operations. Mr. Rosko has extensive experience in salar environments and has been a QP on many lithium brine projects. Mr. Rosko and M&A are completely independent of Millennial Lithium. Mr. Rosko has reviewed and approved the content of this news release.

    Program design and exploration support was provided by Mr. Iain Scarr, (B.Sc. - Geology, MBA, CPG) of Millennial Lithium. Mr. Scarr is a Certified Professional Geologist (CPG) with the American Association of Professional Geologists (AIPG) and a QP as defined in NI 43-101. Mr. Scarr has spent significant time on site at Pastos Grandes during all drilling and sampling operations and has extensive experience with lithium projects at other lithium bearing salars.

    A Technical Report prepared under the guidelines of NI 43-101 standards describing the resource estimation will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of this release.

    To find out more about Millennial Lithium Corp. please contact Investor Relations at (604) 662-8184 or email info@millenniallithium.com.

    MILLENNIAL LITHIUM CORP.

    "Farhad Abasov"

    President and CEO, Director

    MILLENNIAL LITHIUM CORP.
    1177 West Hastings Street
    Suite. 2000
    Vancouver, BC Canada V6E 2K3
    Tel: (604) 662-8184
    Fax: (604) 602-1606
    E-Mail: info@millenniallithium.com

    Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    This document may contain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation (hereinafter referred to as "forward-looking statements"). All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation statements relating to the Preliminary Economic Assessment, estimated capital and operating costs, productions rates, cash flows, rates of return, mine life or mineral resources, securing of debt for future project construction, purchase of future mine production, the timing for completion of an Feasibility Study and other matters related to the exploration and development of the Project, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this document and the Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect management's expectations or beliefs regarding future events. By their very nature forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include unsuccessful exploration results, changes in metals prices, changes in the availability of funding for mineral exploration, unanticipated changes in key management personnel and general economic conditions, title disputes as well as those factors detailed from time to time in the Company's interim and annual financial statements and management's discussion and analysis of those statements, all of which are filed and available for review on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved" or the negative of these terms or comparable terminology. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements.

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    To: LoneClone who wrote (15828)4/18/2019 1:48:21 PM
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    [Lithium/Borax] Orocobre Limited Quarterly Report of Operations for the Period Ended 31 March 2019

    globenewswire.com

    April 16, 2019 19:45 ET | Source: Orocobre Limited

    BRISBANE, Australia, April 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

    MARCH QUARTER 2019 KEY HIGHLIGHTS1

    OLAROZ LITHIUM FACILITY (ORE 66.5%)2

  • Q3 FY19 production was 3,075 tonnes, the best March quarter achieved to date at Olaroz. Production was up 10% on the prior corresponding period (PCP) following pond preparation and a strategy of managing brine quality. Production for the year to date is 9,150 tonnes and Orocobre expects full year production to be approximately the same as FY18 which was 12,470 tonnes
  • Quarterly sales revenue was US$33.4 million, up 4% QoQ with a realised average price achieved of US$9,451/tonne on a free on board basis (FOB)3. March quarter product pricing was below that of the December quarter due to both direct and indirect impacts of China’s prolonged market softness. Sales volume for the quarter was up 17% QoQ to 3,530 tonnes
  • Gross cash margins (excluding export tax) of US$5,258/tonne were down 20% QoQ due to the lower average price received
  • Cash costs for the quarter (on cost of goods sold basis)4 were US$4,193/tonne, down 4% on PCP excluding the recently announced export tax of US$776/t.



  • LITHIUM GROWTH PROJECTS

  • Subsequent to the end of the quarter Orocobre, Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) and Joint Venture (JV) boards approved the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant to be built in Japan. Orocobre will hold a 75% economic interest in the project with operations to be managed by TTC
  • Construction of the Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant is expected to commence during H1 CY19 with commissioning to commence during H1 CY21
  • Construction of key items for the Stage 2 Expansion of the Olaroz Lithium Facility such as ponds, secondary liming plant, roads and camp upgrades have continued to advance



  • BORAX ARGENTINA

  • Overall sales volume in the March quarter was up 21% QoQ (+44% on PCP) to 13,041 tonnes which included a sale of 2,312 tonnes of low value mineral. Excluding these mineral sales the result is in line with Q2 FY19
  • Sales revenue was up 4% QoQ and average price received was up 3.5% QoQ adjusting for the low value mineral sale.



  • CORPORATE

  • During the quarter Orocobre Managing Director and CEO Mr. Martín Pérez de Solay attended the Lithium Competitiveness Meeting ‘Mesa de Litio 2019’ – chaired by Argentine President Mauricio Macri. This Lithium Roundtable conference was to address productivity issues in the lithium industry and to determine what government assistance is required to remove bottlenecks affecting industry development. The conference was attended by Argentina’s Minister of Production and Labour, Dante Sica and the Governor of Jujuy, Gerardo Morales
  • Orocobre released the 2018 Sustainability Report during the quarter ( see ASX Release dated 22 March 2019)
  • As at 31 March 2019, Orocobre corporately had available cash of US$265.7 million after expenditure mainly related to expansion activities, Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant basic engineering, corporate expenses, Cauchari JV expenditure, Borax working capital and debt repayment which was partially offset by interest income. Including Sales de Jujuy and Borax cash and project debt, net group cash is US$192.9 million.
  • 1 All figures presented in this report are unaudited
    2 All figures 100% Olaroz Project basis
    3 Orocobre report price as “FOB” (Free On Board) which excludes additional insurance and freight charges included in “CIF” (Cost, Insurance and Freight or delivered to destination port) pricing. The key difference between an FOB and CIF agreement is the point at which responsibility and liability transfer from seller to buyer. The Company’s pricing is also net of TTC commissions but excludes export taxes. FOB prices are used by the company to provide clarity on the sales revenue that flows back to SDJ, the joint venture company in Argentina
    4 Excludes royalties, export tax and corporate costs

    CAUCHARI JOINT VENTURE

    (ADVANTAGE LITHIUM OPERATOR 75% / OROCOBRE 25%)

  • During the quarter Advantage Lithium released an updated resource estimate for the Cauchari JV property. The updated resource estimate has more than doubled from the previous resource announced in May 2018 to 4.8 Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) of Measured and Indicated Resources contained in 1.8 km3 of brine and 1.5 Mt of Inferred Resource.



  • OLAROZ LITHIUM FACILITY

    Click here for more information on Olaroz

    SAFETY

    Unfortunately, an incident occurred at Olaroz during the quarter resulting in a Lost Time Injury (LTI) being recorded. The person has now returned to work on full duties. As of 31 March, operations had achieved 20 days without an LTI.

    Based on the in-depth Safety Audit conducted by DuPont, which evaluated Sales de Jujuy S.A. (SDJ) safety performance, an improvement roadmap was developed to address the key risks and priorities identified. The Company and DuPont are continuing to work together to develop and foster the Company’s safety culture.

    PRODUCTION, SALES AND OPERATIONAL UPDATE

    PRODUCTION AND SALES

    During the quarter Orocobre provided an update on the impact of rainfall and expected production for the remainder of the financial year. Rainfall exceeded the same period in 2017 and 2018 resulting in dilution of brine feedstock. There were no material production stoppages, nor disruption to the import of supplies or the export of finished product. However, FY19 was the highest Q3 production achieved to date, up 10% on PCP. Orocobre continues to expect FY19 production to be approximately the same as that achieved in FY18. Production for the March quarter was 3,075 tonnes up from 2,802 tonnes on PCP and down 19% from 3,782 tonnes in the December quarter.

    Sales were 3,530 tonnes of lithium carbonate with a realised average price of US$9,451/tonne on a FOB basis and total sales revenue of US$33.4 million. The average price received during the quarter was 11% down QoQ. Prices achieved outside of China were influenced by growing competition from increased Chinese exports responding to subdued domestic demand.

    Gross cash margins for the quarter (excluding export tax) remained strong at 56% or US$5,258/tonne but down 20% QoQ and 43% on PCP. Operating costs (on a cost of goods sold basis, excluding export tax) were US$4,193/tonne up 6% QoQ and down 4% on the March 2018 quarter. An 11% QoQ decrease of the realised average price received contributed to an 11% QoQ decrease in gross cash margin achieved.







    MetricMarch
    quarter 2019
    December
    quarter 2018
    Change QoQ
    (%)
    PCP
    (Mar FY18)
    Change PCP
    (%)
    Production (tonnes)3,0753,782-19%2,80210%
    Sales (tonnes)3,5303,01917%3,05216%
    Average price received (US$/tonne) 39,45110,587-11%13,533-30%
    Cost of sales (US$/tonne)44,1933,9746%4,356-4%
    Revenue (US$M)33.4324%41.3-19%
    Gross cash margin (US$/tonne)5,2586,613-20%9,177-43%
    Gross cash margin (%)56%62%-11%68%-18%
    Export tax (US$/tonne)776882-12%










    OPERATIONAL UPDATE

    The operational strategy has been focused on safety and quality. Special attention is being devoted to improving the lithium grade of brine feedstock - “brine quality’. Improved brine quality has multiple benefits including higher lithium recoveries, lower cost of production and increased product quality and consistency.

    Battery grade carbonate production was temporarily suspended while brine quality recovered during March following rain in January and February. Customers requiring battery grade lithium carbonate were supplied from inventory during this period. Production of battery grade lithium carbonate will recommence in the June quarter.

    Six of the eight Stage 1 harvest ponds have now been cleared of harvestable salt which precipitated through the evaporation process. The final two ponds are currently being harvested. Pond harvesting enables the recovery of brine that is retained in the salts which can then be processed in the plant. With the increase in area from development of Stage 2 ponds, future salt harvesting will become a continuous process where ponds are harvested on a rotational basis over a three year cycle.

    FUTURE PRODUCTION GUIDANCE

    Orocobre expects that full-year production for FY19 will be approximately the same as that achieved in FY18 which was 12,470 tonnes. Year to date production has been 9,150 tonnes which is up from 8,874 tonnes over the same period in FY18.

    STAGE 2 EXPANSION AT OLAROZ

    The Stage 2 Expansion of Olaroz is fully funded with cash and proposed debt funding arrangements.

    PROGRESS TO DATE

    Construction of key items for the Stage 2 Expansion such as ponds, secondary liming plant, roads and camp upgrades continued to advance during Q3 FY19.

    At Quarter end approximately US$29 million has been spent on the first phase of expansion activities including the construction of new roads, vegetation clearing, construction of new evaporation and harvest ponds, secondary liming plant, eight boreholes (currently four drilling rigs onsite with two more contracted to start mid-May). The expansion of existing site infrastructure and camp accommodation continued including a new health center for the extended work force, office space for the expansion team and warehouses for equipment. The new camp accommodation facilities and catering facilities were completed during the quarter.

    As part of the Stage 2 Expansion the process flow diagrams, layouts and equipment lists were finalised during the quarter. An Engineering, Procurement, Management and Construction (EPCM) company has been selected after a tender process. The successful company was Jacobs, a well-known international construction company with more than 20 years’ experience in Argentina (through its subsidy company CH2M Hill) who has built many mining/chemical/petroleum plants. Jacobs in association with WorleyParsons (a company that has more than 20 years’ experience in the design and construction of lithium plants in Chile and Argentina) will oversee the chemical process review and design. The project’s budget and timeline are now being reviewed by Orocobre and Jacobs.

    Six new harvest ponds (16A, 16B, 17A, 17B, 18A & 18B) have been filled with concentrated brine and are operational, replacing pond area that is temporarily unavailable due to salt harvesting activities as discussed earlier. Two additional harvest ponds (R11 & R12) were completed during the quarter and will be filled with concentrated brine during the June quarter.

    Two new evaporation ponds (15A & 15B) have now been filled with concentrated brine and are operational. Vegetation clearing and construction of three new evaporation ponds has commenced (14C, 20A & 21A). Brine transfer ducts are also under construction.

    Engineering and civil works for the secondary mobile liming plant were completed during the quarter, including the construction of concrete slabs and the delivery of tanks with installation to commence during the June quarter. The secondary liming plant will have the capacity to treat up to 300 l/s of brine.

    During the quarter construction began on a new reactor for the existing primary liming plant. This reactor will enable the primary liming plant to process a higher flow rate of brine before the Stage 2 liming plant is built permitting brine stocks to be increased and facilitating the rapid filling of Stage 2 ponds. A mobile secondary liming plant is expected to be installed by late April. Between both plants, there will be capacity to treat up to 600 l/s of brine.

    SHARED VALUE PROGRAM AND COMMUNITY

    SDJ’s community engagement and investment initiatives during the March quarter continued in accordance with the Company’s Shared Value approach.

    EDUCATION

    With the start of the 2019 calendar year, SDJ welcomed a new intake of students to the employee education program. SDJ continued towards its goal of having 100% of SDJ’s community employees holding secondary education qualifications by 2025.

    Enhancing educational infrastructure within communities remains a key focus, with a new music hall and laboratory facility inaugurated in Olaroz and an Institutional Improvement Plan implemented collaboratively with Susques Primary School to renovate amenities for local students.

    TRANSPARENCY

    Initiatives included a presentation and consultation with communities on the most recent update to SDJ’s Environmental Impact Assessment as well as quarterly environmental monitoring activities conducted with participants from local communities.

    EMPOWERMENT

    The focus during the quarter was on the evaluation of community suppliers to identify opportunities for focused development and capacity building. SDJ is committed to ensuring these suppliers are supported to not only stabilise and scale their operations over coming years but also to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

    PRODUCTION AND NATURAL RESOURCES

    Programs to strengthen local artisanal production were progressed during the quarter, with significant developments in the fibre spinning project in Huancar and the development of a ‘waste upcycling’ initiative in Susques to build awareness of individual responsibility and contribution to protect the local environment.

    MARKET AND SALES

    LITHIUM MARKET

    Orocobre views current market conditions as a short-term correction which has led much of the market to overlook strong long-term demand fundamentals driven by growth in the electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage system (ESS) segments. Accordingly, Orocobre maintains long-term demand forecasts in line with the consensus of other major producers in the range of 18% to 20% CAGR between 2018 and 2025.

    SEABORNE SUPPLY

    During Q3 FY19, the spread of pricing in the seaborne market widened to reflect an increasingly complex market environment as factors, including strategic partnering, product qualification periods, broad product specification ranges, contract length and time at which the contract price was negotiated, resulted in a greater range of pricing outcomes. Seaborne prices and market balance were unaffected by widespread rainfall across South America having a lower-than-anticipated impact of ~5 kt LCE based on supplier guidance. Nonetheless, there may be potential for a delayed impact later in the year as the downstream battery chain enters the peak production period and should the Chinese market and economy improve.

    CHINESE MARKET

    Following the conclusion of China’s New Year holiday period, independent Chinese conversion plants demonstrated little appetite to build inventory despite widespread announcements of lower spodumene prices in 2019. Similarly, Chinese lithium chemical customers were resistant to establishing long-term agreements instead preferring to negotiate on a shipment-by-shipment basis, as communicated by key suppliers during the most recent earnings calls. As a result, Chinese imports continued to decline as suppliers became increasingly focused on key long-term growth markets with less volatility including South Korea, Japan and Europe.

    CHINESE EV POLICY & MARKET

    The compound effect of China’s economic instability and the later-than-anticipated NEV (New Electric Vehicle) policy announcement meant there was little to drive Chinese demand. After much anticipation, the updated Chinese NEV policy was announced late in the quarter on 26 March indicating subsidies would be cut by between 47% and 60% for EV’s that met the minimum range requirement. Orocobre views the progressive reduction to China’s EV policy as an effective way of improving the technical standards and performance of China’s battery and EV industry. Despite the current industry restructuring, China continues to record robust electric vehicle sales achieving 198% year-on-year growth in January 2019 (includes full battery EV, BEV and plug-in hybrid PHEV), while EV sales as a proportion of total sales increased to 8.1% in December 2018 compared with 3.8% a year earlier.

    QUALIFICATIONS & CONTRACTS

    The Joint Venture through exclusive sales agent TTC is currently progressing commercial discussions with customers in regard to longer term supply contracts for both purified and prime grade products in the battery and non-battery market segments. The Joint Venture’s intention is to significantly increase the proportion of business under longer term (> 1 year) contractual arrangements underpinned by sound value propositions defined and agreed with customers.

    NARAHA LITHIUM HYDROXIDE PLANT

    FINAL INVESTMENT DECISION APPROVED

    Subsequent to the end of the quarter Orocobre, TTC and JV boards approved the FID for the Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant to be built in Japan. Orocobre will hold a 75% economic interest in the project with operations to be managed by TTC.

    Construction of the Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant is expected to commence during H1 CY19 with commissioning to commence during H1 CY21. The Naraha Joint Venture will be overseen by a Joint Technical Committee during construction and commissioning. The Joint Technical Committee will comprise both TTC and Orocobre representatives.

    Feedstock for the 10,000 tonne per annum (tpa) Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant will be sourced from the Olaroz Lithium Facility’s Stage 2 Expansion that will produce primary grade (>99.0% Li2CO3) lithium carbonate.

    The total Engineer-Procure-Construct (EPC) contract value is expected to be approximately JPY8.6 billion (US$77.6 million1, excluding VAT) following detailed engineering studies, the inclusion of a calciner to recycle lime used in processing and significant automation of the process. The Joint Venture Company will be entitled to a Japanese government subsidy of JPY3 billion (US$27.1 million1) which will reduce net capital costs to JPY5.6 billion (US$50.5 million1, excluding VAT). Operating costs (excluding primary grade lithium carbonate feedstock) for the Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant are estimated to be approximately US$1,500/tonne.

    Sales of lithium hydroxide will be managed by TTC as exclusive sales agent under a similar joint marketing arrangement to that operating for lithium carbonate from the Olaroz Lithium Facility. The majority of production is expected to be delivered to the Japanese battery industry.

    A cathode manufacturing plant is already in operation in the immediate vicinity and plans have been announced to develop a battery manufacturing facility nearby.

    FINANCING

    The Naraha Lithium Hydroxide Plant will be funded through a combination of JPY9.1 billion (US$82.1 million1) of term/bridging loans and JPY1.0 billion (US$9.0 million1) of shareholder equity. Orocobre will contribute JPY750 million (US$6.8 million1) equity and TTC will contribute JPY250 million (US$2.3 million1).

    Two project loans have been provided by Japanese banks at effective interest rates of <1%. All of the financing is non-recourse to Orocobre.




    Term LoanJPY6.1 billionUS$55.0 million1
    Subsidy Bridge LoanJPY3.0 billionUS$27.1 million1
    EquityJPY1.0 billionUS$9.0 million1
    TotalJPY10.1 billionUS$91.1 million1





    In addition, a JPY0.8 billion (US$7.2 million1) VAT Bridging Loan has been established to cover the period between VAT payment and VAT refunds on project expenditure.

    The subsidy of approximately JPY3.0 billion (US$27.1 million1) from the Japanese government is expected to be received in H1 CY21 once the project reaches mechanical completion.

    1 The EPC contract and all financing is denominated in Japanese Yen and has been converted at a JPYUSD exchange rate of 110.9

    The Term Loan will be repaid from operating cash flow with a maximum term of seven years. The Subsidy Bridge Loan will be repaid upon receipt of Subsidy payments and the VAT Bridge Loan will be repaid from VAT refunds.

    BORAX ARGENTINA

    SAFETY

    An incident occurred at the Sijes mine during the quarter resulting in an LTI being recorded. As of 31 March, the Sijes mine achieved 46 days without an LTI, Tincalayu had achieved 704 days without an LTI and Campo Quijano had achieved 387 days without an LTI. Prior to an LTI being recorded at the Sijes mine during February, the site had achieved a record of 1,249 days without an LTI.

    PRODUCTION, SALES AND OPERATIONAL UPDATE

    Borax Argentina continues to demonstrate improved year on year sales performance. Business development projects are being progressed and will continue to remain a key area of focus in CY19. The business has demonstrated continuous improvement on cost reduction and unit costs continue to be controlled at, or near record lows.

    Q3 FY19 delivered some very positive results for Borax Argentina with 13,041 tonnes sold (+21% QoQ and +44% PCP) which included a spot sale of 2,312 tonnes of low value mineral product. Removing this transaction from the quarterly sales volume delivers a result of 10,729 tonnes which is in line with Q2 FY19 and up 18% on PCP.

    Total sales revenue was up 4% QoQ and the average price received after adjusting for the low value mineral sale was up 3.5% QoQ.

    COMBINED PRODUCT SALES VOLUME BY QUARTER



    Previous Year QuartersRecent Quarters
    June 201711,398June 201810,590
    September 20178,543September 20189,407
    December 20178,341December 201810,741
    March 20189,079March 201913,041







    TINCALAYU EXPANSION STUDY

    The study on an expansion of the Tincalayu refined borates operation is in the final stage of internal review. Approvals have been received for a new gas pipeline to supply the expanded plant and initial cost estimates are under review.

    ADVANTAGE LITHIUM

    Advantage Lithium Corp (TSV:AAL) manages a portfolio of high-quality assets in Argentina, including the Cauchari Joint Venture in which Orocobre holds a 25% interest. Orocobre also holds approximately 33.5% of the issued shares of AAL.

    CAUCHARI JV PROJECT

    The Cauchari Project is located in Jujuy province in NW Argentina.

    During the quarter Advantage Lithium released an updated resource estimate for the Cauchari JV property. The updated resource estimate ( see ASX Release dated 7 March 2019) has more than doubled from the previous resource announced in May 2018. A Pre-Feasibility Study will now be conducted to determine the optimal processing and development option for the expanded resource.

    The resources have been broken into six different geological units which are classified between Measured, Indicated and Inferred resources, with the classification reflecting differences in the level of available sample information. The resource estimate is presented in the table below.

    Cauchari Project Lithium Resource Estimate; March 2019







    Measured (M)Indicated (I)M+IInferred
    Aquifer volume (km3)9.720.930.710.7
    Mean specific yield6%6%6%6%
    Brine volume (km3)0.61.21.90.6
    Li mean grade (g/m3)35262927
    Li mean concentration (mg/l)527452476473
    Resource (tonnes)345,000550,000900,000290,000
    Lithium Carbonate Equivalent1,850,0002,950,0004,800,0001,500,000







    Results of the brine chemistry analysis carried out as part of the updated resource estimate confirm the Cauchari brine is similar in composition to the brine in the adjacent Olaroz Salar from which Orocobre is successfully producing lithium carbonate using conventional lithium processing technology. The table below provides a summary of the Cauchari brine characteristics.

    Cauchari brine chemistry characteristics








    Samples RatioArchibarca FanClayEast FanHaliteDeep SandWest Fan
    Mg/Li2.32.51.62.72.53.2
    SO4/Li26.239.788.744.338.138.4










    CORPORATE AND ADMINISTRATION

    FINANCE

    VAT

    VAT refunds of approximately ~US$0.5 million were received during the quarter. Approximately US$2 million of peso denominated returns were lodged and are expected to be received next quarter. The current VAT claims awaiting payment are US$3.3 million.

    CASH BALANCE

    As at 31 March 2019, Orocobre corporate had available cash of US$265.7million. The US$18.3 million cash reduction from the prior quarter was the result of a US$15 million shareholders loan made to the SDJ joint venture to fund Olaroz expansion activities, US$1.5 million in corporate costs, US$1.1 million in payments to other group entities, US$0.8 million in Cauchari JV expenditure, US$1.3 million funding to Borax (mainly to repay banking facilities), US$0.7 million LiOH plant and US$0.1 million of forex losses. This expenditure was partially offset by US$2.2 million interest income.

    Including SDJ and Borax cash and project debt, net group cash at 31 March 2019 is US$192.9 million, down from US$207.7 million at 31 December 2018.

    The AR$/US$ exchange rate devalued by 15% during the quarter with government intervention on interest rates and other measures. At 31 December 2018 the rate was AR$37.70/US$ and this weakened to AR$43.35/US$ at 31 March 2019 whilst inflation for the same period was approximately 11%. This devaluation partially offsets the impact of the export tax that was announced in 2018.

    When looking at the accumulated 12-month period from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, devaluation of the AR$ against the US$ was 115% versus inflation of approximately 53%. This resulted in balancing US$ costs for ARS peso denominated expenses for the period considering the delayed response in devaluation vs inflation in previous periods. As a result, costs were lower for Borax Argentina and to a lesser extent, SDJ. Over time, inflation and devaluation generally cancel each other out.

    OTHER MATTERS

    During the quarter Mr Martín Pérez de Solay was appointed to the role of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer taking over from Mr Richard Seville. Mr Seville ceased formal employment with Orocobre on 16 April following a period of annual leave. The Board has approved the vesting of 145,073 of his 316,490 outstanding performance rights consistent with the Good Leaver provisions of the Orocobre Performance Rights and Options Plan (PROP). Mr Seville will also be eligible to participate in the Orocobre 2018/19 Short Term Incentive (STI) plan on a pro rata basis. There has been no payment for the 12 month fixed remuneration termination benefit as per his service agreement following notice. The vesting of outstanding performance rights is in recognition of Mr Seville’s significant contribution to Orocobre and his participation in the transition with our new CEO.

    For more information please contact:
    Andrew Barber
    Investor Relations Manager
    Orocobre Limited
    T: +61 7 3871 3985
    M: +61 418 783 701
    E: abarber@orocobre.com
    W: www.orocobre.com.au

    https://twitter.com/OrocobreLimited
    https://www.linkedin.com/company/orocobre-limited
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    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuLtQ_xM61u8EFUzUa8YG_Q

    Click here to subscribe to the Orocobre e-Newsletter




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    To: LoneClone who wrote (15829)4/18/2019 1:51:44 PM
    From: LoneClone
       of 17122
     
    Advantage Lithium/Orocobre – WorleyParsons to complete Cauchari JV Pre-Feasibility Study

    globenewswire.com

    April 18, 2019 02:34 ET | Source: Orocobre Limited

    BRISBANE, Australia, April 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE, TSX: ORL) (“Orocobre” or “the Company”) wishes to advise that Advantage Lithium Corp. ("Advantage Lithium") (TSX V: AAL) (OTCQX: AVLIF) as operator of the Cauchari JV has announced the engagement of WorleyParsons Chile S.A. to complete the Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) and independent NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Cauchari Lithium Project in Jujuy, Argentina. The PFS will evaluate processing options and complete a range analysis for up to 30 thousand tonnes per annum final lithium product, including lithium hydroxide, and is scheduled for completion in early Q3 CY19.

    Advantage Lithium will continue to work with hydrogeology consultants FloSolutions to complete a dynamic groundwater model for the project, which will be used to simulate a range of production cases based on the recent significantly expanded resource ( see ASX Release dated 7 March 2019). This is a key input to the PFS in order to support a reserve estimate, extraction plan and determine the optimum project size.

    Orocobre owns 33.5% of Advantage Lithium’s issued capital and 25% directly in the joint venture.

    For more information please contact:

    Andrew Barber
    Investor Relations Manager
    Orocobre Limited
    T: +61 7 3871 3985
    M: +61 418 783 701
    E: abarber@orocobre.com
    W: www.orocobre.com

    https://twitter.com/OrocobreLimited
    https://www.linkedin.com/company/orocobre-limited
    https://www.facebook.com/OrocobreLimited/
    https://www.instagram.com/orocobre/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuLtQ_xM61u8EFUzUa8YG_Q

    Click here to subscribe to the Orocobre e-Newsletter

    About Orocobre Limited
    Orocobre Limited (Orocobre) is a dynamic global lithium carbonate supplier and an established producer of boron. Orocobre is dual listed on the Australia and Toronto Stock Exchanges (ASX: ORE), (TSE: ORL). Orocobre’s operations include its Olaroz Lithium Facility in Northern Argentina, Borax Argentina, an established Argentine boron minerals and refined chemicals producer and a 33.5% interest in Advantage Lithium. For further information, please visit www.orocobre.com.




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    To: LoneClone who wrote (15830)4/19/2019 9:27:48 AM
    From: LoneClone
       of 17122
     
    LME storage problems writ large in tiny tin market: Andy Home

    reuters.com

    Andy Home

    LONDON (Reuters) - (The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.)

    Is the London Metal Exchange’s (LME) physical storage function in danger of slipping into the shadows?

    That’s the question at the heart of the LME’s latest public discussion paper on its troublesome warehouse network.

    It’s the seepage of aluminum into cheaper off-market “shadow LME” storage that has driven the debate.

    But the LME might also care to look at its tin contract, where the process appears to be most advanced.

    Exchange stocks are desperately low. Time-spreads are in near permanent backwardation.

    London tin traders have learned to navigate the contract’s liquidity gaps in terms of physical settlement, although it’s getting harder judging by this week’s events.

    But if, as the LME notes, “many market participants would welcome a higher-stock environment” as a way of boosting both transparency and liquidity, it might be worth asking someone in the tin industry.

    ONE DAY’S SUPPLY

    Tin’s a small market. Global usage in 2017 was 362,500 tonnes, most of it going into semi-conductor soldering, chemicals and plating, according to the International Tin Association.

    But even against that yardstick, LME-registered tin stocks of 955 tonnes are extremely low, equivalent to just one day’s demand.

    Depleted stocks have been a long-running theme on the LME tin market. Exchange inventory totaled 28,000 tonnes at the start of the decade but has since eroded almost completely.

    A commodities text-book interpretation of that trend would be that tin is a market in long-term structural deficit.

    Yet the price says otherwise.

    LME three-month tin has both boomed and bust this decade, hitting a high of $33,600 per tonne in 2011 and a trough of $13,085 in 2016. It has more recently tracked a broad $18,000-22,000 sideways range, last trading around $20,300.

    LME stocks have not told this fundamental story.

    There’s no reason to think they are doing so now.

    There’s always a way of “explaining” low LME tin stocks through a market prism such as the notoriously erratic shipments from Indonesia, the world’s largest tin exporter.

    But the 8,000 tonnes of metal sitting in Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) warehouses tell you there’s no acute global tin shortage right now.

    Tightness on the LME, in other words, is primarily a function of the LME tin contract, particularly its chronically low stocks.

    The tin industry, it seems, is not using the LME warehouse system to store its metal. Stocks may be sitting in what the exchange calls “shadow LME” storage, paying lower off-market rent but in or close to actual LME warehouses to facilitate warranting if required.

    An added advantage of shadow warehousing is that premium brands of metal aren’t lost in the LME’s daily warrant churn, whereby what you sell one day is not necessarily what you get back the next.



    CONGESTION ZONE

    A cash premium, or backwardation, across the LME time-spreads can sometimes winkle out such “shadow” stocks.

    Witness the 325 tonnes of tin that were warranted in Baltimore over the last month. LME-registered stocks in that location had been zero since 2014. But there is obviously tin being stored in the city.

    That Baltimore metal was likely drawn into the LME system by the most recent time-spread gyrations.

    Turbulence has been concentrated on cash-date trading, where low stocks are directly impacting price discovery.

    The LME has a set of rules governing the behavior of what it terms “dominant longs”, entities with a sufficiently large position that they could squeeze the market. Whose position is dominant is measured against “live” LME stock in exchange warehouses. Which, in the case of tin, is hardly anything at all.

    There were 10 “dominant” tin longs coming into last Monday’s April settlement date. Seven were holding positions in excess of 50 percent of LME stocks and therefore subject to lending caps.

    The player holding in excess of 90 percent of stocks would have been required to lend metal for a day at no premium whatsoever.

    However, the six entities holding between 50 and 80 percent of stocks would have been able to lend at up to 0.5 percent of the previous day’s cash price, or a little over $100 per tonne.

    No surprise then that “tom-next”, the cost of rolling a short position overnight, traded out to precisely that level on Tuesday.

    Such cash-date volatility is increasing as registered LME stocks shrink. “Tom-next” has hit $100 per tonne four times in the last month.

    The exchange may have to rethink just how its lending guidance works when the metric used, LME stocks, is close to zero.

    NO (QUICK) FIX?

    It’s a little surprising that more tin hasn’t appeared in the LME system.

    Then again, at just $80 per tonne the current cash premium over three-month metal is relatively mild by LME tin’s standards.

    Backwardation has become hard-wired into the London contract, unlike Shanghai, where the forward curve is in contango.

    Yet it is clear that the persistent backwardation hasn’t prevented the continuous slide in visible exchange stocks, perhaps another reason for revisiting the 20-year-old lending rules.

    However, that would simply be managing the symptoms of the underlying problem of why storing surplus metal in the LME system is so out-of-fashion in the tin market.

    It’s becoming less fashionable in other LME markets as well, hence the renewed public dialogue between exchange and participants about the warehouse system.

    Many of the proposed changes are about how to stem the amount of metal leaving.

    In that respect tin is already past the point of no return. The LME stocks have already largely gone. It’s how to encourage renewed usage of LME warranting that’s now required.

    Colin Hamilton, analyst at BMO Capital Markets, is skeptical that the LME can find any quick fix to its logistics problems. That much should be clear from the title of his March 29 research note: “LME Warehousing - Looking Increasingly like a Lost Cause”.

    “We don’t think the LME can do anything to effectively address the trend of storing material off-market, and believe base metals have to get used to a period of low warehouse inventories,” according to BMO.

    Hamilton sees “greater potential” for steep curve backwardations and warns that “increased opacity is challenging from an analyst’s perspective and distorts long-term measures of inventory cover versus price”.

    Which pretty nicely sums up the LME tin market at this moment in time.

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    From: LoneClone4/20/2019 11:26:21 AM
       of 17122
     
    [Lithium/Boron] Edited Transcript of ORE.AX earnings conference call or presentation 17-Apr-19 12:01am GMT

    ca.finance.yahoo.com

    Thomson Reuters StreetEventsApril 19, 2019

    Q3 2019 Orocobre Ltd Earnings Call

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    To: LoneClone who wrote (15832)4/23/2019 9:07:37 AM
    From: LoneClone
       of 17122
     
    Vanadium is so six months ago...


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    To: LoneClone who wrote (15833)4/23/2019 10:08:45 AM
    From: LoneClone
       of 17122
     
    Vanadium One Reports an Indicated Resource of 113.5 Million Tonnes and an Inferred Resource of 520.5 Million Tonnes at Its Mont Sorcier Iron Project

    accesswire.com

    Tuesday, April 23, 2019 8:59 AM


    TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 23, 2019 / Vanadium One Energy Corp. (the "Company") (TSX-V: VONE), is pleased to release its first NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for its 100% owned Mont Sorcier Iron and Vanadium Project, near Chibougamau, Quebec. Total Indicated Resources are calculated to be 113.5 million tonnes in the ground, with the potential to produce 35 million tonnes of Concentrate grading 65.3% Fe and 0.6% Vanadium Pentoxide. Additional Inferred Resources are defined as 520.6 million tonnes, with the potential to produce 178.3 million tonnes of Concentrate grading at 64.4% Fe and 0.6% Vanadium Pentoxide.

    The deposit has two major zones, known as the North Zone and the South Zone. The South Zone is estimated to host 113.5 million tonnes of Indicated Mineral Resources grading 30.9% Magnetite, with a potential to recover 35 million tonnes of concentrate grading 65.3% Fe and 0.6% Vanadium Pentoxide (V2O5), with low amounts of titanium (1.2% TiO2). The South Zone is estimated to hold an additional Inferred Mineral Resource of 144.6 million tonnes grading 24.9% Magnetite, with a potential to recover 36.1 million tonnes of concentrate grading 66.9% Fe, 0.5% Vanadium Pentoxide (V2O5) and 1.0% TiO2. The North Zone is estimated to hold additional Inferred Mineral Resources of 376 million tonnes grading 27.4% Magnetite, with a potential to recover 142.2 million tonnes of concentrate grading 63.7% Fe, 0.6% Vanadium Pentoxide (V2O5) and 1.8% TiO2. All concentrate grades are calculated from Davis Tube Testing (DTT) results.

    The Company engaged CSA Global, an independent Geological and Mineral Estimation firm with headquarters in Australia, and offices in Canada, to undertake and complete the Mineral Resource Estimate for the Mont Sorcier deposit. See table 1 for summary results.

    Table 1: Mineral Resource Estimate1 at Mont Sorcier Using a Cut-off Grade2 of 14% Fe.

    Zone

    Category4

    Tonnage

    Head grade

    Grade in concentrate

    Rock
    (Mt)

    Concentrate
    (Mt)

    Fe
    (%)

    Magnetite
    (%)

    Fe
    (%)

    V2O5
    (%)

    Al2O3
    (%)

    TiO2
    (%)

    MgO
    (%)

    SiO2
    (%)

    South

    Indicated

    113.5

    35.0

    22.7

    30.9

    65.3

    0.6

    0.3

    1.2

    3.8

    2.8

    Inferred

    144.6

    36.1

    20.2

    24.9

    66.9

    0.5

    0.4

    1.0

    3.4

    2.5

    North

    Inferred

    376.0

    142.2

    27.4

    37.8

    63.7

    0.6

    1.0

    1.8

    3.5

    4.2

    Total

    Indicated

    113.5

    35.0

    22.7

    30.9

    65.3

    0.6

    0.3

    1.2

    3.8

    2.8

    Inferred

    520.6

    178.3

    25.4

    34.2

    64.4

    0.6

    0.8

    1.7

    3.5

    3.9

    1 Numbers have been rounded to reflect the precision of Inferred and Indicated Mineral Resource estimates.

    2 The reporting cut-off was calculated for a saleable magnetite concentrate containing 65% Fe with price of $US 90/t of dry concentrate, 50% of the price of V2O5 contained in the concentrate, a V2O5 price of $US 14/lb, a minimum of 0.2 % of V2O5 contained in the concentrate, an open pit mining operation, a cost of mining and milling ore of USD 13.80/t, a cost of transporting concentrate of USD 40/t; and a cost of tailing disposal of USD 1.5/t.

    3 Vanadium One is not aware of any environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-economic, marketing or political factors that might materially affect these mineral resource estimates.

    4 Resource classification, as defined by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum in their document "CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves" of May 10, 2014.

    Martin Walter, CEO, said, "Our drilling campaign was obviously very successful as the program more than doubled the historical resources at Mont Sorcier. This was achieved through in-fill and deep extension drilling in the South Zone and deep drill holes to extend the even larger magnetite deposits within the North Zone. Now that we know we have a substantial resource at Mont Sorcier, the next phase of work will shift to studying Project economics. The Company plans to continue with its metallurgical evaluation, including optimization studies on the effects of grinding size on product recovery, and to concurrently begin working on a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA"). We expect to publish the results of our PEA in the third quarter of 2019."

    The Mont Sorcier Project is a bulk tonnage magnetite iron ore and vanadium deposit located near the northern Quebec mining town of Chibougamau. The project is comprised of 37 key mineral claims covering approximately 1,910 Ha (4,797.4 acres) and it has excellent infrastructure, including access to rail, airports, seaports and hydro-power. The Magnetite Fe bearing deposits at Mont Sorcier are unique, as they contain very low levels of the element Titanium, possibly rendering them as suitable feed for blast furnaces in the production of steel.

    In order to complete its first mineral resource estimate, the Company drilled a total of 32 new holes across the project between July 2017 and December 2018. Drilling in the South Zone is at either 100 or 200 meter line spacing. Drilling located in the North Zone is approximately 500 meter line spacing. The North and South Zones are sub-vertical to steeply north or south-dipping. Campbell Chibougamau Mines Ltd drilled vertical holes that often started and ended in the iron formation. VONE drilled at 45° and 60° both north and south across the iron formation. It also often started and ended drill holes in the iron formation. The two sets of drill holes are complementary. Together, they support a more accurate geological model outlining the iron formation. Details about drill hole locations are found in previous News Releases and on our web site at www.vanadiumone.com.

    The technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Pierre-Jean Lafleur, P.Eng. (OIQ), who is a Qualified Person with respect to the Company’s Mont Sorcier Project as defined under National Instrument 43-101. The Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) is the responsibility of CSA Global and Dr. Luke Longridge and Dr. Adrian Martinez, acting independently, are the Qualified Persons with respect to the MRE. CSA Global is finalising a Technical Report to comply with NI 43-101 in support of the MRE as disclosed in this News Release. It is expected that such a report will be filed within 45 days.

    NOTE: CSA Global has carried out an independent Internal Peer Review by an experienced Resource Geologist. Mr. Aaron Meakin, of CSA Global, reviewed the methodology and checked to ensure that no critical errors have occurred. The reviewer takes note of a number of details including site visit, previous exploration activities or work, input data, database validation, QA/QC analysis, geological and mineralization interpretation and 3-D modelling, flagging and compositing the sample file, statistical analysis and high grade cuts, density analysis, variography, block model construction, grade interpolation, block model validation, Mineral Resource classification, Mineral Resource reporting and identified risks. All of these aspects have all been studied by the reviewer.

    About Vanadium One Energy Corp.:

    Vanadium One Energy Corp. is a mineral exploration company headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company is focused on advancing its Mont Sorcier Magnetite Iron Ore and Vanadium Project. The Mont Sorcier Project is a bulk tonnage magnetite iron ore and vanadium deposit, with very low titanium content, located near the northern Quebec mining town of Chibougamau, providing access to world class infrastructure including rail, shipping and power.

    ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF VANADIUM ONE ENERGY CORP.

    Martin Walter, CEO
    Tel: 416-599-8547

    Rodney Ireland, Investor Relations
    Tel: 416-599-8547

    info@vanadiumone.com

    www.vanadiumone.com

    Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

    Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

    This news release contains "forward-looking information" including statements with respect to the future exploration performance of the Company. This forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements of the Company, expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks, as well as others, are disclosed within the Company's filing on SEDAR, which investors are encouraged to review prior to any transaction involving the securities of the Company. Forward-looking information contained herein is provided as of the date of this news release and the Company disclaims any obligation, other than as required by law, to update any forward-looking information for any reason. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate and the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking information.

    SOURCE: Vanadium One Energy Corp.

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    To: LoneClone who wrote (15834)4/23/2019 10:11:28 AM
    From: LoneClone
       of 17122
     
    [Lithium]

    Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) Foraco Drill Rig Commences Drilling at Cauchari

    abnnewswire.net

    WWW: www.lakeresources.com.au Company Overview

    Brisbane, April 18, 2019 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Lake Resources NL ( ASX:LKE) ( FRA:LK1) is pleased to confirm that a second, larger diamond drill rig operated by Foraco Argentina SA has commenced drilling at Lake's 100% owned Cauchari Lithium Brine Project (Figure 1 in link below).

    - Larger diamond drill rig has commenced drilling at Lake's Cauchari project with capability to drill up to 500 metres

    - Two rigs now operating at Cauchari targeting various depths

    - LKE now has greater certainty to produce assays from a ~350-450m deep target sand horizon

    The larger more capable diamond drill rig is targeting a sand horizon estimated between 350-450 metres deep and will drill to 500 metres. Two rigs are now operational at Cauchari and reporting results from both drill holes is LKE's immediate priority.

    Foraco is the third largest global mineral driller, operates in 22 countries and has a global fleet of drilling rigs with a well-trained international workforce and a proven track record.

    Foraco's drilling program will occur concurrently with current rotary rig drilling operations. The rotary rig has drilled to a depth of 234m and is targeting a shallower sand horizon of between 300-350m.

    Both Lake's rigs are operating ~500m from where Ganfeng/Lithium Americas is about to drill three new holes including one production hole on their adjacent leases. Lake is targeting exactly the same san horizons.

    Lake's Managing Director Steve Promnitz said from site: "With one successful drill hole, we can demonstrate the extension of the adjoining resource which is the largest in the world and rapidly being developed into production next year. We have every confidence in Foraco's drilling capabilities and experience to produce the representative samples we need. It is inspirational to see 40 trucks operating next door with excavators building massive evaporation ponds and roads within sight of our drill rigs. Lake is drilling in a Grade A location for lithium brines."

    To view tables and figures, please visit:
    abnnewswire.net

    About Lake Resources NL

    Lake Resources NL ( ASX:LKE) is a lithium exploration and development company focused on developing its three lithium brine projects and hard rock project in Argentina, all owned 100%. The leases are in a prime location among the lithium sector's largest players within the Lithium Triangle, where half of the world's lithium is produced. Lake holds one of the largest lithium tenement packages in Argentina (~200,000Ha) secured in 2016 prior to a significant 'rush' by major companies. The large holdings provide the potential to provide consistent security of supply demanded by battery makers and electric vehicle manufacturers.

    The Kachi project covers 69,000 ha over a salt lake south of FMC's lithium operation and near Albemarle's Antofalla project in Catamarca Province. Drilling at Kachi has confirmed a large lithium brine bearing basin over 20km long, 15km wide and 400m to 800m deep. Drilling over Kachi (currently 16 drill holes, 3100m) has produced a maiden indicated and inferred resource of 4.4 Mt LCE (Indicated 1.0Mt and Inferred 3.4Mt) within a 8-17 Mt LCE exploration target (refer ASX announcement 27 November 2018).

    A direct extraction technique is being tested in partnership with Lilac Solutions, which has shown 80-90% recoveries and lithium brine concentrations in excess of 3000 mg/L lithium and is planned to be trialled on site in tandem with conventional methods as part of a PFS to follow the resource statement. Scope exists to unlock considerable value through partnerships and corporate deals in the near term.

    The Olaroz-Cauchari and Paso brine projects are located adjacent to major world class brine projects either in production or being developed in the highly prospective Jujuy Province. The Olaroz-Cauchari project is located in the same basin as Orocobre's Olaroz lithium production and adjoins Ganfeng Lithium/Lithium Americas Cauchari project, with high grade lithium (600 mg/L) with high flow rates drilled immediately across the lease boundary.

    Two drill rigs are currently drilling at Cauchari with results anticipated to extend the proven resources in adjoining properties into LKE's area with results anticipated from November into December 2018. This will be followed by drilling extensions to the Olaroz area in LKE's 100% owned Olaroz leases.

    Significant corporate transactions continue in adjacent leases with development of Ganfeng Lithium/Lithium Americas Cauchari project with Ganfeng announcing a US$237 million for 37% of the Cauchari project previously held by SQM. Nearby projects of Lithium X were acquired via a takeover offer of C$265 million completed March 2018. The northern half of Galaxy's Sal de Vida resource was purchased for US$280 million by POSCO in June 2018. These transactions imply an acquisition cost of US$55-110 million per 1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in resources.

    The demand for lithium continues to be strong for lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles, according to recent data from the leading independent battery minerals consultant, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Supply continues to be constrained suggesting good opportunities for upstream lithium companies.





    Contact

    Steve Promnitz
    Managing Director
    Lake Resources N.L.
    T: +61-2-9188-7864
    E: steve@lakeresources.com.au

    Link: Foraco drill rig commences drilling at Cauchari






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