Execution of Settlement Agreement and Vesting of Initial US$2.5m for 20% of the Amapa Iron Ore Project
Cadence Minerals (AIM/AQX: KDNC; OTC: KDNCY) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a binding settlement agreement (“Settlement Agreement”) with the secured bank creditors of DEV Mineraço S.A. (“DEV”), the owner of the Amapa iron ore project in Brazil.
The execution of the Settlement Agreement represents the last major precondition for Cadence to vest its initial US$2.5m for 20% of the large-scale Amapa iron ore mine, beneficiation plant, railway and private port (“Amapa Project”, “Amapa”) . Anglo American, a previous owner had valued its 70% stake in the Amapa Project in [date]at US$ 866 million (100% US$ 1.2 billion). It impaired the asset in its 2012 Annual Accounts to US$ 462 million (100% US$ 660 million).
· Execution of the Settlement Agreement with the Secured Bank Creditors of the Amapa Project allows Cadence’s (20%) and Indo Sino’s (80%) joint venture to secure 100% ownership of the Amapa Project.
· The restructuring of the secured and unsecured creditors achieved by this Settlement Agreement and the Judicial Restructuring Process (“JRP”) has more than halved registered creditors balances.
· Cadence has already commenced its next stage of investment in the Amapa Project to increase its stake to 27%.
· Pre-feasibilty studies are ongoing on the project
The parties to the agreement are now completing and filing the required contractual and regulatory documentation which will crystallise the Cadence and Indo Sino Trade Pte. Ltd. (“Indo Sino”) joint venture company’s 100% ownership of DEV and the Amapa Project.
Cadence has already begun work on the next investment phase to earn an additional 7% of Amapa for US$3.5 million. These funds will be primarily used to progress the pre-feasibility studies on the asset.
Details of the Settlement Agreement
Cadence alongside Indo Sino entered into a Settlement Agreement with DEV and the Secured Bank Creditors on 24 December 2021.
The original credit facility provided to DEV has a principle amount outstanding of US$135 million (“Credit Facility”). The Settlement Agreement settles all of the principle amount plus all interest, default interest, outstanding costs and fees (“Settlement Amount”). The Credit Facility is secured over all of DEV’s equity and assets.
As a result of the Settlement Agreement and the JRP approved in August 2019, the total principle amounts owed to the secured and unsecured creditors in classes I to IV of DEV have been reduced from approximately US$231 million to approximately US$103 million or approximately 45% of the original value.
The Settlement Amount will be paid over two years from the effective date of the Settlement Agreement, and It is to be be satisfied by the net profits from the sale of DEV’s iron ore stockpiles. As agreed in the JRP in August 2019 the unsecured creditors will be paid from DEV’s free cash flow over a period of nine years.
Under the Settlement Agreement, DEV remains the obligor with the Secured Creditors having no recourse of repayment of the Settlement Amount to either Cadence or Indo Sino. The Settlement Agreement will remain secured over all of DEV’s equity and assets.
Cadence CEO, Kiran Morzaria, commented: “When Cadence first announced Heads of Terms for Amapa back in May 2019, we knew that while a tremendous amount of work lay ahead, the investment and terms, if secured would represent our greatest achievement to date as a mining investment company.”
“We are at this point today is entirely due to the team at Cadence, Indo Sino and DEV sharing a common vision and working together to achieve it. I am proud that together we have overcome some considerable challenges, including the impact of COVID on the Amapa region, to reach this moment.”
“We have already embarked on Phase 2, where Cadence will vest an additional US$3.5m to take our holding to 27%. Given the rate of progessthat I saw on visiting Amapa in October, I have every confidence that the day when our newly recommissioned mine re-commences production will come, at which point the nascent value in the project will be realised for the benefit of all our investors and shareholders.”
Cadence Non-Executive Chairman, Andrew Suckling, commented; “This is indeed a momentous day for Cadence, Indo Sino, DEV, the Government of Amapa, the legal teams and bank committees and administrators who have worked tirelessly, COVID notwithstanding, to finalise the final and perhaps the most lengthy part of the judicial restructuring plan agreed back in 2019.”
“I would also like to put on record my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in making this happen, and in particular to Kiran and the team for realising what is an absolutely transformational transaction for Cadence and its shareholders.”
“Having achieved what we set out to do, the work really starts in earnest. Bringing Amapa back to life has created a raft of new opportunities for the region and its community, with improved prospects for employment, health and education. The opportunity is simply huge: Amapa was once owned Anglo American, and we fully intend to restore the mine and infrastructure to its former glory, and more besides given that we intend to produce a higher quality product mix. Even now, the value of this transaction is only starting to register with the markets, something I truly believe will change dramatically in the coming years.”
About the Amapa Project
The Amapa Project commenced operations in December 2007 with the first production of iron ore concentrate product of 712 kt in 2008. In 2008 Anglo American (70%) and Cliffs (30%) acquired the Amapa Project in 2008 as part of a larger package of mining assets in Brazil.
Production steadily increased to 4.8 Mt and 6.1 Mt of iron ore concentrate product in 2011 and 2012. During this period, Anglo American reported operating profits from its 70% ownership in the Amapa Project of US$ 120 million (100% US$ 171 million) and US$ 54 million (100% US$ 77 million). Before its sale in 2012, Anglo American valued its 70% stake in the Amapa Project at US$ 866 million (100% US$ 1.2 billion). It impaired the asset in its 2012 Annual Accounts to US$ 462 million (100% US$ 660 million.
DEV filed for judicial protection in August 2015 in Brazil, and mining ceased at the Amapa Project. A judicial order in early 2019 offered investors and creditors the opportunity to file a revised JRP. Cadence and Indo Sino filed a conditional JRP, which creditors approved in August 2019. Cadence, Indo Sino and DEV have continued to develop the Amapa Project and satisfy the conditions of the JRP.
Cadence updated the Mineral Resource Estimate on 2 November 2020, increasing the MRE by 21%. The current MRE contains an Mineral Resource of 176.7 million tonnes grading 39.7% Fe in the Indicated category and Mineral Resource of 8.7Mt at 36.9% in the Inferred category, both reported within an optimised pit shell and using a cut-off grade of 25% Fe.
Details of the Joint Venture Agreement
The agreement with our joint venture partner, Indo Sino Pty Ltd, is to invest in and acquire up to a 27% of a joint venture company Pedra Branca Alliance Pte. Ltd. (“JV Co”). On Completion and registration of the Settlement Agreement the equity of DEV Mineraço S.A. (“DEV”) will be transferred to the JV Co, at which point it will own 99.9% of the Amapa Project. Should Indo Sino seek further investors or an investment in the JV Co, the agreement also provides Cadence with a first right of refusal to increase its stake to 49% in the JV Co.
To acquire its 27% interest Cadence will invest US$ 6 million over two stages in JV Co. The first stage is for 20% of the JV Co the consideration for which is US$2.5 million. The second stage of investment is for a further 7% of JV Co for a consideration of US$3.5 million. If Cadence is unable to complete the second stage of the investment or not exercise its right of first refusal under the terms of the Agreement, Indo Sino will have a twelve-month option to buy the shares in JV Co held by Cadence for 1.5 (1 ½) times the price paid by Cadence for such shares.
Cadence’s investment was conditional on several material preconditions, which as of the date of this announcement have been satisfied. On completion of Cadence’s investment (not including the first right of refusal), our joint venture partner Indo Sino will own 73% of JV Co. The Agreement also contains security and default clauses which if triggered causes an upwards adjustment mechanism to allow Cadence to either receive cash from JV Co or receive additional shares in JV Co. In the latter case, Cadence’s shareholding in the JV Co will not go above 49.9%.
On completion of the US$ 6 million investment, Cadence will have the right to appoint two members to a five-member board, with the remaining three comprising of one member jointly appointed by Cadence and Indo Sino and two appointed by Indo Sino.
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For further information:
Cadence Minerals plc
+44 (0) 7879 584153