Bushveld Minerals Aquires a Majority Stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation
6 April 2017
Bushveld Minerals Completion of Vametco Acquisition
Bushveld Minerals Limited (AIM: BMN), a diversified mineral development company with a portfolio of vanadium, titanium, iron ore, tin and coal assets in Southern Africa and strategic partner of UniEnergy Technologies, is pleased to announce that, further to the announcement made on 31 March 2017, Bushveld Vametco Limited ("Bushveld Vametco") has today completed the acquisition of a 78.8% shareholding in Strategic Minerals Corporation ("SMC", the ultimate holding company of Vametco Alloys Proprietary Limited, "Vametco") from the Evraz Group S.A. ("Evraz") (the "Acquisition").
- The US$16.466 million consideration paid is substantially less than the cost of a greenfield mine and plant of the same capacity;
- Bushveld Vametco financed the acquisition as follows:
I. Exclusivity fee cash payments to Evraz of US$1.646 million;
II. Bridge loan facility of US$11.0 million from The Barak Fund SPC Limited;
III. A US$3.0 million facility from the Financing and Sales and Marketing Agreement with Wogen Resources Limited; and
IV. A cash contribution of US$820,000 from Bushveld and Yellow Dragon Holdings Limited.
- The transformational acquisition is in line with Bushveld's stated strategy to develop a significant, vertically integrated vanadium platform and accelerate Bushveld's path to production by several years;
- The acquisition is further aligned with the Company's aspirations in the global energy storage space by providing capacity for potential electrolyte manufacturing.
Vametco Alloys Highlights
Vametco Alloys is a high quality, low cost mine and plant with a patented vanadium product and a global vanadium customer base. The property is located 8 kilometres to the Northeast of Brits, in the North West Province of the Republic of South Africa, and is owned by SMC through its 75% shareholding in South African domiciled Vametco Holdings Proprietary Limited ("Vametco Holdings"). Vametco Alloys is a 100% subsidiary of Vametco Holdings. Key highlights of the Vametco operations include:
- Mining right for vanadium and other associated minerals over Portion 1 of the farm Uitvalgrond 431 JQ and Portion 1 of the farm Krokodilwaal 426 JQ in Brits, where it operates an open pit mine supplying ore to its vanadium processing plant located on the same properties;
- Ore Reserves of 27Mt (JORC) with some of the highest in-magnetite vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) grades in the world, averaging of 2.55% vanadium pentoxide in magnetite. The Ore Reserves are sufficient to support the operations for 24 years at current production levels;
- Mineral Resources in excess of 135Mt (JORC) with average vanadium pentoxide ("V2O5") grades of 2.10% vanadium pentoxide in magnetite;
Significant scope to increase the reserve base by targeted exploration of the inferred resources;
- Adjacent to Bushveld's Brits Vanadium Project, which is the continuation of the strike of the Vametco mine's deposit with similar vanadium grades to the mine. The deposit, which contains outcropping mineralisation, offers an extension of the life of operations and presents cheaper near-surface ore for the Vametco processing plant;
- Current plant annual capacity of 2,750 metric tonnes vanadium in the form of Nitrovan and MVO;
- Scope to materially expand own production capacity within a short time period from 2,750 to 3,340 tonnes Vanadium per year through targeted de-bottlenecking interventions at limited capital expenditure funded from operating cash flows, subject to conclusion of the necessary feasibility studies;
- An established leadership team with extensive experience in vanadium processing, having collectively worked on all vanadium processing plants in South Africa. The management team is being retained in the business;
- One of the cheapest primary producers of vanadium in the world, realising an all-in cash cost of US$17.33/kgV (US$3.57/lb V2O5 equivalent) for the year 2015.
The low cost position saw Vametco report 2015, revenues of ZAR629 million and an operating profit of ZAR26,724 in a constrained economic environment and low vanadium prices (average 2015 market V price was 18.60/kg V). The 2015 closing cash position for the company was ZAR47 million;
- The positive performance continued into 2016 with the operations reporting markedly improved results for the year headlined by production volume increases to 2,850 mtv. The audited 2016 financial results will be announced to the market once available; and
- Owned as to 25% by Black Economic Empowerment shareholders including the local land owners, with provisions to increase this to 26%.
Further updates will be provided as appropriate.
Fortune Mojapelo, CEO of Bushveld Minerals Limited, "We are delighted to finally complete this transformational transaction which sees Bushveld transition into a significant player in the global vanadium markte. Vametco is a high quality, low cost operation with a strong management team that combines extensive experience in primary vanadium production. We are particularly pleased to have acquired such a quality operation for what we believe is a very low price relative to its value in use to Bushveld. The acquisition marks an exciting new chapter for Bushveld and provides an important catalytic platform as we continue our quest to build a large vertically integrated vanadium platform."
The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014.
Bushveld Minerals Limited
Fortune Mojapelo +27 (0) 11 268 6555
Strand Hanson Limited (Nominated Adviser)
Andrew Emmott / Ritchie Balmer +44 (0) 20 7409 3494
Beaufort Securities (Joint broker)
Jon Bellis +44 (0) 20 7382 8300
SP Angel Corporate Finance (Joint broker)
Ewan Leggat +44 (0) 20 3470 0470
Blytheweigh (Public Relations)
Tim Blythe / Camila Horsfall +44 (0) 20 7138 3204
Gabriella von llle +27 (0) 711 121 907
ABOUT BUSHVELD MINERALS LIMITED
Bushveld Minerals is a diversified AIM listed mineral development company with a portfolio of vanadium, iron ore, tin and coal greenfield assets in Southern Africa and Madagascar. The Company's flagship platform, the vanadium platform, includes the Mokopane Vanadium Project, the Brits Vanadium Project, and the Bushveld Iron Ore & Titanium Project. The tin platform comprises the Mokopane Tin Project whereas the Imaloto Coal Project, which is being developed as one of Madagascar's leading independent power producers, makes up the Company's coal platform.
The Company's vision is to become the largest low cost integrated primary vanadium producer through owned low-cost high-grade assets. This incorporates development and promotion of the role of vanadium in the growing global energy storage market through Bushveld Energy, the Company's energy storage solutions provider. Whilst the demand for vanadium remains largely anchored in a slow growing steel industry, Bushveld Minerals believes there is a strong potential for imminent significant global vanadium demand surge from the fast-growing energy storage market, particularly through the use and adoption of Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.
Bushveld Minerals' approach to project development recognises that whilst attractive project economics are imperative, they are insufficient to secure capital to bring them to account. A clear path to production with a visible timeframe, low capex requirements and scalability are important factors in retaining an attractive exit option. This philosophy is core to the Company's strategy in developing projects. Detailed information on the Company and progress to date can be accessed on the website: www.bushveldminerals.com