African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) jumped 12.5pc to 0.4275p on Monday morning after unveiling a major acquisition and earn-in agreement in Botswana. The business has acquired an 18.26pc stake in an exploration and geological consultancy company called Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration for $194,821.

Kalahari Key, established by Roger Key, Andy Moore, Simon Bate, and Rick Bonner in November 2014, is the 100pc owner of Molopo Farms Complex (MFC) project in south-west Botswana. Furthermore, African Battery has also secured the right to earn-in to a 40pc direct interest in MFC by spending $500,000 on the project by 31 December next year. This money would go towards ground exploration at the project, expected to include the drilling of high priority targets.

MFC is made up of three exploration licences covering 2,725km2 that are thought to be prospective for nickel, PGM, and copper mineralisation. As well as acquiring all of the project’s historical exploration data, Kalahari Key has undertaken a high-resolution, helicopter-borne electromagnetic and magnetic survey on the area. This work identified 17 key zones of conductive rocks now being used to construct a priority list of targets for follow-up ground exploration.

If African Battery chooses to complete its earn-in expenditure agreement, its effective interest in MFC would sit at 50.96pc. Meanwhile, company chairman Andrew Bell would be appointed to a new MFC Project operational committee, while director Paul Johnson would join the board of Kalahari Key.

Neither the committee members or the existing new directors of Kalahari Key would be remunerated for their services. Finally, if African Battery decides to exercise its earn-in agreement, a JV agreement would be established between the company and Kalahari Key that will determine strategy, operational management, and corporate structuring.

African Battery’s chairman Andrew Bell said he was ‘delighted’ to secure an opportunity in Botswana for African Battery’s shareholders.

‘Botswana is an exceptional country with exciting exploration opportunities and a superb operating environment,’ he added. This significant opportunity comes to us after the MFC Project has already benefitted from extensive historical exploration that has already identified 17 targets through Airborne Electomagnetic Surveys.

‘There is some further Airborne Electromagnetic work to do, with ground exploration follow up and ongoing target prioritisation. However, the ultimate key to unlocking the value from exploration targets under sand cover is via the drill rig and we will be working with Kalahari Key to identify the quickest route to active drilling operations.’

Bell added that African Battery’s board considers the investment to be consistent with the company’s stated policy of seeking battery metal exposure in Africa.

‘We also believe that further exploration success at the MFC Project would, by virtue of the potential scale, have a transformative impact on the prospects of ABM and on investor sentiment towards it,’ he said. ‘I am delighted to be working with the Kalahari Key team and would like to emphasise the diligent work they have done to bring the MFC Project to its current position. These are exciting times and we anticipate further updates in respect of Botswana and our other business interests in the near future.”

Roger Key, chief executive at Kalahari Key, added: ‘Kalahari Key is very pleased to have reached this agreement with African Battery Metals and we look forward to a productive partnership. The work done on the MFC Project so far has reinforced our belief that we have a significant resource with a geological model analogous to Voisey Bay. We welcome the financial input from ABM that will enable us to move quickly into a drilling phase, and we also appreciate the management and organisational benefits that come from a close working relationship with ABM.’ 

African Battery is an AIM listed, Africa-focused, resource company exploring for the key metals that will be used in next-generation batteries fuelling the new electric vehicle revolution. Johnson and Bell joined the business earlier this year as part of a proposed restructuring and refinancing package that saw the firm ultimately return from suspension.

Shortly afterwards, the company revealed an investment and option agreement with Katoro Gold (LSE:KAT). Under the contract, African Battery will be able to purchase up to 10m shares in Katoro at 1p each with three-year warrants attached. It also has the right to purchase up to 35pc in Katoro’s 100pc-owned Haneti nickel project in Tanzania, for a total consideration of up to £125,000. 

Haneti comprises tenements covering an area of around 5,000km2 prospective for nickel, platinum-group-elements, cobalt, copper, gold, and lithium. Previous work has identified grades of up to 13.6pc nickel at the project, and an exploration programme this year will aim to confirm the existence of disseminated or massive sulphide mineralisation in the area. Alongside Haneti, Katoro owns a further two gold projects in Tanzania called Imweru and Lubando. Together, these host a JORC-compliant resource of 754,980oz gold.

To read MiningMaven’s recent interview with Johnson on his plans for African Battery moving forward, please click here.

Author: Daniel Flynn

 

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

 

The article expresses the views of the Author solely and does not necessarily express the views of MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd or their connected parties who are not responsible for its content or accuracy.

 

News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. Readers are recommended to seek the advice of appropriate professionals when considering investments in small capital.

Shares in SolGold (LSE:SOLG) inched up 0.3pc to 37.9p on Wednesday after the business announced a significant discovery at its 100pc-owned Chical project in northern Ecuador. The firm said follow up of anomalous stream sediment geochemistry has identified a 5.8km2 area of mineralised epithermal gold and porphyryr-style mineralisation. This comprises three prospect areas called Pascal, La Esperanza, and Espinoza.

SolGold added that the discovered mineralisation is associated with an extensive contact zone between intrusive granodiorite and gabbro with volcano-sedimentary units. Meanwhile, it said that the gold mineralisation consists of epithermal stockwork quartz veining with an abundance of 10-15 veins per metre. This is significantly more intense than that required for a significant mineral system associated with substantial chlorite-sericite-epidote hydrothermal alteration.

SolGold's exploration and country manager Jason Ward said: ‘The large areas of geochemical anomalism, the widespread extent of the altered and mineralised outcrops and the mineralisation style comprising multi-directional veining accompanied by molybdenum are strong indicators of a large copper rich porphyry system at La Esperanza. Peripheral high-grade gold rich epithermal veins have also been identified at Pascal and Espinoza. The high-grade gold vein occurrences also indicate potential for early high-grade gold resources beside the porphyries.

‘The proximity of Chical to Cascabel is geologically and logistically encouraging and vindicates our long-held opinion that we have discovered a new copper porphyry province. The generative foundations laid in 2014 are certainly paying off.’

Wednesday’s development comes just one day after SolGold said it had identified a large porphyry copper-gold target at its Porvenir project in Ecuador. On Tuesday, the firm said first-pass mapping and sampling at an area called ‘Target 15’ on the asset has extended existing porphyry copper and gold mineralisation at a target called Cacharposa Creek on its Porvenir 2 concession.

The open-ended mineralised intercept has now been extended to 147.83m at 0.64pc copper equivalent, including 82.63m at 0.96pc copper equivalent. Using this data, 3D geochemical modelling carried out by Fathom Geophysics has confirmed the potential for shallow porphyry-style mineralisation extending at depth.

SolGold added that mapping and sampling of the Mula Muerta Creek on the northwest side of Cacharposa Creek has discovered similar mineralised. Both areas are thought to form part of an 800m-wide, northeast-trending mineralised corridor more than 1,200m long. Meanwhile, modelling has also confirmed the potential for mineralisation at another Porvenir prospect called Bartolo alongside two new target areas.

‘Porvenir contains mineralisation styles, size and geometry consistent with exposure of a vertically extensive, well-preserved porphyry copper-gold system,’ added SolGold.

SolGold now plans to follow up on its work at Target 15 with a programme of drill testing and ground magnetics in the current quarter. Specifically, a targeted ground magnetic survey will begin this month while an airborne-magnetic study is planned for the entire Porvenir concession package imminently.

The company’s chief executive Nick Mather highlighted Porvenir’s prospectivity, adding that its channel sample is significantly longer and richer than the 50m long discovery outcrop at Alpala in the firm’s Cascabel tenement. This has so far yielded a contained resource of 23MMozs of gold and nearly 11MMts of copper.

‘The latest progress at Porvenir is indicative of the effort SolGold puts into its first mover advantage secured in 2014 across Ecuador. SolGold's team of geoscientists led by Dr. Steve Garwin, porphyry expert, recognised several targets with the right geochemical, geological and geophysical signature and we have so far secured eleven of them,’ he added. ‘The Porvenir system has the hallmarks of a significant discovery so far.’

SolGold is working to develop a sustainable copper-gold mining industry in Ecuador, which is located on the rich and under-explored northern section of the Andean Copper Belt. The southern portion of the belt is renowned as the production base for nearly half of the world’s copper.

‘SolGold is committed to leading the development of a sustainable copper-gold mining industry in Ecuador. The high grades and strong gold endowment at Alpala and Porvenir provide us with a unique opportunity to develop this Company without joint ventures,’ added Mather.‘SolGold has identified and secured the best of an entire copper-gold province, the size and metallurgy of northern Chile. That's a unique approach that can't be replicated. We are confident that Alpala and now Porvenir are the first projects in a long, large and rich string of them.

‘The next generation of growth in SolGold is going to come from more spectacular discoveries on a 100% basis like Porvenir. All SolGold shareholders will enjoy that growth, including hopefully the Cornerstone Capital Corporation shareholders who are soon to be availed of our bid for Cornerstone.’

In February, SolGold said it was ‘surprised and disappointed’ by Cornerstone’s swift dismissal of its takeover bid. The firm said Cornerstone – which owns the remaining 15pc of Cascabel, lodged its response fewer than three hours after SolGold’s approach, raising questions around how well it had considered the potential offer.

SolGold had proposed the conversion of each Cornerstone share into 0.55 of a SolGold share, equating to an immediate 20pc premium for Cornerstone holders at the time. It added that the consolidatory move would benefit Cornerstone shareholders significantly by removing the company’s ‘funding challenges’ concerning Cascabel’s development.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance,

Thor Mining (LSE:THR) sat at 0.7p on Tuesday morning after revealing high-grade tungsten and copper intersections from drilling on the Samarkand deposit at its part-owned Bonya asset in Australia.

Thor owns a 40pc stake in Bonya, which is adjacent to its 100pc-owned, advanced Molyhil tungsten project in the Northern Territory of Australia. Bonya contains 13 outcropping tungsten deposits plus a copper resource, which Thor expects to add considerably to the life, scale, and economic outcomes of its proposed Molyhil operation.

Despite being part of a known tungsten province, no drilling has taken place at the Bonya licence area since the seventies. This changed last month when Thor - alongside its 60pc partner Arafura Resources - began a 2,500m RC drilling program after receiving approval in March from the Northern Territory Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority.

The drilling focuses on five targets called Samarkand, Jericho, White Violet, Tashkent, and Marrakesh, all of which have outcropping tungsten at surface. This ensures that drilling is into, or below, previously-known mineralisation.

In Tuesday’s update, Thor revealed that drilling on Samarkand had intersected strong grades for both tungsten and copper. On the tungsten side, this includes 15m at 0.44pc tungsten trioxide from 19 metres and 11m at 0.61pc tungsten trioxide from 64m. Elsewhere, drill holes encountered 12m at 0.69pc copper from 22m and 6m at 0.97pc copper from 38m.

On the results, Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing said: ‘More very good XRF tungsten results along with exciting copper readings from the Samarkand deposit at Bonya. The proposed Molyhil processing facility is designed to extract copper as well as tungsten and molybdenum so any primary copper at Bonya can be extracted at minimal additional cost. We look forward to the full laboratory assays from this drill program, along with results from the trench sampling from Marrakech and Tashkent, all expected during May.’

Monday’s results come just a week after Thor released the first set of interim results from its Bonya drilling programme, which it described as ‘substantially better than expectations’. Highlights included 27m at 0.32pc tungsten trioxide from 71m and 16m at 0.43pc copper from 43m at a hole on White Violet. Meanwhile, a hole at Tashkent delivered 2m at 0.43pc tungsten trioxide from 16m.

Alongside its work at Bonya, Thor has also been busy delivering progress in other areas of its portfolio. For example, in April it announced the commissioning of a resource estimate at its part-held Moonta copper project in South Australia. Moonta stakeholder Enviro Copper has engaged a mining consultancy called Mining Plus to prepare the forecast for several Moonta deposits considered amenable to in-situ recovery (ISR). Numerous drill holes made over several decades will provide the basis for this resource estimation.

Based in Adelaide, Moonta sits within the historical ‘copper triangle’ of South Australia. Here, around 300,000ts of copper was mined and processed from the 1860s until the 1920s. The site is thought to contain an ISR amenable exploration target of between 238Mt and 310Mt at a grade range of 0.18pc-0.23pc copper.

Enviro Copper is earning up to a 75pc interest in Moonta from ASX-listed Andromeda Metals. As part of an agreement announced in March, Thor can earn up to a 30pc stake in Enviro Copper before listing activities. These are ‘potentially scheduled’ for later this year, according to last month’s update.

Last month’s deal also saw Thor transfer its interest into the Adelaide-based Kapunda copper project into Enviro. Kapunda hosts an in-situ recovery (ISR) amenable inferred mineral resource estimate of 119,000ts of contained copper.

Thor held its interest in the product through a private Australian company called Environmental Copper Recovery (ECR). Thor announced an agreement to earn up to 60pc in ECR last August in exchange for convertible loans worth up to $1.8m.

ECR holds an agreement to earn, in two stages, up to 75pc of the rights over metals that may be recovered in the Kapunda deposit from ASX-listed miner Terramin. Under the Enviro MOU, Thor relinquished its interest in ECR in exchange for a 25pc, pre-listing, stake in Enviro for A$0.6m. It will also hold the right to acquire a further 5pc seed capital interest in the vehicle for $0.4m.

Thor said the new combined Enviro entity would provide a strategic opportunity to build a substantial ISR-focused copper exploration, development, and production business with an initial focus on Australia. It said a key strategic target would be the ‘timely development’ of Kapunda into production, which would demonstrate the viability of ISR. This model would then be applied to the larger scale Moonta project. Beyond its two initial interests, Enviro will aim to develop an expanded portfolio of ISR copper opportunities.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

Battery metal miners with US-based projects received a welcome boost last week after plans to streamline domestic regulation and permitting requirements in the sector were unveiled at a major industry conference. Speaking at a Washington-based event on Thursday hosted by Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, US Senator Lisa Murkowski said she plans to introduce the Minerals Security act alongside fellow senator Joe Manchin.

Murkowski, who chairs the US Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told Reuters the act would support the development of lithium, graphite and other electric-vehicle supply chain minerals mines in the US. The directive will form part of growing efforts to curb China’s increasing dominance in the electric vehicle (EV) space.

Although electric-focused automakers and battery manufacturers like Tesla and Volkswagen wish to expand in the US, they are currently reliant on mineral imports rather than domestic mines and processing facilities. The chief source of this supply is China, which produces nearly two-thirds of the world’s lithium-ion batteries. The US, meanwhile, manufactures just 5pc.

Our challenge is still a failure to understand the vulnerability we are in as a nation when it comes to reliance on others for our minerals,’ Murkowski said. She added that China’s lead in the EV space – which is expected to soar over the coming decades – also gives it an edge in its ongoing trade disputes with the US.

The US is not the only country worried about China’s dominance over the growing EV supply market, either. Indeed, France and Germany both asked the European Commission to support a €1.7bn battery cell consortium earlier this week. Also in attendance at Thursday's event was Tesla, which highlighted its concerns around a global shortage of nickel, copper, and other EV battery minerals in the future due to underinvestment.

The combination of concerns over global supply and increasing efforts to boost the US battery metals sector is encouraging for those firms already operating projects in the sector. For example, Tim McKenna of Piedmont Lithium - which is developing a lithium project in North Carolina – said at Thursday’s event: ‘We need to focus the United States on the fact that China is way ahead of us in the electric vehicle race.’

A potential beneficiary that we have previously covered on Mining Maven is Global Energy Metals (TSX-V:GEMC). Last month, the Canadian developer- which is planning to co-list in London- revealed that it had made a payment allowing it to begin exploration work at the two US cobalt projects it is buying in Sparks, Nevada. The properties are called Lovelock and Treasure Box and are located in Churchill County, around 150km east of Tesla’s major battery factory in Sparks.

Lovelock covers around 1,400 acres and is said to have produced 500ts of cobalt and nickel mineralisation between 1883 and 1890 when it was last in operation. Global Energy believes exploration work and modern drilling techniques could unlock a large amount of potential value at the site. Treasure Box, meanwhile, is adjacent to Lovelock and hosts mine workings from limited copper production, which occurred until early into the 20th century. A historical diamond drill hole at the asset reportedly intersected 1.52pc copper over 85ft, with mineralisation beginning at the surface.

Global Energy has agreed to buy an 85pc-interest in the projects from Nevada Sunrise, making its first option payment in March. In April, it raised $813,500 in an oversubscribed private placing intended to support its work programme in Nevada.

Speaking to Mining Maven in February, Global Energy’s chief executive Mitchell Smith said the acquisition had given the business a low-cost entry to an exciting jurisdiction close to the world’s largest battery factory:

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

Shares in African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) were trading at 0.38p on Thursday after the business announced exploration progress at its key asset in the DRC. The firm has now established a field camp at the 70pc-owned and operated Kisinka project to provide a base for field operations for 14 on-site staff who are conducting and supporting field activities. 

Meanwhile, it has also collected a total of 248 termite mound samples from the field and is in the process of transferring these to its operation office. Here, the samples will be prepared and analysed. Elsewhere, the business said it will continue to collect termite samples over coming weeks, providing updates to the market whenever a material development occurs.

Thursday’s development come after African Battery announced that it had recommenced exploration activities at Kisinka last month following a detailed review of historic exploration and targeting copper-cobalt mineralisation. In order to protect and preserve the company's working capital, the exploration programme will adopt a staged approach with initial wide area exploration focussed on identifying areas of anomalous copper and cobalt mineralisation, to be followed by follow up drilling if appropriate drill targets present themselves.

Alongside Kisinka, the organisation has said it is pursuing a number of existing and new initiatives seeking the highest impact for shareholders ‘in a measured and disciplined manner’. On Thursday, Paul Johnson, executive director of African Battery, said:

After quite a gap in operational activity for the Company I am pleased to advise that operations are now underway at Kisinka where we are targeting copper-cobalt mineralisation in a highly prospective region. I am keen to ensure the market is fully informed as material developments occur in respect of Kisinka and also across our other projects and wider commercial activities.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The article expresses the views of the Author solely and does not necessarily express the views of MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd or their connected parties who are not responsible for its content or accuracy.

News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. Readers are recommended to seek the advice of appropriate professionals when considering investments in small capital.

Shares in Sirius Minerals (LSE:SXX) were off 18pc this morning as the company released details of plans for launching its Stage 2 financing. This consists of a £310m underwritten placing and open offer (priced between 15p and 18p) and a $644m convertible bond offering. Sirius’ shares closed as high as 38.7p last August, meaning the terms of today’s deal will no doubt come as a disappointment to long-term holders. This highlights once again that the promise of “jam tomorrow” in the resource space can leave a bitter taste in the mouth of investors.

There was some warning this might be coming earlier in the spring. On 12 March Sirius announced it had received an “alternative financing proposal” for its Stage 2 financing, which would “completely replace” the senior debt facility it had previously been pursuing.

In hindsight, this was something of a red flag that the market missed. In broad terms, senior debt facilities tend to be higher quality and reflect the underlying strength of a company’s offering. If a business struggles to secure a senior facility, on decent terms, this can suggest the commercial risk profile is not necessarily aligned with the equity market’s valuation of the opportunity.

When you start to throw words like “alternative” into the mix this is often suggestive that whatever financing is about to be secured is likely to be on the expensive side. And this is what appears to have happened with Sirius this morning.

March’s announcement about the “alternative financing proposal” was light on detail, but this morning we learned that Sirius has launched a $644m convertible bond offering. $400m of this is underwritten. This is not a conventional raise for a project as large as this. That alone is enough to make equity holders nervous. Factor in the heavily discounted £310m placing price range of 15p to 18p and it’s no wonder the stock is heavily off.

The question now is what upside might there be in holding Sirius shares?

For now, there is no reason to rush into buying. The final details of the bond offering aren’t expected to be released until tomorrow and we also need to see what price the equity raise is conducted at. Before even considering buying into this company a lot more research is required since the landscape has changed considerably. Sirius’ balance sheet is about to undergo a wholesale transformation, and although the company will be heavily cashed up, it will also be carrying a great deal of debt. The business will have to deliver significant fundamental returns to cope with this.

In the short term, it is hard to see what catalyst might drive the stock higher. The complexity of the planned funding presents a significant risk to retail holders and until that is fully understood, maintaining a watching brief on this stock seems the most prudent approach for the time being.

Author Ben Turney

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Fertiliser firm Emmerson (LSE:EML) inched up 1.7pc to 4.5p on Monday morning after signing an initial agreement with Morocco’s leading gas distributor for its Khemisset potash project in the country.

The business has signed a memorandum of understanding with Afriquia Gaz to work towards a long-term supply agreement for gas to the project. As part of this, the firms have agreed to look at the best method of supplying gas to Khemisset and the most appropriate source of gas. This will involve looking at existing infrastructure, producing, and proposed gas fields in Morocco as well as pipeline or regular truck delivery.

Emmerson believes a deal with Afriquia, which currently delivers significant quantities of Liquified Petroleum gas to numerous major industrial consumers across Morocco, can help to enhance Khemisset’s economics. In particular, the organisation said it would look at whether it could act as a cornerstone Afriquia customer as the latter continues to expand its pipeline distribution business. Emmerson believes this could allow for a cheaper long-term gas price with an equally low-cost capital solution.

A recent scoping study for the project confirmed that it has the potential to be among the lowest capital cost, highest margin potash projects in the world.  Forecast economics include EBITDA margins of more than 60pc and a post-tax NPV10 of over US$1.1bn based on industry expert price forecasts.

Emmerson has recently been identifying numerous ways of improving project economics before the project enters the feasibility stage. This has seen it determine new mine-to-port logistics, complete an environmental baseline study, and begin metallurgical testing. Most recently, it signed heads of agreement with an as-yet-unnamed global fertiliser for the offtake of 100pc of the production from Khemisset. The initial deal, which exceeded even Emmerson’s expectations, prompted a spike in the company’s share price.

On Monday, the business’s chief executive Hayden Locke said energy is a ‘major operating cost’ for Khemisset, meaning that even a slight improvement can enhance project economics significantly.

‘We believe that our energy needs will be supplied via low capital cost solutions at competitive long-term operational prices, further supporting Emmerson's potential to become one of the World's lowest cost and highest margin potash producer,’ he added. ‘Strong in-country partners will be fundamental to underpinning the capital and operating costs of our upcoming Feasibility Study, and this MoU demonstrates the willingness of leading companies in Morocco to work with Emmerson. The comprehensive metallurgical test work programme is progressing well in addition to ongoing discussions with potential strategic partners.  I look forward to continuing to update shareholders with details of our progress as we advance towards the publication of the Feasibility Study.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

On Monday, MetalNRG (NEX:MNRG) and Mkango Resources (LSE:MKA) announced they have entered into a non-binding heads of terms agreement regarding the Thambani Exclusive Prospecting Licence in Malawi. The deal would give MetalNRG the chance to earn up to a 75pc interest in the Thambani uranium licence by spending up to $2m on exploration over a period of three years.

The exploration campaign would be split into three tranches or ‘workplans’, each 12 months long. During the initial workplan, MetalNRG must spend $500k on exploration at Thambani which will include 1.500 metres of drilling. On completion, MetalNRG will earn a 25% interest in the uranium assets and operations. During the second workplan, MetalNRG could advance its interest in the project to 49pc following an additional investment of $700k on further development of the exploration area.  Finally, the third workplan would entitle MetalNRG to a 75pc economic interest in the project subject to a further spend of $800k.

In the first half of 2017, Mkango carried out sampling at Thambani which is located in southern Malawi. Assay results returned high-grade uranium, tantalum and niobium values and new areas of mineralisation were identified. 

Commenting on the news, Rolf Gerritsen CEO of MetalNRG said:

"The Heads of Terms Agreement entered into with Mkango enables us to position the Company as a focused uranium play with an exciting exploration opportunity in Thambani. The combination of the Thambani project along with our, close to production, uranium project in the Kyrgyz Republic will put MetalNRG in a strong position in the London market."

Alexander Lemon, President of Mkango Resources, said: "This transaction is another milestone for Mkango and for Malawi, and is further endorsement of the Company's strategy and potential. With MetalNRG funding the Thambani uranium project and the previously announced transaction with Talaxis funding Mkango's Songwe Hill rare earths project, Mkango shareholders can look forward to an exciting year of news flow and progress in two of the market's most strategic commodities at present. We are pleased to be working with MetalNRG, and look forward to a new drilling program being carried out at Thambani."

Author: Stuart Langelaan

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

 

Canadian cobalt developer Global Energy Metals (TSX-V:GEMC) revealed that it has made a payment that will allow it to begin exploration work at its two projects near Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada on Thursday. The firm, which has announced plans to co-list in London, said it made a payment to the Bureau of Land Management for the required reclamation bond fee to begin drilling at the sites, which are called Lovelock and Treasure Box.

The properties are located in Churchill County, around 150km east of Tesla’s major battery factory in Sparks. Lovelock covers around 1,400 acres and is said to have produced 500ts of cobalt and nickel mineralisation between 1883 and 1890 when it was last in operation. Global Energy believes exploration work and modern drilling techniques could unlock a large amount of potential value at the site.

Treasure Box, meanwhile, is adjacent to Lovelock and hosts mine workings from limited copper production, which occurred until early into the 20th century. A historical diamond drill hole at the asset reportedly intersected 1.52pc copper over 85ft, with mineralisation beginning at surface.

Global Energy’s chief executive Mitchell Smith said completing the bond payment would enable the business to move forward with a staged exploration programme at Lovelock. He added that this will allow for further definition of the character, size, and potential of the nickel-cobalt-copper system at the asset.

‘We are excited about this initial phase of exploration and are very optimistic that this strategically located asset will significantly further the growth of our company,’ said Smith.

The company said its exploration program will be informed by ground induced polarisation surveys that defined areas of anomalous subsurface chargeability. This work has generated a number of drill-ready targets. The business is now reviewing work program options and anticipated announcing details of the first-phase exploration in the ‘near future’.

Earlier this month, Global Energy raised $813,500 in an oversubscribed placing at $0.05 a share to support the funding of the programme. Meanwhile, it announced in March that it had made its first option payment towards acquiring an 85pc stake in both sites. To do this, it issued 384,627 of its shares to the projects’ current owner Nevada Sunrise and paid $20,000 to the underlying vendor.

Global Energy focuses on offering security of supply of cobalt, which is a critical material in the rapidly growing rechargeable battery market. It is building a diversified global portfolio of assets in the sector, including project stakes, projects and other supply sources.

The business’s flagship asset is the Millennium Project in the world-renowned Mt. Isa region of Queensland, Australia. It executed the final agreements to take a 100pc interest in the project in November. Millennium is a multi-zone, near-surface cobalt-copper sulphide system with several kilometres of potential strike length. It is located near established mining, transport, and processing infrastructure and offers easy access to a very skilled workforce.

The growth-stage site contains a defined zone of cobalt-copper mineralisation.  Here, a 2016 JORC Resource estimate identified 3.1MMts of inferred resources containing 0.14pc cobalt and 0.34pc copper with gold credits. Global Energy is now looking at ways to increase the size of its deposit. Results from a first phase exploration campaign at two zones called Millennium North and Millennium South exceeded grade and thickness expectations. The firm will now carry out a second phase of drilling to examine both areas further.

Alongside Millennium, Global Energy has acquired two further discovery sites called Mt. Dorothy and Cobalt Ridge.  These are collectively known as the ‘Mt. Isa projects’. The areas expand Global Energy’s Australian land position by nearly twenty times but have yet to be exploited. Exploration to date has returned high-grade cobalt intercepts at both, allowing Global Energy to line up numerous targets for further investigation and test work to define a resource.

Finally, the business currently owns 70pc of the Werner Lake cobalt mine in Ontario Canada. It joint venture partner Marquee Resources is enjoying much success in its ongoing exploration campaign at the asset.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above. 

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

Sirius Minerals (LSE:SXX) bounced 4.2pc to 21.9p on Thursday morning after securing a major European distribution deal for its flagship fertiliser.

The company has signed a ten-year supply and distribution agreement with agribusiness BayWa Agri Supply & Trade (BAST) for the sale of its POLY4 polyhalite product into Europe. BAST is a subsidiary of listed German entity BayWa AG, which distributes more than 30MMts of agricultural goods across Europe every year. This includes the sale of approximately 2MMtpa worth of fertiliser.

The deal provides for the exclusive distribution of guaranteed minimum tonnes of POLY4 across most of Europe for a 10-year term. This will begin from the first production from Sirius’s Woodsmith Mine in North Yorkshire and includes two five-year extension options. According to Sirius, Woodsmith contains the world’s largest and highest-grade deposit of polyhalite, a unique multi-nutrient fertiliser that can be used to increase balanced fertilisation around the globe.

The guaranteed minimum volumes of POLY4 for sale under the agreement increases to 2.5Mtpa in year five. This takes Sirius’s aggregate peak contracted sales volume to 10.7Mtpa. The deal also allows Sirius to elect for BAST to purchase and distribute additional quantities above the guaranteed amounts, allowing the organisation to shift uncontracted capacity if needed. However, BAST would receive a more significant share of obtained pricing if this option was exercised.

The pricing mechanism in the agreement is linked to the downstream pricing received by BAST on the sale of POLY4 in Europe. Indeed, the price received by Sirius under the deal is determined by the amount received by BAST with reference to benchmark prices and the nature of BAST’s customer.

According to Sirius, this approach incentivises BAST to sell POLY4 further down the value chain and optimise the best FOB netback price. The firm said the deal also gives it greater exposure to pricing in the downstream market and expects to deliver it the highest rates across its current supply agreement portfolio.

Finally, Wednesday’s agreement provides for the establishment of a joint venture vehicle for the management of sales and marketing of POLY4 into Europe.

Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive of Sirius, said: ‘The European fertiliser market is highly advanced and the second largest in the world behind China. We are delighted to be partnering with a leading agribusiness to distribute our POLY4 product into this key market. Our exclusive partnership with BAST will enable us to reach downstream customers through the groups' well-established and extensive logistics network and long-term, trusted relationships with farmers. Our exclusive partnership is structured to enable us to achieve maximum value for our POLY4 product.’

Meanwhile, BAST chief executive Daan Vriens added: ‘We are excited to be partnering with Sirius to bring a high performing, multi-nutrient fertiliser like POLY4 to customers across Europe through Cefetra. We believe in long term partnerships and we feel confident that this will be a successful new endeavour. POLY4 fits with our sustainability and farmer services strategies across our markets. This will provide farmers, via our extensive networks, a fertiliser product that promotes sustainable agricultural practice in our home market, Europe.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

Valuethemarkets.com and Dynamic Investor Relations Ltd are not responsible for the content or accuracy of this article.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Daniel Flynn does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Daniel Flynn has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Dynamic Investor Relations Ltd, the owner of ValueTheMarkets.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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