Bushveld Minerals Ld

Lemur Q3 Operational Update

RNS Number : 3051E
Bushveld Minerals Limited
17 October 2018
 

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure

Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.

 

17 October 2018

Bushveld Minerals Limited

("Bushveld" or the "Company")

Lemur Q3 Operational Update

Bushveld Minerals Limited (AIM: BMN), the AIM listed, integrated primary vanadium producer, with ownership of high grade vanadium assets, is pleased to provide an operational update in respect of Lemur Holdings Limited ("Lemur"), the Company's coal and energy subsidiary that is developing an integrated thermal coal mining and independent power project ("Imaloto Power Project") in Madagascar.

 

Q3 Highlights:

·     Social and Environmental Impact Assessment ("SEIA") fieldwork ongoing, with more than 50 per cent of the community engagement completed.

·     SEIA Terms of Reference submitted to Madagascar's Ministry of Environment.

·     Connection and Transmission Agreements signed with state utility, Jiro sy Rano Malagasy ("JIRAMA") in Q3 2018.

·     Joint review and finalisation of Bankable Feasibility Study ("BFS") submitted by technical development partner, Sinohydro, in June 2018 still ongoing.

·     Coal mine BFS initiated with completion expected in Q4 2018.

·     Received expression of interest ("EOI") for baseload power offtake from global mining company in the Imaloto supply catchment area.

·     Ongoing engagement with lenders for construction phase of the Imaloto Power Project. Notably, received offer for project preparation finance from regional development finance institution, subject to due-diligence.

·     Financial model development completed, subject to finalization of BFS.

·     Overall, the Imaloto project is on track to deliver electricity to south western Madagascar by 2021.

 

Fortune Mojapelo, CEO of Bushveld Minerals Limited, commented:

"We are pleased with the progress being made on the Imaloto project, especially with respect to securing institutional lenders for the construction-phase of the project, with a number of the lenders concluding the initial due-diligence on the project. We expect to advance discussions on terms of lending after the BFS is completed in Q4 2018.

"Bushveld remains committed to delivering on the value of the Imaloto Power Project by ensuring that all key milestones are achieved according to schedule. This positions the project favourably for the various strategic options the Company is considering to ensure Lemur continues to receive the focussed attention needed in terms of human resources and capital requirements in order to reach financial close, and ultimately deliver the much needed electricity to Madagascar while unlocking value for Bushveld shareholders.

"Furthermore, with presidential elections set for November and December 2018 we continue to monitor the political environment and to engage with the government of Madagascar."

 

Details of Operational Update

Lemur's Madagascar subsidiary Imaloto Power Project SARL ("IPP") concluded a connection and transmission agreement with state utility, JIRAMA in Q3 2018. This agreement allows IPP to connect its planned new transmission line to JIRAMA's system. It also defines the operating relationship between IPP and JIRAMA.

Lemur is now in the final stages of reviewing the BFS for the power project prepared by its technical development partner, Sinohydro in June 2018.

Similarly, the BFS for the coal mine project which started in Q3 2018 is expected to be completed in Q4 2018. Some of the key expected outputs of the mine BFS include a detailed mine plan and the economic techno-financial model.

Both the power and the mine BFS are critical considerations for lenders to assess the viability of the Imaloto project. Once the BFS studies are completed, Lemur will proceed to the EPC discussions, which will be a key focus area for the remainder of 2018.

With regards to the SEIA study, Lemur through its environmental consultants, has conducted extensive environmental studies on both the project site and impacted areas. In September 2018, Lemur's SEIA consultants submitted the Terms of Reference of the SEIA study to the Ministry of Environment of Madagascar. The SEIA fieldwork is on track and is expected to be completed in Q4 2018. However, Lemur has made an allowance to conduct specialised studies to include rainy season impact scenarios, which may extend the completion of the technical SEIA studies to Q1 2019.

 

Prince Nyati, CEO of Lemur Holdings Limited, commented:

"The BFS and SEIA studies have been our key focus areas in Q3 2018. Notwithstanding, we are pleased to announce the conclusion of the Transmission and Connection agreement with JIRAMA. This is a significant development because the agreement not only addresses the critical aspects of how IPP will connect to the JIRAMA network, but it also provides clarity on the link between the provisions of the concession agreement and the PPA.

"Our focus for the remainder of 2018 is to complete both the mine and power BFS studies, which we expect to finalise in Q4 2018. We will also be progressing project funding discussions and related due-diligence activities as well as initiating EPC discussions."

 

Summary of 2018 Project Objectives:

Table 1: Status of 2018 Project Objectives

Objective

Current Status (Q3)

Obtain Project Concession

·   30-year Concession Agreement with the government executed

Complete BFS with Sinohydro during H2 CY18

·   Draft BFS completed by Sinohydro

·   Lemur currently reviewing BFS via an independent consultant

Conclude the SEIA Study by Q4 2018

·   Site inception visit completed

·   Field work initiated and over 50% of community engagement completed

·   Terms of reference for SEIA submitted to Ministry of Environment

Secure additional offtakes above the current demand from JIRAMA covered under the PPA

·   PPA with JIRAMA amended to increase up to 25MW

·   EOI for offtake of baseload power from the Imaloto project received from an international mining company in the Imaloto supply catchment area

·   Discussions with other private large power offtakers in the area ongoing

Pursue funding and credit enhancement options for the Project

·   Multiple discussions with various lenders at different stages - most advanced currently conducting a due-diligence on the project

·   Received the third EOI from a major development financial agency

 

Other Objectives for 2018:

·     Seek to conclude coal offtakes with third parties - coal mine is viable with only supplying coal to the power project. Notwithstanding, supplying coal to third parties provides early cashflows prior to commissioning of the power plant

·     Explore strategic partnerships for the project (technical, commercial and financial)

Enquiries: [email protected]

Bushveld Minerals


+27 (0) 11 268 6555

Fortune Mojapelo
Chief Executive Officer



Chika Edeh
Head of Investor Relations






Lemur Holdings Limited


+27 (0) 11 268 6555

Prince Nyati

Chief Executive Officer, Lemur Holdings Limited






SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP

Nominated Adviser & Broker

+44 (0) 20 3470 0470

Ewan Leggat



Richard Morrison






Alternative Resource Capital

Joint Broker


Rob Collins


+44 (0) 207 186 9001

Alex Wood


+44 (0) 207 186 9004




Tavistock

Financial PR


Charles Vivian / Gareth Tredway


+44 (0) 207 920 3150




Lifa Communications

Financial PR (South Africa)


Gabriella von Ille


+27 (0) 711 121 907




 

ABOUT BUSHVELD MINERALS LIMITED

Bushveld Minerals is a low cost, integrated, primary vanadium producer, with ownership of high grade vanadium assets. 

The Company's flagship vanadium platform includes a 74 per cent controlling interest in Bushveld Vametco Alloys (Pty) Ltd, a primary vanadium mining and processing company; the Mokopane Vanadium Project and the Brits Vanadium Project.

Bushveld's vision is to become a significant, low cost, integrated primary vanadium producer through owned 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 the steel industry, Bushveld Minerals believes there is strong potential for an imminent and significant global vanadium demand surge from the fast-growing energy storage market, particularly through the use and adoption of Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.

While the Company's focus is on the vanadium operations and the development and promotion of VRFBs it has additional investments in coal, power and tin.

The coal platform comprises the wholly-owned Imaloto Power Project, which is being developed as one of Madagascar's leading independent power producers. The Company's tin interests are held through its shareholding in AIM listed AfriTin Mining Limited.

The Company's 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 within a visible timeframe, low capital expenditure requirements and scalability are important factors in ensuring a positive return on investment. 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.

 

About Lemur Holdings

Lemur Holdings is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bushveld Minerals and is the company's coal and power platform. The Imaloto Power Project is located in the southwest of Madagascar and consists of a 136 million tonne coal resource (90 per cent of which is of JORC compliant Measured and Indicated). The Project also includes a 30-year Concession for an initial 60MW mine mouth coal power plant as well as over 250km of new transmission lines, developed in parallel as one of Madagascar's leading independent power producers. Imaloto also has a secured 30-year electricity off-take with JIRAMA, the State Utility.  

The initial phase of the Imaloto Power Project will potentially increase Madagascar's baseload capacity by approximately 15 per cent and almost double the transmission lines in the country. This is particularly important as the southwest region is mostly rural and about 95 per cent of the population does not have access to electricity. In terms of the in economic impact on southwest Madagascar, the Imaloto Power Project is set to contribute close to US$200 million in foreign direct investment into Madagascar and will create about 1,650 direct jobs and approximately US$1 billion dollars in revenue for the government of Madagascar over its useful life.


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.
 
END
 
 
UPDGGGWAUUPRUAM