Strategic Minerals plc (AIM: SML: USOTC: SMCDY), a producing mineral company actively developing projects prospective for battery materials, is delighted to announce an audited 2017 annual profit after tax of $1.586m ($2.234m pre-tax profit).
· After tax profit from operations of $1.586m (2016: profit of $0.351m)
· Vesting of all existing options and exercise of a majority of the options
· Successful, oversubscribed, capital raise which was also used to remove potential overhang associated with options vesting
· Unrestricted Group cash position, as at 31 December 2017, of $3.706m (2016: $1.105m)
· Threefold increase in domestic sales at Cobre magnetite stockpile in New Mexico, USA (“Cobre”) to $5.637m (2016: $1.552m)
· Acquisition of the remaining 50% of Central Australian Rare Earths Pty Ltd (“CARE”) prospective for cobalt, gold, nickel and rare earths
· Drilling programme conducted at CARE’s tenements at Hanns Camp, Western Australia resulting in findings of both cobalt and nickel sulphide
· Completion of acquisition of 50% of Cornwall Resources Limited (“CRL”), a brownfields tin/tungsten project in the historic tin mining region of Cornwall, United Kingdom. In accordance with shareholders’ agreement the proceeds were applied to a drilling programme completed during 2017
· Entered into a binding term sheet for the acquisition of the Leigh Creek Copper Mine (“LCCM”) in South Australia
· The Company is focusing its strategy on metals and minerals that the Board believes are likely to benefit from a perceived boom in the battery market
The Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2017 (“Annual Report”) will be posted to shareholders on or around 24 May 2018 and will be available for download from the Company’s website shortly. The Company will hold its Annual General Meeting (“AGM”), to be followed by a shareholders’ meeting, at 6:00pm on Tuesday 19 June 2018 at the Rutland Arms, 15 Lower Mall, Hammersmith W6 9DJ. Details of the AGM are set out in the Notice of AGM which is being posted to shareholders along with the Annual Report and will also be available for download from the Company’s website. Those wishing to attend the shareholders’ meeting can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (limit of two per shareholder). The shareholders’ meeting will not only provide shareholders with the opportunity to meet and talk to all four Directors but will also include a brief talk on Electrifying Flight by John Meyer, Partner and Head of Research at SP Angel.
The last three years have seen an outstanding turnaround in profitability reflecting the mercurial sales growth in the Company’s US subsidiary, Southern Minerals Group (“SMG”). This has largely been associated with the acquisition of two major clients in late 2016 and mid-2017 respectively. While sales are principally based on a “take and pay basis”, the Company is confident that SMG can continue to trade profitably, to such an extent that the Company believes that the Group will again be profitable in 2018.
The Board and Management, in enacting the Company’s strategy, has reinvested cash flow from operations into existing projects as well as amassing reserves for the acquisition of the Leigh Creek Copper Mine which, while not settled until March 2018, was identified with a binding term sheet entered into in late 2017.
During 2017, existing Board and Management options vested and an oversubscribed equity raising in October 2017, for the settlement of Leigh Creek Copper Mine, was utilised to remove any potential overhang that may have resulted from the exercise of such options.
Commenting, John Peters, Managing Director of Strategic Minerals, said:
“The Company’s stellar performance in 2017 has reflected concerted work from all of the SML team. In an attempt to round off our portfolio of projects, the Company actively sought a near-term copper/gold project and were delighted to locate and secure the highly prospective Leigh Creek Copper Mine. Not only does LCCM provide the Company with a near-term copper project, but, once it becomes operational again, will offer SML a valuable second income stream.
“The October fundraise, combined with profitability from Cobre throughout 2017 and into 2018, has placed the Company in a robust cash position and the Company believes that expected project development works during 2018 can be funded from existing reserves.
“The SML team looks forward to further progressing its projects throughout 2018, which it considers will be a year of consolidation after the rapid growth of 2017.”
Strategic Minerals Plc is an AIM-quoted, operating minerals company actively developing projects prospective for battery materials. It has an operation in the United States of America and development projects in the UK and Australia. The Company is focused on utilising its operating cash flows, along with capital raisings, to develop high quality projects aimed at supplying the metals and minerals being sought in the burgeoning electric vehicle/battery market.
In September 2011, Strategic Minerals acquired the Cobre magnetite tailings dam project in New Mexico, USA, a cash-generating asset, which it brought into production in 2012 and which continues to provide a revenue stream for the Company. This operating revenue stream is utilised to cover company overheads and invest in development projects orientated to supplying the burgeoning electric vehicle/battery market.
In January 2016, the portfolio was expanded with the acquisition of shares in Central Australian Rare Earths Pty Ltd, which holds tenements in Western Australia and the Northern Territory that are prospective for cobalt, gold, nickel sulphides and rare earth elements. The Company has since acquired all shares in Central Australian Rare Earths Pty Ltd.
In May 2016, an additional exploration asset was acquired when the Company entered into an agreement with New Age Exploration Limited to acquire up to 50% of the Redmoor Tin/Tungsten project in Cornwall, UK. This 50% acquisition was completed in February 2017 and a drilling programme completed in 2017 resulted in a significant upgrade of the resource.
In March 2018, the Company completed the acquisition of the Leigh Creek Copper Mine situated in the copper rich belt of South Australia and is currently working to bring this into operation in 2019.
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