Final Results

BlackRock World Mining Trust plc LEI - LNFFPBEUZJBOSR6PW155
 

Annual Results Announcement (Article 4 Transparency Directive, DTR 4.1)
for the year ended 31 December 2022

Performance record



 
As at 
31 December 
2022 
As at 
31 December 
2021 


 
Net assets (£000)¹ 1,299,285  1,142,874 
Net asset value per ordinary share (NAV) (pence) 688.35  622.21 
Ordinary share price (mid-market) (pence) 697.00  589.00 
Reference Index2 – net total return 5,863.32  5,258.16 
Premium/(discount) to net asset value3 1.3%  (5.3)% 
---------------  --------------- 
Performance (with dividends reinvested)
Net asset value per share3 +17.7%  +20.7% 
Ordinary share price3 +26.0%  +17.5% 
Reference Index2 +11.5%  +15.1% 
---------------  --------------- 
Performance since inception (with dividends reinvested)
Net asset value per share3 +1,413.6%  +1,187.8% 
Ordinary share price3 +1,535.8%  +1,198.1% 
Reference Index2 +979.6%  +868.2% 
=========  ========= 

   




 
For the 
year ended 
31 December 
2022 
For the 
year ended 
31 December 
2021 


Change 
Revenue
Net revenue profit after taxation (£000) 76,013  78,910  -3.7 
Revenue return per ordinary share (pence)4 40.68  43.59  -6.7 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Dividends per ordinary share (pence)
– 1st interim 5.50  4.50  +22.2 
– 2nd interim 5.50  5.50 
– 3rd interim 5.50  5.50 
– Final 23.50  27.00  -13.0 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total dividends paid and payable 40.00  42.50  -5.9 
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1  The change in net assets reflects portfolio movements, share reissues and dividends paid during the year.
2  MSCI ACWI Metals & Mining 30% Buffer 10/40 Index (net total return). With effect from 31 December 2019, the Reference Index changed to the MSCI ACWI Metals & Mining 30% Buffer 10/40 Index (net total return). Prior to 31 December 2019, the Reference Index was the EMIX Global Mining Index (net total return). The performance returns of the Reference Index since inception have been blended to reflect this change.
3  Alternative Performance Measures, see Glossary in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.
4  Further details are given in the Glossary in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

HIGHLIGHTS

  •  NAV per share +17.7%1(with dividends reinvested)
  •  Share price +26.0%1(with dividends reinvested)
  •  Total dividends of 40.00p per share

PERFORMANCE
I am pleased to report that your Company has reported another year of excellent performance. Over the twelve months to 31 December 2022, the Company’s net asset value per share (NAV) returned +17.7%1 and the share price +26.0%1. In comparison, over the same period, the Company’s reference index, the MSCI ACWI Metals & Mining 30% Buffer 10/40 Index (net total return), returned +11.5%, the FTSE All-Share Index returned +0.3% and the UK Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 9.2%.

OVERVIEW
As the Company’s financial year began, the mining sector held up better than broader equity markets, which recorded their worst month since March 2020, when more widespread public health measures were introduced following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply constraints, coupled with increasing demand as post-COVID-19 economic activity restarted, caused inflation to rise sharply and the geopolitical events of early 2022, with Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, exacerbated an already challenging market environment. For much of the previous decade, markets have been characterised by low inflation and very low interest rates, but the resulting rise in energy and food prices pushed inflation in the UK to a 41-year high in October 2022. This, when added to higher interest rates, had a pronounced impact on equity markets and caused a deep fall in households’ real disposable incomes.

Given the aforementioned headwinds, it is extremely impressive that the mining sector delivered such strong gains in absolute terms and when compared with the wider market. It is also important to remember that China, the world’s largest consumer of mined commodities, remained in varying stages of lockdowns for most of the year. Miners should be applauded for being responsible in capital allocation and balance sheet discipline during the prevailing market environment. Whilst this practice is encouraging, companies will be compelled to invest in growth in the medium to long term. The sector was also aided by supply constraints across a number of commodities which kept prices higher and the continued growth in demand for mined commodities for the transition to net zero carbon emissions. Encouragingly, the Company’s mining holdings outperformed during the year, including the contribution from our unquoted investments.

1  Alternative Performance Measures. All percentages calculated in sterling terms with dividends reinvested. Further details of the calculation of performance with dividends reinvested are given in the Glossary in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

REVENUE RETURN AND DIVIDENDS
This year was the second best year in the Company’s history for income and only marginally short of last year’s record. Collectively, the balance sheets of mining companies have never been stronger, reflecting tight financial discipline and strength in commodity prices. By prioritising financial stability and investor returns over growth, the mining sector has enabled investors to continue to share in the fundamentals benefiting the underlying companies.

The Company’s revenue return per share for the year amounted to 40.68p compared with 43.59p for the previous year, representing a slight decrease of 6.7%. During the year, three quarterly interim dividends of 5.50p per share were paid on 30 June 2022, 30 September 2022 and 22 December 2022. The Board is proposing a final dividend payment of 23.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022. This, together with the quarterly interim dividends, makes a total of 40.00p per share (2021: 42.50p per share) representing a small decrease of 5.9% on payments made in the previous financial year. As in past years, all dividends are fully covered by income. In accordance with the Board’s stated policy, the total dividends represent substantially all of the year’s available income.

Subject to approval at the Annual General Meeting, the final dividend will be paid on 26 April 2023 to shareholders on the Company’s register on 10 March 2023, the ex-dividend date being 9 March 2023. It remains the Board’s intention to seek to distribute substantially all of the Company’s available income along similar lines in the future.

GEARING
The Company operates a flexible gearing policy which takes into account prevailing market conditions. It is not intended that gearing will exceed 25% of the net assets of the Group. Gearing at 31 December 2022 was 9.6%. Average gearing over the year to 31 December 2022 was 11.2%.

MANAGEMENT OF SHARE RATING
The Board recognises the importance to investors that the market price of the Company’s shares should not trade at a significant premium or discount to the underlying NAV. Accordingly, in normal market conditions, the Board may use the Company’s share buyback, sale of shares from treasury and share issuance powers to ensure that the share price is broadly in line with the NAV, if it is deemed to be in shareholders’ interests.

I am pleased to report that during the year the Company reissued 5,071,920 ordinary shares from treasury for a net consideration of £34,902,000, at an average price of 688.14p per share and an average 1.3% premium to NAV. Since the year end up to 2 March 2023, a further 150,000 shares have been reissued from treasury at an average premium over NAV of 1.5%, at an average price of 717.50p for a total consideration of £1,086,000. As at 28 February March 2023 the discount stood at 0.2%.

Resolutions to renew the authorities to issue and buy back shares will be put to shareholders at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

BOARD COMPOSITION
Russell Edey has informed the Board of his intention to retire as a Director of the Company following the Annual General Meeting in April 2023 and, accordingly, will not be seeking re-election. Russell joined the Board in May 2014 and has acted as Chairman of the Audit Committee and Management Engagement Committee and Senior Independent Director since May 2020. The Board would like to express its strong appreciation for Russell’s wise counsel and invaluable contribution to the Company.

The Board has commenced a search to identify a new Director and a further announcement will be made in due course. Following Mr Edey’s retirement, Mr Venkatakrishnan will be appointed as Chairman of the Audit Committee. Ms Lewis will become Chair of the Management Engagement Committee and Ms Mosely will become the Company’s Senior Independent Director.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at the offices of BlackRock at 12 Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2DL on Tuesday, 18 April 2023 at 11.30 a.m. Details of the business of the meeting are set out in the Notice of Meeting in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

Shareholders who intend to attend the AGM should ensure that they have read and understood the venue requirements for entry to the AGM. These requirements, along with further arrangements for the AGM, can be found in the Directors’ Report in the Annual Report and Financial Statements. In the absence of any reimposition of COVID-19 restrictions, the Board very much looks forward to meeting with shareholders at the AGM.

OUTLOOK
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has receded, but the recovery of the global economy has been hindered by geopolitical tensions and rising interest rates. Since recognising the urgent need for policy tightening to combat inflationary pressures on the back of soaring prices, the US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates at the fastest pace in more than three decades, with most other major developed central banks following suit. High inflation has sparked cost-of-living crises and slowing global growth and, although central banks are forecast to slow the rate of interest rate increases, the possibility of recession for developed markets looms.

Whilst the macro environment in developed market economies continues to present near-term headwinds for commodity markets, the structural backdrop with low inventories, limited investment in new production and a more rapid recovery in China than expected, are supportive tailwinds. The energy transition will require enormous scale of investment by mining companies over the coming decades. Mining companies are in an excellent financial position, with high levels of free cash flow and solid balance sheets and these factors combined with the above potential tailwinds could be a major factor in how 2023 shapes up for the sector.

Against this backdrop, our Investment Manager remains cautiously optimistic for the mining sector. The Board is also confident that the Company remains well-placed to benefit from the transition to net zero carbon emissions which will continue to create investment opportunities in those companies that service the associated supply chains.

DAVID CHEYNE
Chairman

2 March 2023

INVESTMENT MANAGER’S REPORT

PORTFOLIO PERFORMANCE
We are pleased to report another strong year of absolute returns for the Company in 2022. The year also marked a record in terms of another all-time high in NAV and share price total returns as, since the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the Company in 1993 at 100p per share, the shares have delivered a NAV total return of 1412.5% and a share price total return of 1535.8% against a reference index total return of 979.6%. In addition, the year was also significant for income after the record-breaking numbers in 2021. Despite not quite matching last year’s record, the total was well in excess of expectations with all parts of the strategy contributing. Also, like last year, the performance was split into distinct periods with excellent gains made during the first four months, followed by falls during the summer before a decent rally in the final quarter. This volatility allowed us to take advantage of opportunities by adjusting holdings, as well as selling volatility out to the market using options. It is also important to remember that the Company delivered these gains against a broader market backdrop of strongly negative returns across not just equities but also fixed income making the relative return very valuable to investors.

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES


 
31 December 2022  % Change in 2022  % Change average 
prices 2022 vs 2021 
Commodity
Gold US$/oz 1,815.6  -0.4%  +0.1% 
Silver US$/oz 23.75  2.1%  -13.3% 
Platinum US$/oz 1,065  11.1%  -11.8% 
Palladium US$/oz 1,788  -9.4%  -12.1% 
Copper US$/lb 3.79  -14.1%  -5.2% 
Nickel US$/lb 13.56  +43.3%  +42.1% 
Aluminium US$/lb 1.07  -16.3%  +9.3% 
Zinc US$/lb 1.36  -16.3%  +16.0% 
Lead US$/lb 1.06  -0.1%  -2.1% 
Tin US$/lb 11.23  -37.1%  -3.3% 
Baltic Freight Rate 1,515  -31.7%  -33.7% 
West Texas Intermediate Oil (Cushing) US$/barrel 80.2  +6.7%  +39.5% 
Iron Ore fines 62% US$/t 118  -3.7%  -24.5% 
Thermal Coal US$/t 145.16  +18.5%  +110.6% 
Metallurgical Coal US$/t 279.45  -24.5%  +63.4% 
Lithium US$/lb 191.5  +101.6%  +274.0% 
=========  =========  ========= 

Sources: Datastream and Bloomberg, December 2022.

Looking at the year more broadly, it was driven by a shifting macro backdrop and a sharp uptick in geopolitical tensions. The former saw interest rates rise across the world causing equities to derate on the back of both a higher cost of capital but also fears of recessionary impacts to profit margins. These issues were further compounded by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia which triggered a range of consequences from spikes in oil prices, huge volatility in European power costs and shortages of natural resources from oil/gas/metals/fertilizers etc. China was also impacted by their zero COVID-19 policy which badly damaged their economic growth. Given all of the above it is even more remarkable that the mining sector not only managed to navigate its way through this unscathed, but also posted such a strong year of gains and dividends. Credit must go to the executive teams who have stayed the course of disciplined capital allocation and strong balance sheets, as without this the sector would surely have come unstuck given the huge macro challenges.

It would be remiss not to highlight the contribution from the investments in illiquid assets during 2022. During the year two companies, Ivanhoe Electric and Bravo Mining, completed successful IPOs at big premiums to the entry prices paid by the Company. This happened despite the difficult conditions in financial markets and is testament to the quality of the opportunities each company has exposure to. In addition, Jetti Resources completed a successful capital raise at a substantial premium to their last round and with more trial projects moving into commercial discussion the outlook remains encouraging. There is more detail on the illiquid portfolio later in this report.

For the year as a whole, the NAV of the Company was up by 17.7% with income reinvested and the share price total return was 26.0%. This compares to the FTSE 100 rising 4.7%, the Consumer Price Index up by 9.2% and the reference index (MSCI ACWI Metals & Mining 30% Buffer 10/40 Index net total return) up by 11.5% (all percentages calculated in sterling terms with dividends reinvested).

PRESSURE BUILDING
2022 was a complicated year for the mining sector in many ways. If one had known beforehand about the big macro headwinds such as slower growth in China, rising rates and recessionary conditions across the developed world, most people would have expected mining shares to have delivered negative returns for the year. Therefore, to see the leading sectoral gains in financial markets for the year coming from natural resources shares, with energy leading the way on the back of supply disruption following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, makes it easy to understand why generalist investors missed the opportunity. It is also easy to understand their reticence to buy after such a long period of outperformance.

It is our belief that the trends of prior years, such as capital discipline and strong balance sheets, have built strong foundations for the sector and it is these factors that drove the outperformance in 2022. For example, if mining companies had gone into the year with large capital spending plans and high levels of debt, share prices would have fallen as sharply as in similar periods from the past. The work that has been done to entrench capital discipline, combined with keeping stronger balance sheets, in our view saved the day in 2022.

Another output of the improved capital allocation decisions has been a lower level of reinvestment into production. This has allowed free cash flow to grow, but, more importantly, it has meant limited new supply growth across the industry. Given that the world economy now needs commodities to build the projects for the energy transition, the absence of new supply has left commodity markets extremely tight. In fact, at the end of 2022, inventories at London Metal Exchange warehouses were at 25-year lows. Available inventories for aluminium, copper, nickel and zinc decreased by over two-thirds during the year. The low levels of stockpiles reflect a tension that has kept traders and consumers gripped as demand weakened (due to China economic slowdown and recessionary fears in developed markets), but constrained supplies kept prices at levels higher than expected.

It is our expectation that the supply constraints are unlikely to ease during the next few years due to the scarcity of “shovel ready” projects and high permitting barriers. This has left companies focused on growth needing to revisit mergers and acquisitions (M&A), as producing assets valued in the equity markets often trade below the cost of building new capacity. In Australia, BHP managed to agree terms to buy OZ Minerals after many months of discussions. The deal looks set to complete in 2023 and the Company has benefited materially from this deal due to having a large holding in OZ Minerals. It is hard to see other deals happening due to the small number of listed copper producers and fears of resource nationalism that continue to add risk to moving capital into more remote regions e.g. the threat of closing First Quantum’s new Cobre de Panama mine.

Outside of sector specific issues, the geo-political tensions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine further tightened markets due to the sanctions imposed by other countries. This disrupted commodity supply chains at a time when markets were already tight, further supporting prices at a time when economic weakness would normally have seen them fall. As the year developed, prices did cool during the summer, only to recover in Q4 2022 as China started to ease COVID-19 restrictions. It will be interesting to see the impact that post COVID-19 Chinese demand has on metals markets.

ESG ISSUES AND THE SOCIAL LICENSE TO OPERATE
Information on the way in which the Company seeks to manage risks related to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and the social license to operate is covered in further detail in the Strategic Report within the Annual Report and Financial Statements. The Investment Manager also seeks to understand the ESG risks and opportunities facing companies and industries in the portfolio. As an extractive industry, the mining sector naturally faces a number of ESG challenges given its dependence on water, carbon emissions and geographical location of assets. However, we consider that the sector can provide critical infrastructure, taxes and employment to local communities, as well as materials essential to technological development, enabling the carbon transition through the production of the metals required for the technology underpinning that transition.

The Investment Manager considers ESG insights and data, including sustainability risks, within the total set of information in its research process and makes a determination as to the materiality of such information as part of the investment process used to build and manage the portfolio. Further information on the Investment Manager’s approach to ESG integration is set out in the AIFMD Fund Disclosures in respect of the Company, available on the Company’s website. ESG insights are not the sole consideration when making investment decisions but, in most cases, the Company will not invest in companies which have high ESG risks (risks that affect a company's financial position or operating performance) and which have no plans to address existing deficiencies.

  •        The Investment Manager is also engaging with the executives of portfolio companies in which the Company invests to understand how their current business plans are compatible with achieving a net zero carbon emissions economy by 2050.
  •        There will be cases where a serious event has occurred and, in that case, the Investment Manager will assess whether the relevant portfolio company is taking appropriate action to resolve matters before deciding what to do.
  •        There will be companies which have derated (the downward adjustment of multiples) as a result of an adverse ESG event or due to generally poor ESG practices where there may consequently be opportunities to invest at a discounted price. However, the Company will only invest in these value-based opportunities if the portfolio managers are satisfied that there is real evidence that the relevant company’s culture has changed and that better operating practices have been put in place.
  •        Given the activities that mining companies undertake, negative ESG events can occur. However, there were very few company-specific events in 2022. This meant that ongoing engagement focused mainly on the Company’s holdings approach to the energy transition and how they plan to not only benefit from the opportunities but also how they are going to decarbonise their own operations.

During the year the main areas of focus in relation to ESG risks and issues remained on Rio Tinto and Vale. By way of an update, at Rio Tinto work is ongoing with historical owners, including the establishment of the Juukan Gorge Legacy Foundation, which will support major cultural and social projects. At Vale, the company has continued its journey to raise its ESG profile following the tragic tailings related events from the last decade. Further changes have also been made to the Vale board and its operating structure. The company was also upgraded by Fitch on the back of the work they have done to improve their ESG track record.

PRICE WEAKNESS BUT STRONG MARGINS
2022 saw prices generally down for the year as a whole, as well as lower average prices versus the prior year. However, it is important not just to look at the moves in isolation. For example, the average price of copper in 2022 was down 5.2% compared with 2021 but the actual level of US$4.2/lb was the second highest average price ever, leaving companies enjoying healthy margins. The opposite is true for nickel where the prices were up year-on-year but the average price was not as high as it had been in the past, but still at extremely profitable levels for producers.

In precious metals, gold was the standout as the average price was flat for the year compared to silver, platinum and palladium which were all lower. However, gold companies seem to have suffered more from cost inflation as they did not go into the inflationary environment with levels of profitability as high as their industrial peers.

The standout commodity for the year was lithium, as the price soared driven by demand exceeding estimates as electric vehicle (EV) adoption rates increased across the world. In fact, the whole battery material suite looks set to see strong demand as the transition away from the combustion engine gathers pace.

DO NOT FORGET THE INCOME
In 2021 the Company received record levels of income as the underlying investments paid surplus cash back to their investors. Despite fearing that this would be a peak and 2022 might be less favourable for investors, we are delighted to report that once again companies honoured their commitments and continued with a strategy of distributions. The chart in the Annual Report and Financial Statements compares the payments received in 2021 and 2022 versus the average payments received by the Company in prior years. It is clear just how much higher these last two years have been and it is testament to the hard work done during earlier years that has left the companies in a position to deliver this.

It is also important to note how the portfolio investments have generally moved to a more shareholder friendly strategy. In 2021 82% of the Company’s assets were exposed to companies paying dividends versus only 68% in 2013. Part of this change has been due to changes in the portfolio, but by far the majority has come from more and more companies moving to dividend paying mode as project capital expenditure and debt repayment needs declined. In summary, the combination of more companies paying dividends, combined with diversification into royalties, should build in some resilience to general economic risks.

THE ENERGY TRANSITION
As alluded to earlier, the energy transition continues to gather pace. EVs are taking market share away from combustion engine vehicles at levels well in excess of expectations. The roll out of renewable power projects and related infrastructure is happening far quicker than planned. This has in part been driven by a desire by European countries to diversify away from Russian supplied fossil fuels and the fact that with fossil fuel prices so high renewable power is substantially more cost effective, not to mention helping countries/companies to meet their net zero commitments.

Despite the positive news from 2022, it is clear that we remain very close to the start of the energy transition cycle given the enormous scale of investment that is going to be needed over the coming decades. Looking at the data for renewable power, it is increasingly obvious how much more resource intensive it is (see charts in the Annual Report and Financial Statements). On top of this there will also be commodity demand from battery storage needs and the buildout of the hydrogen economy.

It is also essential for mining companies to embrace the need to decarbonise their own operations as future demand is likely to seek out supply from companies that do not just meet quality but also have green credentials. This move from “Brown to Green” presents a range of investment opportunities for the Company both in trying to reduce the heavy discount rates applied to carbon intensive production techniques, as well as new technologies that could solve some of the more damaging historical processes.

BASE METALS
It was a volatile year for base metals with prices starting the year well on strong western world demand and risks around supply amplified with the invasion of Ukraine. However, as we approached the middle of the year, the macro-outlook began to deteriorate with COVID-19 lockdowns in China, further weakness in the Chinese property market and interest rate increases to tame inflation which led to concerns around global growth, particularly in Europe as energy prices became an increasing toll on consumer and economic activity. This resulted in peak to trough declines of 30% to 40% across the base metal complex, which combined with supply challenges, cost inflation and royalty increases created a difficult environment for the producers. Given this, share prices fared far better than might have been expected, a reflection of the balance sheet strength of the producers and improving outlook for demand.

Encouragingly, as we approached the year end, several measures announced by the Chinese government to support the economy, including relaxation of its zero COVID-19 policies, buoyed sentiment with prices rallying from their Q3 lows. Interestingly, when we look at the overall price performance for the year as shown in the table in the Annual Report and Financial Statements, while the majority of base metal prices finished the year lower, with the exception of nickel, the average price received in 2022 was higher than the prior year, supporting earnings for the producers. As we look forward into 2023 and the potential impact of China re-opening, not only do we expect to see a year-on-year pick-up in underlying demand, but also a re-stocking of commodities such as copper and aluminium assuming China reverts back to its pre-COVID-19 levels of inventory cover. Given the tightness in physical markets and low level of base metal inventories today, this creates upside risk to commodity prices over the next two years if Chinese growth stabilises and the slowdown in the US economy is not protracted.

The copper price started the year strongly reaching US$4.85/lb in early March, to subsequently trade between US$3.25/lb to US$3.70/lb for much of the second half before rallying to US$3.79/lb at the end of the year as China looked to stabilise its economy. Whilst the absolute copper price is high versus history, the cumulative impact of cost inflation over the last five years has seen a step change in the operating cost base of the industry with several mines operating at cash breakeven levels during the low copper prices of Q3.

Copper is a clear beneficiary of the energy transition with more than 65% of copper used for applications that deliver electricity, whilst at the same time the industry is facing mine supply challenges resulting in a material deficit in the market longer term. This is driven by a lack of new greenfield copper projects, as well as deteriorating performance at existing assets, particularly in Chile. The expectation was for 2022 to deliver a step-up in copper supply with new projects such as QB2 (Teck Resources) and Qualleveco (Anglo American) due to come online. However, as we approached the year end, a swathe of production cuts has delayed growth until 2023/2024, leaving the physical market tight with a lack of inventory becoming an increasing issue for industrial users. Given the significant copper supply gap estimated longer term (3.5Mt gap estimated by Macquarie Bank by 2030), we continue to believe that copper prices need to remain above incentive prices to induce new supply into the market which is an attractive position for existing low-cost producers.

As at the end of December 2022, the Company had 22.0% of the portfolio exposed to copper producing companies which modestly detracted from performance for the year. The Company’s second largest copper exposure Freeport-McMoRan (4.0% of the portfolio) continued to deliver operationally at Grasberg, as well as executing on their US$3 billion buyback which they announced in late 2021. Among our other copper producers, Ivanhoe Mines (1.8% of the portfolio) have continued to surpass the market’s expectation on the ramp-up of Kamoa-Kakula, underpinning our confidence in the management team’s ability to deliver value from their other assets including the Western Forelands in the future. Among our mid-cap holdings in the portfolio, there was exceptional performance from Ivanhoe Electric which held an IPO during the year delivering close to a 100% return from our pre-IPO investment, as well as Jetti Resources which raised US$100 million at a substantially higher level than our entry price. Both are discussed in detail in the unquoted section of the report. The portfolio has also benefited from M&A activity during the year following BHP’s cash offer for OZ Minerals (1.2% of the portfolio) that was recommended by the OZ Minerals Limited board in December 2022. Strategically the transaction brings significant benefits to BHP given the proximity of OZ Minerals’ assets to BHP’s Olympic Dam operation in South Australia and supports the build-out of an Australian based copper basin for BHP in the years ahead. OZ Minerals have been an exceptionally strong performer over a number of years where the Company benefited from the re-rating of the company as they delivered operationally, and they were also the operator of the OZ Minerals Brazil Royalty when they acquired Avanco Resources in 2018.

The aluminium price finished the year down by 16%, facing similar global growth headwinds as the copper market. In the first half of the year there were fears that Russian exports of primary aluminium might be impacted by sanctions which supported prices. However, whilst certain companies have chosen not to purchase Russian material, there have been no sanctions imposed directly on Russian aluminium exports and these tonnes have still entered the market. With power a major cost component for aluminium smelters, higher energy costs have resulted in 1.2mtpa of capacity curtailed in Europe. At an aluminium price of US$2,500/tonne, WoodMac estimates that 30% of smelters are loss making on a full cost basis, which provides a level of downside protection to the price. However, increasing aluminium exports from China this year has largely capped the price. As China’s domestic demand improves into 2023, we would expect exports to moderate, which in turn should support prices. The Company has exposure to two aluminium producers Alcoa (1.2% of the portfolio) and Norsk Hydro (2.1% of the portfolio) both of which have access to renewable, low cost energy for the majority of their production, leaving them well positioned in the current environment of high energy costs and longer term as the market places a greater cost on carbon.

Nickel prices have been very volatile this year where a short squeeze temporarily drove prices above US$100,000 a tonne before the LME suspended the market and cancelled some trades in March. Similar to aluminium, Russia is also a significant producer of nickel, but we are yet to see any supply disruptions. Overall, the nickel price finished the year up by 43% with the market becoming increasingly aware of the longer-term deficit building for high grade nickel used in batteries. In Q4 2022, the Company made an investment in Lifezone which announced a business combination with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) GoGreen Investments which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Lifezone has a controlling shareholding in Kabanga, the largest and highest-grade undeveloped nickel project globally, located in Tanzania. The project has significant backing from BHP the world’s largest mining company which has invested US$100 million into the asset at a see-through valuation of US$627 million to acquire 14.3% of the project, with the option to acquire a 51% interest once the feasibility study is completed by the end of 2023.

BULK COMMODITIES AND STEEL
It was a challenging year for the iron ore market with average prices 24.5% lower year-on-year, with demand undermined by China’s zero COVID-19 policy and ongoing weakness in China’s key steel intensive property sector. Whilst the market enjoyed a post Beijing Winter Olympics restock in first quarter seeing prices hold a healthy range between US$120-140/tonne during the first half of the year, they subsequently averaged below US$100/tonne during the second half of the year bottoming at US$80/tonne in the third quarter as Chinese steel margins turned negative and uncertainty around China’s COVID-19 policy saw further de-stocking by customers.

China’s shift in COVID-19 policy and further support announced for the property sector at the end of the year, has seen prices rally back above US$100/tonne as the market looks to price in the impact of China re-opening. As we look into 2023, we expect to see a recovery in construction activity, which combined with first quarter seasonality in the iron ore market with both Brazilian and Australian tonnes exposed to weather events, it provides a constructive backdrop for the price during the first half of the year. Among the ‘big 4’ producers there is modest (~1%) growth in supply this year which will be second half weighted and we continue to see the producers being disciplined around volumes which should be supportive of the price over the medium term. During the course of the year, we had the opportunity to visit BHP’s and Rio Tinto’s key iron ore assets in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia which enabled us to learn more about the world class size and grade of these assets, their approach to ESG and the focus on decarbonising their operations.

The Company’s exposure to iron ore is in the diversified majors BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto, which have performed well this year returning 30%, 35% and 19% respectively. In addition, the Company has exposure to two pure play high grade iron ore producers Champion Iron and Labrador Royalty Company which have returned 41% and -6% respectively, as well as Mineral Resources which is looking to grow its iron ore business alongside its lithium, mining service and gas business which finished the year up by 45%.

Coal markets have been one of the most interesting commodity markets over the last couple of years with record prices achieved for both metallurgical and thermal coal during 2022. Thermal coal markets have benefited from tightness in global energy markets particularly in Europe due to the ban of Russian coal imports, limited supply growth due to ESG pressures and higher than normal levels of rainfall in Australia which accounts for 60% of seaborne supply. With levels of gas storage in Europe above average levels at the end of 2022, we have seen European gas prices decline which poses a risk to thermal coal prices. However, given the tightness in the market for high grade Australian thermal coal, prices have held at a record level of ~US$400/tonne at the end of 2022. As we look into 2023, we continue to see a tight market for thermal coal given much of Europe’s coal and inventory build was sourced from Russia, but with supply from Australia expected to recover in 2023 after record rain impacts in 2022, a moderation in thermal coal prices from record levels is likely.

The Company’s thermal coal exposure is via our 7.7% position in Glencore, which is using elevated thermal coal prices to deleverage the business and remains focused on decreasing its coal exposure overtime. Glencore has indicated that they intend to return excess cashflow above their net debt target of US$10 billion. This implies a 15% capital return yield for 2022 which is industry leading and will result in a circa 10% decline in their share capital outstanding. The Company has no exposure to pure play thermal coal producers.

The seaborne metallurgical coal price reached a new all-time high during the first half of the year at circa US$500/tonne, supported by Russian supply concerns (5% of global supply), tightness in the thermal coal market, as well as the flooding in Australia which impacted supply. However, as we moved into the second half of the year, prices moderated as weaker steel demand in Europe began to bite with the metallurgical coal price finishing the year at US$295/tonne (Premium Hard Coking Coal, FOB). During the course of the year, we saw a number of production downgrades announced including Anglo American reducing volume guidance for its Grosvenor mine in Queensland and Teck Resources reducing guidance at Elkview due to operational issues. This, combined with limited investment into new supply and seasonal weather events, leaves the coking coal market susceptible to upside spikes in prices which has been a consistent feature of this market in recent years. The Company’s exposure to metallurgical coal remains in the two leading producers of BHP and Teck Resources which have been able to generate very strong levels of free cash flow from their coking coal businesses to support returns to shareholders. (All data reported in pounds sterling terms.)

PRECIOUS METALS
The last three years have seen a largely rangebound price environment for precious metals, with the average annual gold price between 2020 to 2022 within 1.7% of each other in US dollar terms. This is a remarkable level of stability for a commodity, with the gold price driven by two opposing forces over the last year. On the positive side we have seen rising inflation, elevated geopolitical and market risk, while on the other hand the impact of interest rate hikes to combat inflation which has seen real rates for Government bonds flip from negative to positive over the course of the year. As we approached the year end, we saw the gold price rally and breakthrough US$1800/oz on the back of China’s reopening news, the knock-on impact from a weaker US dollar and the potential for the Federal Reserve (the Fed) to slow the pace of interest rate hikes as inflation started to moderate.

With positive real interest rates in the US and most global economies, the appeal for non-yielding gold in the short term is limited. The performance of gold over the next 12 months is likely to be driven by the Fed’s ability to tame inflation and whether they can effectively bring down inflation to their targeted level, or whether inflation remains at a structurally higher level than in the past which should raise inflation expectations supportive of the gold price.

An encouraging feature of the gold equity market over recent years has been the increased focus on shareholder returns, free cash flow and dividends. However, results in 2022 have shown margin compression due to rising labour, energy and other input costs. Whilst the portfolio has continued to hold a lower allocation (13.0%) to gold companies versus a similar time last year (16.4%) we have maintained our strategy of focusing on high quality producers which have an attractive operating margin and solid production profile and resource base. This includes the Company’s exposure to the royalty companies Franco Nevada (2.6% of the portfolio) and Wheaton Precious Metals (2.3% of the portfolio) which outperformed the gold equities during the year given their stronger margins and lack of exposure to cost inflation. In addition, the Company’s exposure to Endeavour Mining (0.6% of the portfolio) and Northern Star Resources (1.2% of the portfolio), both mid-cap growth focused gold companies, added to performance as the benefit of volume growth helped offset some of the cost inflation in the sector.

Demand for the Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) continues to be impacted by the weakness in global auto production and the share gains from electric vehicles (over internal combustion engines) which do not use PGMs. While Russia is a major producer of PGMs, accounting for 40% of global palladium production, there has been minimal impact to Russian PGM supply. During 2022 there was mixed performance from the PGMs with the platinum price (+11%) outperforming the palladium price (-9%).

We continue to remain positive on the medium-term outlook for the PGMs and believe the PGM basket will remain high relative to history given limited new supply and increasing PGM loadings for auto catalysts to meet rising emissions standards. The Company has reduced its exposure to pure play PGM producers during the year which represented 2.0% of the portfolio at the year end. In addition, the Company has exposure to PGMs via its holding in Anglo American (5.2% the portfolio) which owns 79% of Anglo American Platinum. The standout performer among our PGM exposure during the year was our investment in Bravo Metals, a PGM exploration company focused on the Luanga project in Brazil which they acquired from Vale. As outlined in the unquoted section of the report, the company’s IPO during the year resulted in a 170% uplift from our pre-IPO investment made in early 2022 and finished the year above its IPO price with early results from its drilling campaign confirming and, in a number of instances, exceeding the historical drilling results from Vale showing previously unidentified rhodium and nickel sulphide mineralisation in the assay results.

ENERGY TRANSITION METALS
Growth in battery electric vehicles (BEVs) continued in 2022, creating significant demand for the materials that enable that transition. Demand for pure battery electric vehicles grew 40% in 2022 to 267,000 units (16% of all new car registrations in 2022), with demand for plug-in hybrids also growing. This growth has been mainly driven by China, with Europe and the US lagging. We expect this structural growth to continue and accelerate particularly in the US, driven by increased model launches, strengthening consumer preference due to technological advantage and government policy. Of particular note in 2022, was the announcement of the US Inflation Reduction Act. As well as other climate change related measures, this policy supports EV demand through significant subsidies of up to US$7,500 per car. This is expected to support US BEV demand in 2023. The Company has exposure to the raw materials that go into EV batteries and the e-motor.

Lithium is a critical component of an EV battery and demand for lithium has been strong this year with the market firmly in deficit and benchmark Chinese prices reaching all-time highs in November, finishing 2022 up by 101.6%. The Company added to its lithium holdings in late 2021, establishing a position in SQM and Sigma Lithium both of which have performed well in this environment returning 78% and 207% respectively (GBP returns). We also added a new position in relative underperformer Albemarle in June and Mineral Resources in October, as they too stand to benefit from the continued tight demand supply situation in lithium, as well as their own volume growth. The Company has a 2.1% position across its lithium holdings.

A critical component of the electric car is also the e-motor, which most commonly uses a Praseodymium-Neodymium (NdPr) magnet, an alloy of two rare earth elements (REE). REE are commonly mined and processed in China and have been deemed of strategic importance by both Europe and the US. The Company has exposure to REEs through Lynas, a REE miner and processor crucially based in Malaysia and Australia. In 2022 Lynas equity fell by 19.1%, but the company announced in June that they had won a contract from the US Department of Defence to deliver a US rare earth separation facility, underscoring the strategic growth opportunity.

EV battery raw materials include cobalt, where LME prices fell by 26.3% as supply increased faster than demand; the market is moving to lower cobalt intensity cathode materials with higher nickel or lithium iron phosphate chemistry (LFP). Supply growth is set to continue with cobalt being a by-product of many of the Indonesian nickel projects announced and currently ramping. In addition, 2023 may be impacted by the release of 10,000 tonnes of stockpiled cobalt from the Tenke mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which has been unable to export in the second half of 2022 due to a government dispute. Glencore’s Mutanda mine in the DRC ramped-up production in 2022, supporting circa 50% growth in cobalt production in the first nine months of the year. Glencore, in which the Company has a 7.7% position, saw its share price rise by 47.3% during 2022. Glencore is a globally significant cobalt producer which produced 22% of mine production in 2020 and this is set to increase with Mutanda’s ramp-up.

ROYALTY AND UNQUOTED INVESTMENTS
Over the last year the Company has been busy growing the unquoted part of the portfolio and we are delighted to report that this has delivered great performance through a combination of IPOs, financing valuation uplifts and strong income generation. As mentioned in previous reports, the focus of the unquoted investments is to seek to generate both capital growth and income to deliver the superior total return goal for the portfolio. Ongoing income from the royalty investments has continued with the OZ Minerals Brazil Royalty starting to benefit from the ramp-up of the Pedra Branca mine, whilst the Vale Debentures enjoyed a better period of production despite lower iron ore prices year-on-year.

Key highlights in the unquoted equity sleeve include Ivanhoe Electric which completed its IPO in June despite the difficult market conditions. This resulted in an increase in the value of the holding of over 100% in less than 10 months since the position was acquired. Elsewhere Bravo Mining completed its IPO in July at a valuation 170% higher than the price paid for the shares in May 2022. Both positions finished the year at a price higher than IPO and will no longer be reported in the unquoted section of the portfolio as they are now fully tradeable securities. Jetti Resources completed its Series D financing, raising US$100 million at a substantial valuation uplift to our investment made at the beginning of 2022. OZ Minerals received a takeover offer from BHP which has been recommended by the OZ Minerals board and is expected to complete in Q2 of 2023 which will see BHP become the operator of the mines linked to our royalty.

As at the end of 2022, the unquoted and illiquid investments in the portfolio amounted to 6.6% of the portfolio and consist of the OZ Minerals Brazil Royalty, the Vale Debentures, Jetti Resources and MCC Mining. These, and any future investments, will be managed in line with the guidelines set by the Board as outlined to shareholders in the Strategic Report.

We continue to actively look for opportunities to grow royalty exposure given it is a key differentiator of the Company and an effective mechanism to lock-in long-term income which further diversifies the Company's revenues.

OZ MINERALS BRAZIL ROYALTY CONTRACT
In July 2014 the Company signed a binding royalty agreement with Avanco Minerals. The Company invested US$12 million in return for a Net Smelter Return (net revenue after deductions for freight, smelter and refining charges) royalty payments comprising 2% on copper, 25% on gold and 2% on all other metals produced from mines built on Avanco’s Antas North and Pedra Branca licences. In addition, there is a flat 2% royalty over all metals produced from any other discoveries within Avanco’s licence area as at the time of the agreement.

In 2018 Avanco was successfully acquired by OZ Minerals, an Australian based copper and gold producer for A$418 million, with the royalty now assumed by OZ Minerals. Since our initial US$12 million investment was made, we have received US$22.1 million in royalty payments, with the royalty achieving full payback on the initial investment in 3½ years. As at the end of December 2022, the royalty was valued at £21.2 million (1.5% NAV) which equates to a 297.1% return on the initial US$12 million invested.

In 2021 OZ Minerals achieved a significant milestone and commenced mining of Pedra Branca ore. This year we have seen the ramp-up progress ahead of plan with Pedra Branca on track to achieve its 2022 guidance of 10-12kt copper and 8-10koz gold, with the company targeting production beyond this level in 2023. We continue to remain optimistic on the longer-term optionality provided by the royalty via the development of Pedra Branca West, as well as greenfield exploration over the licence area.

In August 2022, OZ Minerals received an initial indicative proposal from BHP to acquire the company in an all-cash deal at A$25 per share. This offer was rejected by the OZ Minerals board with BHP submitting a revised offer of A$28.25 per share which was unanimously recommended in November 2022. The deal remains subject to approval by OZ Minerals shareholders with the deal expected to close in Q2 2023. This will see BHP operate the Brazilian assets and assume the royalty, consistent with the mechanism used when OZ Minerals acquired Avanco in 2018. We believe that BHP’s strong operating focus, balance sheet strength and ESG credentials leaves the Brazilian operations in a very strong set of hands.

VALE DEBENTURES
At the beginning of 2019, the Company completed a significant transaction to increase its holding in Vale Debentures. The Debentures consist of a 1.8% net revenue royalty over Vale’s Northern System and Southeastern System iron ore assets in Brazil, as well as a 1.25% royalty over the Sossego copper mine. We consider that the iron ore assets are world class given their grade, cost position, infrastructure and resource life which is well in excess of 50 years. As at the end of December 2022 the Company’s exposure to the Vale Debentures was 2.6%.

Dividend payments are expected to grow once royalty payments commence on the Southeastern System in 2024 and volumes from S11D and Serra Norte improve into 2023 where project ramp-ups have been challenged in 2022 by licencing requirements. In December, Vale reduced its longer-term iron ore production profile in light of licencing challenges and also a greater focus on high grade material. This now sees Vale target modest volume growth from the Northern System out to 2026, but the improvement in grade, to the extent achieved, will aid received pricing that the royalty will benefit from.

Despite the decline in iron ore prices during 2022, the Debentures continue to offer an attractive yield of circa 10% based on the 1H-22 annualised dividend. This is an attractive yield for a royalty investment, with this value opportunity recognised by other listed royalty producers, Franco Nevada and Sandstorm royalties, which have both acquired stakes in the Debentures since the sell-down occurred in 2021.

Whilst the Vale Debentures are a royalty, they are also a listed security on the Brazilian National Debentures System. As we have highlighted in previous reports, shareholders should be aware that historically there has been a low level of liquidity in the Debentures and price volatility is to be expected. However, we expect this progressively to improve following the sell down in April 2021.

IVANHOE ELECTRIC
In early August 2021 the Company made a US$20 million investment (equivalent to 1.3% of NAV) into Ivanhoe Electric, an exploration and mining business focused on identifying and developing “electric metals” (copper, nickel, gold and silver) required for the energy transition. The exploration portfolio is focused in the US where they have developed a proprietary exploration technology that has the ability to identify mineral resources at greater depths than existing methods. The team is led by Robert Friedland who has a successful track-record of identifying and developing world class mineral deposits such as Voisey’s Bay, Oyu Tolgoi and Kamoa-Kukula.

In June 2022 Ivanhoe Electric (2.4% of the portfolio) successfully completed an IPO at US$11.75 per share. The Company’s investment consisted of common shares of Ivanhoe Electric, as well as convertible notes which convert at a discount to the IPO price into Ivanhoe Electric shares with a total return of 91% on our initial investment. During the course of 2022, the company has been focused on exploration drilling at their Santa Cruz asset in Arizona which is the third-largest undeveloped copper deposit in the US. An updated Santa Cruz resource estimate and Preliminary Economic Analysis report is due to be released in the first half of 2023 and we expect to see significant growth in the size of the resource, based on recent drilling success at the existing Santa Cruz deposit, as well as new discoveries at East Ridge and Texaco. 2023 is set to be an exciting year for Ivanhoe Electric with the company potentially offering significant strategic benefit as a future low carbon producer of copper in the US.

JETTI RESOURCES
In early 2022 the Company made an investment into mining technology company Jetti Resources which has developed a new catalyst that appears to improve copper recovery from primary copper sulphides (specifically copper contained in chalcopyrite, which is often uneconomic) under conventional leach conditions. Jetti is currently trialling their technology at 35 mines where they will look to integrate their catalyst into existing heap leach SX-EW mines to improve recoveries at a low capital cost. The technology has been demonstrated to work at scale at the Pinto Valley copper mine, with further trials at different copper assets planned for this year. If Jetti’s technology is proven to work at scale we see material valuation upside, with Jetti sharing in the economics of additional copper volumes recovered through the application of their catalyst.

During the second half of 2022 we are pleased to report that Jetti completed its Series D financing to raise US$100 million at a substantially higher valuation than when our investment was made at the beginning of 2022. This sees the company fully financed to execute on their expected growth plans in the years ahead. As at the end of December, Jetti represented 2.1% of the portfolio.

MCC MINING
MCC Mining (0.4% of the portfolio) operates as a mineral exploration company focused on exploring for copper in Columbia. The company has several large porphyry targets which we believe could have significant potential. Shareholders include other mid to large cap copper miners, which is another indication of the strategic value of the company. The valuation of the company is based on the US$170.7 million equity value implied by the April 2022 equity raise. The money raised will fund a drilling campaign which commenced in Q4 2022 at their Comita project, a joint venture with Rio Tinto, with drilling on two other projects (Urrao and Pantanos) expected to commence in mid-2023. Importantly, MCC’s three projects are located in the Forestry Reserve in Colombia which allows for exploration drilling in the forestry reserve based on new regulations introduced in Colombia in early 2022.

BRAVO MINING
Bravo Mining (0.9% of NAV) is a Brazil-based mineral exploration and development company focused on advancing the Luanga platinum group metals/gold/nickel project in the world-class Carajas Mineral Province of Brazil. Due to our belief in the asset's potential, the Company participated in a pre-IPO round in April 2022, at a $39 million valuation. The proceeds of the raise were used to fund drilling and survey work. Since the pre-IPO round the company has decided to IPO, which completed in July at C$1.75/share. This represents a 170% return since the Company's investment.

During the course of 2022, Bravo has been focused on drilling the historical resource at Luanga which has confirmed and, in a number of cases, exceeded the expectations of the original resource. With less than half of the phase 1 drilling analysed and a similar sized drill program scheduled for 2023, we expect to see substantial growth in Luanga’s resource where recent results show rhodium and potential for nickel sulphide which was previously unknown. Bravo is still in the early days of its journey and highlights the potential value unlock available by backing quality management in attractive geological areas.

DERIVATIVES ACTIVITY
The Company from time to time enters into derivatives contracts, mostly involving the sale of “puts” and “calls”. These are taken to revenue and are subject to strict Board guidelines which limit their magnitude to an aggregate 10% of the portfolio. In 2022 income generated from options was £7.3 million in line with contributions from prior periods. During the year opportunities presented themselves in the first few months and once again during the autumn and into winter when volatility was priced at elevated levels. At the end of the period the Company had 2.6% of the net assets exposed to derivatives and the average exposure to derivatives during the period was less than 5%.

GEARING
At 31 December 2022, the Company had £125.0 million of net debt, with a gearing level of 9.6%. The debt is held principally in US dollar rolling short-term loans and managed against the value of the debt securities and the high yielding royalty positions in the Company. During the year the Company sought to maximise the use of gearing against the equity holdings rather than debt securities. This was driven by the risk adjusted relative value available in shares where dividend yields were mostly in excess of the coupons being paid on the bonds. Since the companies in the portfolio also have strong balance sheets, it was opportune to gear up the equity portfolio of the Company since we were not adding debt to holdings that were already heavily leveraged themselves.

Shareholders should note that the total gearing available to the Company has increased during the year due to the rise in assets but remains within the percentage limits set by the Board. On the back of this, facilities were refreshed with our lenders and stand at £200 million for loans and £30 million for the overdraft. The current average cost of debt for the Company remains low at 2.82% and is linked to SONIA following the demise of LIBOR.

OUTLOOK
At the macro level it seems likely that the peak in the pace of interest rate increases is behind us and, if anything, the economic background should become more supportive for economic activity during the year assuming inflation pressures start to fade. On the geo-political front, it is very hard to gauge what will happen, but even if there is an end to conflict it will be many years before sanctions are lifted and commodity trade routes reopen meaning that ongoing disruption to supply will last longer than the conflict.

With the energy transition well under way and the Chinese economy emerging from its self-imposed COVID-19 related disruption, the outlook for commodities demand is strong. At the same time supply remains constrained by a range of issues from permitting, elevated capital expenditure, delays due to ESG factors and a scarcity of projects. It is these factors that fuel our ongoing positive outlook for commodity prices and the fact that they are not yet priced into valuations means there are plenty of opportunities within the mining equity market.

At the company levels, despite all of the uncertainties at the start of the new year, the mining sector goes forward on a strong footing as corporate balance sheets remain some of the strongest of any equity sector. In addition, profit margins continue at very healthy levels even after adjusting for the cost inflation seen during the last year. However, it is worth pointing out that free cash might easily be impacted by capital expenditure and decarbonisation projects as the sector transitions to producing “greener” commodities needed for the energy transition. The priority to allocate cash flow into these areas means that there could be less available for dividends and as such the Company might see a lower level of distributions. In the results announced to date in 2023, dividends from some of our portfolio companies have decreased.

EVY HAMBRO AND OLIVIA MARKHAM
BLACKROCK INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT (UK) LIMITED

2 March 2023

TEN LARGEST INVESTMENTS

1 + BHP (2021: 2nd)
Diversified mining group
Market value: £135,048,000
Share of investments: 9.5% (2021: 7.7%)

The world’s largest diversified mining group by market capitalisation. The group is an important global player in a number of commodities including iron ore, copper, thermal and metallurgical coal, manganese, nickel, silver and diamonds.

2 - Vale1,2 (2021: 1st)
Diversified mining group
Market value: £130,476,000
Share of investments: 9.1% (2021: 8.5%)

One of the largest mining groups in the world, with operations in 30 countries. Vale is the world’s largest producer of iron ore and iron ore pellets and the world’s largest producer of nickel. The group also produces manganese ore, ferroalloys, metallurgical and thermal coal, copper, platinum group metals, gold, silver and cobalt.

3 = Glencore (2021: 3rd)
Diversified mining group
Market value: £109,508,000
Share of investments: 7.7% (2021: 7.7%)

One of the world’s largest globally diversified natural resources groups. The group’s operations include approximately 150 mining and metallurgical sites and oil production assets. Glencore’s mined commodity exposure includes copper, cobalt, nickel, zinc, lead, ferroalloys, aluminium, thermal coal, iron ore, gold and silver.

4 = Anglo American3 (2021: 4th)
Diversified mining group
Market value: £73,942,000
Share of investments: 5.2% (2021: 7.5%)

A global mining group. The group’s mining portfolio includes bulk commodities including iron ore, manganese, metallurgical coal, base metals including copper and nickel and precious metals and minerals including platinum and diamonds. Anglo American has mining operations globally, with significant assets in Africa and South America.

5 + Rio Tinto (2021: 7th)
Diversified mining group
Market value: £63,652,000
Share of investments: 4.5% (2021: 4.2%)

One of the world’s leading mining groups. The group’s primary product is iron ore, but it also produces aluminium, copper, diamonds, gold, industrial minerals and energy products.

6 + First Quantum Minerals1 (2021: 10th)
Copper producer
Market value: £58,504,000
Share of investments: 4.1% (2021: 2.9%)

A Canadian-based mining and metals group with principal activities that include mineral exploration, development and mining. Its main product is copper.

7 - ArcelorMittal1 (2021: 6th)
Steel producer
Market value: £57,127,000
Share of investments: 4.0% (2021: 5.2%)

A multinational steel manufacturing group, with a focus on producing safe sustainable steel. The group has operations across the globe and is the largest steel manufacturer in North America, South America and Europe.

8 - Freeport-McMoRan3 (2021: 5th)
Copper producer
Market value: £56,549,000
Share of investments: 4.0% (2021: 6.2%)

A global mining group which operates large, long-lived, geographically diverse assets with significant proven and probable reserves of copper, gold and molybdenum.

9 - Teck Resources (2021: 8th)
Diversified mining group
Market value: £51,395,000
Share of investments: 3.6% (2021: 3.6%)

A diversified mining group headquartered in Canada. The company is engaged in mining and mineral development with operations and projects in Canada, the US, Chile and Peru. The group has exposure to copper, zinc, metallurgical coal and energy.

10 + Franco Nevada (2021: 14th)
Gold royalty
Market value: £37,460,000
Share of investments: 2.6% (2021: 2.2%)

A leading gold-focused royalty and streaming group with the largest and most diversified portfolio of cash-flow producing assets. Its business model provides investors with gold price and exploration optionality while limiting exposure to cost inflation.

1  Includes fixed income securities.

2  Includes investments held at Directors’ valuation.

3  Includes options.

All percentages reflect the value of the holding as a percentage of total investments. For this purpose, where more than one class of securities is held, these have been aggregated.

Together, the ten largest investments represented 54.3% of total investments of the Company’s portfolio as at 31 December 2022 (ten largest investments as at 31 December 2021: 57.0%).

INVESTMENTS AS AT 31 DECEMBER 2022



 
Main 
geographical 
exposure 
Market 
value 
£000 


 

% of 
investments 
Diversified
BHP Global  135,048  9.5 
Vale Global  93,137  } 9.1 
Vale Debentures*#^ Global  37,339 
Glencore Global  109,508  7.7 
Anglo American Global  74,626  } 5.2 
Anglo American Call Option 20/01/23 GBP£31.40 Global  (684)
Rio Tinto Global  63,652  4.5 
Teck Resources Global  51,395  3.6 
Trident Global  5,793  0.4 
---------------  --------------- 
569,814  40.0 
=========  ========= 
Copper
First Quantum Minerals* Global  58,504  4.1 
Freeport-McMoRan Global  56,848  } 4.0 
Freeport-McMoRan Put Option 20/01/23 US$37 Global  (299)
OZ Minerals Brazil Royalty#~ Latin America  21,199  } 2.7 
OZ Minerals Australasia  17,320 
Ivanhoe Electric United States  23,753  } 2.4 
I-Pulse* United States  10,727 
Jetti Resources# Global  29,873  2.1 
Ivanhoe Mines Other Africa  25,364  1.8 
Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde Latin America  17,171  1.2 
Develop Global Australasia  15,316  1.1 
Solaris Resources Latin America  8,889  0.6 
Ero Copper Latin America  6,316  0.4 
Antofagasta Latin America  6,291  0.4 
MCC Mining# Latin America  5,819  0.4 
Aurubis Global  5,139  0.4 
Lundin Mining Global  3,490  0.2 
Hudbay Global  2,371  0.2 
SolGold Latin America  346 
---------------  --------------- 
314,437  22.0 
=========  ========= 
Gold
Franco Nevada Global  37,460  2.6 
Barrick Gold Global  32,994  2.3 
Wheaton Precious Metals Global  32,472  2.3 
Newmont Corporation Global  27,014  1.9 
Newcrest Mining Australasia  19,719  1.4 
Northern Star Resources Australasia  17,160  1.2 
Endeavour Mining Other Africa  9,119  0.6 
Agnico Eagle Mines Canada  6,594  0.5 
Polymetal International United Kingdom  2,306  0.2 
Polyus Russia 
---------------  --------------- 
184,838  13.0 
=========  ========= 
Steel
ArcelorMittal* Global  57,127  4.0 
Nucor United States  28,520  } 2.0 
Nucor Call Option 20/01/23 US$136 United States  (244)
Steel Dynamics United States  22,285  1.6 
Stelco Holdings Canada  7,457  0.5 
---------------  --------------- 
115,145  8.1 
=========  ========= 
Industrial Minerals
Sigma Lithium Latin America  15,728  1.1 
Albemarle Global  13,936  1.0 
Mineral Resources Australasia  13,721  1.0 
Sociedad Quimica y Minera ADR Latin America  13,506  1.0 
Iluka Resources Australasia  11,973  0.8 
Lynas Rare Earths Australasia  10,191  0.7 
Chalice Mining Australasia  7,602  0.5 
Sheffield Resources Australasia  5,945  0.4 
---------------  --------------- 
92,602  6.5 
=========  ========= 
Aluminium
Norsk Hydro Global  30,036  2.1 
Alcoa Global  16,798  1.2 
---------------  --------------- 
46,834  3.3 
=========  ========= 
Iron Ore
Labrador Iron Canada  24,172  1.7 
Champion Iron Canada  14,546  1.0 
Deterra Royalties Australasia  5,202  0.4 
Equatorial Resources Other Africa  313 
---------------  --------------- 
44,233  3.1 
=========  ========= 
Platinum Group Metals
Bravo Mining Latin America  11,287  0.9 
Northam Platinum Global  6,050  0.4 
Impala Platinum South Africa  6,011  0.4 
Sibanye Stillwater South Africa  3,768  0.3 
---------------  --------------- 
27,656  2.0 
=========  ========= 
Nickel
Nickel Mines Indonesia  10,806  0.8 
Bindura Nickel Global  60 
Lifezone SPAC PIPE Commitment# Global 
---------------  --------------- 
10,866  0.8 
=========  ========= 
Mining Services
Epiroc Global  6,184  0.4 
---------------  --------------- 
6,184  0.4 
=========  ========= 
Uranium
Cameco Canada  5,363  0.4 
---------------  --------------- 
5,363  0.4 
=========  ========= 
Other
Woodside Energy Group Australasia  3,638  0.3 
---------------  --------------- 
3,638  0.3 
=========  ========= 
Zinc
Titan Mining United States  2,007  0.1 
---------------  --------------- 
2,007  0.1 
=========  ========= 
Comprising: 1,423,617  100.0 
=========  ========= 
– Investments 1,424,844  100.1 
– Options (1,227) (0.1)
---------------  --------------- 
1,423,617  100.0 
=========  ========= 

*  Includes fixed income securities.

#  Includes investments held at Directors’ valuation.

~  Mining royalty contract.

^  The investment in the Vale Debentures is illiquid and has been valued using secondary market pricing information provided by the Brazilian Financial and Capital Markets Association (ANBIMA).

All investments are in equity shares unless otherwise stated.

The total number of investments as at 31 December 2022 (including options classified as liabilities on the balance sheet) was 68 (31 December 2021: 56).

As at 31 December 2022 the Company did not hold any equity interests in companies comprising more than 3% of a company’s share capital.

PORTFOLIO ANALYSIS AS AT 31 DECEMBER 2022

Commodity Exposure1

2022 portfolio 2021# portfolio 2022 Reference Index*
Diversified   40.0% 39.5% 39.4%
Copper 22.0% 21.5% 9.3%
Gold 13.0% 16.4% 20.6%
Steel 8.1% 7.7% 16.5%
Industrial Minerals 6.5% 4.1% 2.4%
Aluminium 3.3% 3.3% 3.8%
Iron Ore 3.1% 2.8% 3.9%
Platinum Group Metals 2.0% 3.1% 2.6%
Nickel 0.8% 1.4% 0.1%
Mining Services 0.4% 0.0% 0.1%
Uranium 0.4% 0.0% 0.0%
Other& 0.3% 0.0% 0.9%
Zinc 0.1% 0.2% 0.4%

1  Based on index classifications.

#  Represents exposure at 31 December 2021.

*  MSCI ACWI Metals & Mining 30% Buffer 10/40 Index (net total return).

&  Represents a very small exposure.

Geographic Exposure1

2022
Global 69.2%
Australasia   9.0%
Latin America   7.5%
Other2 7.1%
Canada 4.1%
Other Africa (ex South Africa) 2.4%
South Africa 0.7%

   

2021
Global 69.9%
Latin America   8.0%
Other3 7.4%
Australasia 6.3%
South Africa 3.1%
Other Africa (ex South Africa) 3.1%
Canada 2.2%

1  Based on the principal commodity exposure and place of operation of each investment.

2  Consists of Indonesia, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.

3  Consists of Indonesia, Russia and United States.

STRATEGIC REPORT

The Directors present the Strategic Report of BlackRock World Mining Trust plc for the year ended 31 December 2022. The aim of the Strategic Report is to provide shareholders with the information to assess how the Directors have performed their duty to promote the success of the Company for the collective benefit of shareholders.

The Chairman’s Statement together with the Investment Manager’s Report form part of this Strategic Report. The Strategic Report was approved by the Board at its meeting on 2 March 2023.

Principal activities
The Company carries on business as an investment trust and has a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange. Its principal activity is portfolio investment and that of its subsidiary, BlackRock World Mining Investment Company Limited (together the Group), is investment dealing. The Company was incorporated in England on 28 October 1993 and this is the 29th Annual Report.

Investment trusts are pooled investment vehicles which allow exposure to a diversified range of assets through a single investment, thus spreading investment risk.

Objective
The Company’s objective is to maximise total returns to shareholders through a worldwide portfolio of mining and metal securities.

The Board recognises the importance of dividends to shareholders in achieving that objective, in addition to capital returns.

Strategy, business model and investment policy
Strategy
The Company invests in accordance with the objective given above. The Board is collectively responsible to shareholders for the long-term success of the Company and is its governing body. There is a clear division of responsibility between the Board and BlackRock Fund Managers Limited (the Manager). Matters reserved for the Board include setting the Company’s strategy, including its investment objective and policy, setting limits on gearing (both bank borrowings and the effect of derivatives), capital structure, governance and appointing and monitoring of the performance of service providers, including the Manager.

Business model
The Company’s business model follows that of an externally managed investment trust. Therefore, the Company does not have any employees and outsources its activities to third-party service providers including the Manager who is the principal service provider. In accordance with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers’ Directive (AIFMD), as implemented, retained and onshored in the UK, the Company is an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF). BlackRock Fund Managers Limited is the Company’s Alternative Investment Fund Manager.

The management of the investment portfolio and the administration of the Company have been contractually delegated to the Manager who in turn (with the permission of the Company) has delegated certain investment management and other ancillary services to BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited (the Investment Manager). The Manager, operating under guidelines determined by the Board, has direct responsibility for the decisions relating to the day-to-day running of the Company and is accountable to the Board for the investment, financial and operating performance of the Company.

The Company delegates fund accounting services to the Manager, which in turn sub-delegates these services to The Bank of New York Mellon (International) Limited (BNYM) (the Fund Accountant) and also sub-delegates registration services to the Registrar, Computershare Investor Services PLC. Other service providers include the Depositary (also BNYM). Details of the contractual terms with these service providers and more details of sub-delegation arrangements in place governing custody services are set out in the Directors’ Report in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

Investment policy
The Company’s investment policy is to provide a diversified investment in mining and metal securities worldwide actively managed with the objective of maximising total returns. While the policy is to invest principally in quoted securities, the Company’s investment policy includes investing in royalties derived from the production of metals and minerals as well as physical metals. Up to 10% of gross assets may be held in physical metals.

In order to achieve its objective, it is intended that the Group will normally be fully invested, which means at least 90% of the gross assets of the Company and its subsidiary will be invested in stocks, shares, royalties and physical metals. However, if such investments are deemed to be overvalued, or if the Manager finds it difficult to identify attractively priced opportunities for investment, then up to 25% of the Group’s assets may be held in cash or cash equivalents. Risk is spread by investing in a number of holdings, many of which themselves are diversified businesses.

The Group may occasionally utilise derivative instruments such as options, futures and contracts for difference, if it is deemed that these will, at a particular time or for a particular period, enhance the performance of the Group in the pursuit of its objectives. The Company is also permitted to enter into stock lending arrangements.

As approved by shareholders in August 2013, the Group may invest in any single holding of quoted or unquoted investments that would represent up to 20% of gross assets at the time of acquisition. Although investments are principally in companies listed on recognised stock exchanges, the Company may invest up to 20% of the Group’s gross assets in investments other than quoted securities. Such investments include unquoted royalties, equities or bonds. In order to afford the Company the flexibility of obtaining exposure to metal and mining related royalties, it is possible that, in order to diversify risk, all or part of such exposure may be obtained directly or indirectly through a holding company, a fund or another investment or special purpose vehicle, which may be quoted or unquoted. The Board will seek the prior approval of shareholders to any unquoted investment in a single company, fund or special purpose vehicle or any single royalty which represents more than 10% of the Group’s assets at the time of acquisition.

In March 2015 the Board refined the guidelines associated with the Company’s royalty strategy and proposed to maintain the 20% maximum exposure to royalties but the royalty/unquoted portfolio should itself deliver diversification across operator, country and commodity. To this end, new investments into individual royalties/unquoted investments should not exceed circa 3% of gross assets at the time of investment. Total exposure to any single operator, including other issued securities such as debt and/or equity, where greater than 30% of that operator’s revenues come from the mine over which the royalty lies, must also not be greater than 3% at the time of investment. In addition, the guidelines require that the Investment Manager must, at the time of investment, manage total exposure to a single operator, via reducing exposure to listed securities if they are also held in the portfolio, in a timely manner where royalties/unquoted investments are revalued upwards. In the jurisdictions where statutory royalties are possible (in countries where mineral rights are privately owned) these will be preferred and in respect of contractual royalties (a contractual obligation entered into by the operator and typically unsecured) the valuation must take into account the higher credit risk involved. Board approval will continue to be required for all royalty/unquoted investments.

While the Company may hold shares in other listed investment companies (including investment trusts), the Company will not invest more than 15% of the Group’s gross assets in other UK listed investment companies.

The Group’s financial statements are maintained in sterling. Although many investments are denominated and quoted in currencies other than sterling, the Board does not intend to employ a hedging strategy against fluctuations in exchange rates.

No material change will be made to the investment policy without shareholder approval.

Gearing
The Investment Manager believes that tactical use of gearing can add value from time to time. This gearing is typically in the form of an overdraft or short-term loan facility, which can be repaid at any time or matched by cash. The level and benefit of gearing is discussed and agreed with the Board regularly. The Company may borrow up to 25% of the Group’s net assets. The maximum level of gearing used during the year was 14.7% and, at the financial reporting date, net gearing (calculated as borrowings less cash and cash equivalents as a percentage of net assets) stood at 9.6% of shareholders’ funds (2021: 9.9%). For further details on borrowings refer to note 14 in the Financial Statements and the Alternative Performance Measure in the Glossary, both contained in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

Portfolio analysis
Information regarding the Company’s investment exposures is contained within Section 2 (Portfolio), with information on the ten largest investments above, the investments listed above and portfolio analysis above. Further information regarding investment risk and activity throughout the year can be found in the Investment Manager’s Report above.

As at 31 December 2022, the Level 3 unquoted investments (see note 18 in the Financial Statements in the Annual Report and Financial Statements) in the OZ Minerals Brazil Royalty and preferred shares and equity shares of Jetti Resources and MCC Mining were held at Directors’ valuation, representing a total of £56,891,000 (US$67,269,000) (2021: £33,412,000 (US$45,255,000)). Unquoted investments can prove to be more risky than listed investments.

Continuation vote
As agreed by shareholders in 1998, an ordinary resolution for the continuation of the Company is proposed at each Annual General Meeting. 2022 was another solid year with mining companies continuing down the path of capital discipline, balance sheets in strong shape and earnings and dividends exceeding expectations. The Directors remain confident on the value available in the sector and therefore recommend that shareholders vote in support of the Company’s continuation.

Performance
Details of the Company’s performance for the year are given in the Chairman’s Statement above. The Investment Manager’s Report above includes a review of the main developments during the year, together with information on investment activity within the Company’s portfolio.

Results and dividends
The results for the Company are set out in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income. The total profit for the year, after taxation, was £202,420,000 (2021: £192,470,000) of which £76,013,000 (2021: £78,910,000) is revenue profit.

It is the Board’s intention to distribute substantially all of the Company’s available income. The Directors recommend the payment of a final dividend as set out in the Chairman’s Statement above. Dividend payments/payable for the year ended 31 December 2022 amounted to £75,405,000 (2021: £78,331,000).

Future prospects
The Board’s main focus is to maximise total returns over the longer term through investment in mining and metal assets. The outlook for the Company is discussed in both the Chairman’s Statement and the Investment Manager’s Report above.

Employees, social, community and human rights issues
As an investment trust, the Company has no direct social or community responsibilities or impact on the environment and the Company has not adopted an ESG investment strategy or exclusionary screens. However, the Directors believe that it is important and in shareholders’ interests to consider human rights issues and environmental, social and governance factors when selecting and retaining investments. Details of the Company’s approach to ESG integration are set out in the Annual Report and Financial Statements and details of the Manager’s approach to ESG integration are set out in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

Modern Slavery Act
As an investment vehicle, the Company does not provide goods or services in the normal course of business and does not have customers. The Investment Manager considers modern slavery as part of supply chains and labour management within the investment process. Accordingly, the Directors consider that the Company is not required to make any slavery or human trafficking statement under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. In any event, the Board considers the Company’s supply chains, dealing predominantly with professional advisers and service providers in the financial services industry, to be low risk in relation to this matter.

Directors, gender representation and employees
The Directors of the Company are set out in the Directors’ Biographies in the Annual Report and Financial Statements. The Board consists of three male Directors and two female Directors. The Company’s policy on diversity is set out in the Annual Report and Financial Statements. The Company does not have any executive employees.

Key performance indicators
At each Board meeting, the Directors consider a number of performance measures to assess the Company’s success in achieving its objectives. The key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure the progress and performance of the Company over time and which are comparable to other investment trusts are set out below. As indicated in the footnote to the table, some of these KPIs fall within the definition of ‘Alternative Performance Measures’ under guidance issued by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and additional information explaining how these are calculated is set out in the Glossary in the Annual Report and Financial Statements. Additionally, the Board regularly reviews the performance of the portfolio, as well as the net asset value and share price of the Company and compares this against various companies and indices. Information on the Company’s performance is given in the Chairman’s Statement above.



 
Year ended 
31 December 
2022 
Year ended 
31 December 
2021 
Net asset value total return1,2 17.7%  20.7% 
Share price total return1,2 26.0%  17.5% 
Premium/(discount) to net asset value2 1.3%  (5.3)% 
Revenue earnings per share 40.68p  43.59p 
Total dividends per share 40.00p  42.50p 
Ongoing charges2,3 0.95%  0.95% 
Ongoing charges on gross assets2,4 0.84%  0.84% 
=========  ========= 

1  This measures the Company’s NAV and share price total return, which assumes dividends paid by the Company have been reinvested.

2  Alternative Performance Measures, see Glossary in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

3  Ongoing charges represent the management fee and all other operating expenses, excluding finance costs, direct transaction costs, custody transaction charges, VAT recovered, taxation, prior year expenses written back and certain non-recurring items, as a % of average daily net assets.

4  Ongoing charges based on gross assets represent the management fee and all other operating expenses, excluding finance costs, direct transaction costs, custody transaction charges, VAT recovered, taxation, prior year expenses written back and certain non-recurring items, as a % of average daily gross assets. Gross assets are calculated based on net assets during the year before the deduction of the bank overdraft and loans. Ongoing charges based on gross assets are considered to be an appropriate performance measure as management fees are payable on gross assets (subject to certain adjustments and deductions).

Principal risks
The Company is exposed to a variety of risks and uncertainties. As required by the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code (the UK Code), the Board has put in place a robust ongoing process to identify, assess and monitor the principal risks and emerging risks facing the Company including those that would threaten its business model. A core element of this process is the Company’s risk register which identifies the risks facing the Company and assesses the likelihood and potential impact of each risk and the quality of controls operating to mitigate it. A residual risk rating is then calculated for each risk based on the outcome of the assessment.

The risk register, its method of preparation and the operation of key controls in BlackRock’s and third-party service providers’ systems of internal control, are reviewed on a regular basis by the Audit Committee. In order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of BlackRock’s and other third-party service providers’ risk management processes and how these apply to the Company’s business, BlackRock’s internal audit department provides an annual presentation to the Audit Committee chairs of the BlackRock investment trusts setting out the results of testing performed in relation to BlackRock’s internal control processes. The Audit Committee also periodically receives and reviews internal control reports from BlackRock and the Company’s service providers.

The Board has undertaken a robust assessment of both the principal and emerging risks facing the Company, including those that would threaten its business model, future performance, solvency or liquidity. Over the course of 2020 and through to the present time, the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to unprecedented challenges for businesses across the globe. Additionally, the risk that unforeseen or unprecedented events including (but not limited to) heightened geo-political tensions such as the war in Ukraine, high inflation and the current cost of living crisis has had a significant impact on global markets. The Board has taken into consideration the risks posed to the Company by these events and incorporated these into the Company’s risk register. The threat of climate change has also reinforced the importance of more sustainable practices and environmental responsibility for investee companies.

Emerging risks are considered by the Board as they come into view and are incorporated into the existing review of the Company’s risk register. They were also considered as part of the annual evaluation process. Additionally, the Manager considers emerging risks in numerous forums and the BlackRock Risk and Quantitative Analysis team produces an annual risk survey. Any material risks of relevance to the Company through the annual risk survey will be communicated to the Board.

The Board will continue to assess these risks on an ongoing basis. In relation to the UK Code, the Board is confident that the procedures that the Company has put in place are sufficient to ensure that the necessary monitoring of risks and controls has been carried out throughout the reporting period.

The principal risks and uncertainties faced by the Company during the financial year, together with the potential effects, controls and mitigating factors, are set out in the following table.

Principal Risk Mitigation/Control
Counterparty
The potential loss that the Company could incur if a counterparty is unable (or unwilling) to perform on its commitments.

Due diligence is undertaken before contracts are entered into and exposures are diversified across a number of counterparties.

The Depositary is liable for restitution for the loss of financial instruments held in custody unless able to demonstrate the loss was a result of an event beyond its reasonable control.
Investment performance
The returns achieved are reliant primarily upon the performance of the portfolio.

The Board is responsible for:

· deciding the investment strategy to fulfil the Company’s objective; and
· monitoring the performance of the Investment Manager and the implementation of the investment strategy.

An inappropriate investment policy may lead to:

· underperformance compared to the reference index;
· a reduction or permanent loss of capital; and
· dissatisfied shareholders and reputational damage.

To manage this risk the Board:

· regularly reviews the Company’s investment mandate and long-term strategy;
· has set investment restrictions and guidelines which the Investment Manager monitors and regularly reports on;
·      receives from the Investment Manager a regular explanation of stock selection decisions, portfolio exposure, gearing and any changes in gearing, and the rationale for the composition of the investment portfolio;
· oversees the maintenance of an adequate spread of investments in order to minimise the risks associated with particular countries or factors specific to particular sectors, based on the diversification requirements inherent in the investment policy; and
· receives and reviews regular reports showing an analysis of the Company’s performance against other indices, including the performance of major companies in the sector.
The Board is also cognisant of the long-term risk to performance from inadequate attention to ESG issues and in particular the impact of climate change. ESG analysis is integrated into the Manager’s investment process as set out in the Annual Report and Financial Statements. This is overseen by the Board.
Legal and regulatory compliance
The Company has been approved by HM Revenue & Customs as an investment trust, subject to continuing to meet the relevant eligibility conditions, and operates as an investment trust in accordance with Chapter 4 of Part 24 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010. As such, the Company is exempt from corporation tax on capital gains tax on the profits realised from the sale of its investments.

Any breach of the relevant eligibility conditions could lead to the Company losing investment trust status and being subject to corporation tax on capital gains realised within the Company’s portfolio. In such event, the investment returns of the Company may be adversely affected.

A serious breach could result in the Company and/or the Directors being fined or the subject of criminal proceedings or the suspension of the Company’s shares which would in turn lead to a breach of the Corporation Tax Act 2010.

Amongst other relevant laws, the Company is required to comply with the provisions of the Companies Act 2006, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers’ Directive as implemented, retained and onshored in the UK (AIFMD), the UK Listing Rules, Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and the Market Abuse Regulation (as retained and onshored in the UK).

The Investment Manager monitors investment movements, the level and type of forecast income and expenditure and the amount of proposed dividends to ensure that the provisions of Chapter 4 of Part 24 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010 are not breached. The results are reported to the Board at each meeting.

Compliance with the accounting rules affecting investment trusts is also carefully and regularly monitored.

The Company Secretary, Manager and the Company’s professional advisers provide regular reports to the Board in respect of compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. The Board and the Manager also monitor changes in government policy and legislation which may have an impact on the Company.

The Company’s Investment Manager, BlackRock, at all times complies with the sanctions administered by the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the United Nations, European Union member states and any other applicable regimes.
Market
Market risk arises from volatility in the prices of the Company’s investments. It represents the potential loss the Company might suffer through realising investments in the face of negative market movements.

Changes in general economic and market conditions, such as currency exchange rates, interest rates, rates of inflation, industry conditions, tax laws, political events and trends, can also substantially and adversely affect the securities and, as a consequence, the Company’s prospects and share price.

Market risk includes the potential impact of events which are outside the Company’s control, including (but not limited to) heightened geo-political tensions and military conflict, a global pandemic and high inflation.

Companies operating in the sectors in which the Company invests may be impacted by new legislation governing climate change and environmental issues, which may have a negative impact on their valuation and share price.

The Board considers the diversification of the portfolio, asset allocation, stock selection and levels of gearing on a regular basis and has set investment restrictions and guidelines which are monitored and reported on by the Investment Manager.

The Board monitors the implementation and results of the investment process with the Investment Manager.

The Board also recognises the benefits of a closed-end fund structure in extremely volatile markets such as those experienced as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia/Ukraine conflict. Unlike open-ended counterparts, closed-end funds are not obliged to sell-down portfolio holdings at low valuations to meet liquidity requirements for redemptions. During times of elevated volatility and market stress, the ability of a closed-end fund structure to remain invested for the long term enables the Investment Manager to adhere to disciplined fundamental analysis from a bottom-up perspective and be ready to respond to dislocations in the market as opportunities present themselves.

The Investment Manager seeks to understand the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities facing companies and industries in the portfolio. The Company has not adopted an ESG investment strategy and does not exclude investment in stocks based on ESG criteria, but the Investment Manager considers ESG information when conducting research and due diligence on new investments and again when monitoring investments in the portfolio. Further information on BlackRock’s approach to ESG integration can be found in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.
Operational
In common with most other investment trust companies, the Company has no employees. The Company therefore relies on the services provided by third-parties and is dependent on the control systems of the Manager, the Depositary and Fund Accountant which maintain the Company’s assets, dealing procedures and accounting records.

The security of the Company’s assets, dealing procedures, accounting records and adherence to regulatory and legal requirements depend on the effective operation of the systems of these third-party service providers. There is a risk that a major disaster, such as floods, fire, a global pandemic, or terrorist activity, renders the Company’s service providers unable to conduct business at normal operating effectiveness.

Failure by any service provider to carry out its obligations to the Company could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s performance. Disruption to the accounting, payment systems or custody records (including cyber security risk) could prevent the accurate reporting and monitoring of the Company’s financial position.

Due diligence is undertaken before contracts are entered into with third-party service providers. Thereafter, the performance of the provider is subject to regular review and reported to the Board.

The Board reviews on a regular basis an assessment of the fraud risks that the Company could potentially be exposed to and also a summary of the controls put in place by the Manager, Depositary, Custodian, Fund Accountant and Registrar specifically to mitigate these risks.

Most third-party service providers produce Service Organisation Control (SOC 1) reports to provide assurance regarding the effective operation of internal controls as reported on by their reporting accountants. These reports are provided to the Audit Committee for review. The Committee would seek further representations from service providers if not satisfied with the effectiveness of their control environment.

The Company’s financial instruments held in custody are subject to a strict liability regime and, in the event of a loss of such financial instruments, the Depositary must return financial assets of an identical type or the corresponding amount, unless able to demonstrate the loss was a result of an event beyond its reasonable control.

The Board reviews the overall performance of the Manager, Investment Manager and all other third-party service providers on a regular basis and compliance with the Investment Management Agreement annually.

The Board also considers the business continuity arrangements of the Company’s key service providers on an ongoing basis and reviews these as part of its review of the Company’s risk register. In respect of the risks which were posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of the ability of service providers to function effectively, the Board received reports from key service providers setting out the measures that they had put in place to address the crisis, in addition to their existing business continuity framework. Having considered these arrangements and reviewed service levels, the Board is confident that a good level of service has been and will be maintained.
Financial
The Company’s investment activities expose it to a variety of financial risks which include market risk, counterparty credit risk, liquidity risk and the valuation of financial instruments.

Details of these risks are disclosed in note 18 to the Financial Statements in the Annual Report and Financial Statements, together with a summary of the policies for managing these risks.

In the view of the Board, there have not been any changes to the fundamental nature of these risks and these principal risks and uncertainties are equally applicable for the current financial year.

Viability statement
In accordance with provision 31 of the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code, the Directors have assessed the prospects of the Company over a longer period than the twelve months referred to by the ‘Going Concern’ guidelines. The Company is an investment trust with the objective of providing an attractive level of income return together with capital appreciation over the long term.

The Directors expect the Company to continue for the foreseeable future and have therefore conducted this review for a period up to the Annual General Meeting in 2026. The Directors assess viability over a rolling three-year period as they believe it best balances the Company’s long-term objective, its financial flexibility and scope, with the difficulty in forecasting economic conditions which could affect both the Company and its shareholders. The Company also undertakes a continuation vote every year with the next one taking place at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

In making an assessment on the viability of the Company, the Board has considered the following:

· the impact of a significant fall in commodity markets on the value of the Company’s investment portfolio;

· the ongoing relevance of the Company’s investment objective, business model and investment policy in the prevailing market;

· the principal and emerging risks and uncertainties, as set out above, and their potential impact;

· the level of ongoing demand for the Company’s shares;

· the Company’s share price discount/premium to NAV;

· the liquidity of the Company’s portfolio; and

· the level of income generated by the Company and future income and expenditure forecasts.

The Directors have concluded that there is a reasonable expectation that the Company will continue in operation and meet its liabilities as they fall due over the period of their assessment based on the following considerations:

· the Investment Manager’s compliance with the investment objective and policy, its investment strategy and asset allocation;

· the portfolio is liquid and mainly comprises readily realisable assets which continue to offer a range of investment opportunities for shareholders as part of a balanced investment portfolio;

· the operational resilience of the Company and its key service providers and their ability to continue to provide a good level of service for the foreseeable future;

· the effectiveness of business continuity plans in place for the Company and its key service providers;

· the ongoing processes for monitoring operating costs and income which are considered to be reasonable in comparison to the Company’s total assets;

· the Board’s discount management policy; and

· the Company is a closed-end investment company and therefore does not suffer from the liquidity issues arising from unexpected redemptions.

In addition, the Board’s assessment of the Company’s ability to operate in the foreseeable future is included in the Going Concern Statement which can be found in the Directors’ Report in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

Section 172 statement: Promoting the success of the Company
The Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 require directors of large companies to explain more fully how they have discharged their duties under Section 172(1) of the Companies Act 2006 in promoting the success of their companies for the benefit of members as a whole. This includes the likely consequences of their decisions in the longer term and how they have taken wider stakeholders’ needs into account.

The disclosure that follows covers how the Board has engaged with and understands the views of stakeholders and how stakeholders’ needs have been taken into account, the outcome of this engagement and the impact that it has had on the Board’s decisions. The Board considers the main stakeholders in the Company to be the Manager, Investment Manager and the shareholders. In addition to this, the Board considers investee companies and key service providers of the Company to be stakeholders; the latter comprise the Company’s Depositary, Registrar, Fund Accountants and Brokers.

Stakeholders
Shareholders Manager and Investment Manager Other key service providers Investee companies
Continued shareholder support and engagement are critical to the continued existence of the Company and the successful delivery of its long-term strategy. The Board is focused on fostering good working relationships with shareholders and on understanding the views of shareholders in order to incorporate them into the Board’s strategy and objective in maximising total returns to shareholders through a worldwide portfolio of mining and metal securities. The Board’s main working relationship is with the Manager, who is responsible for the Company’s portfolio management (including asset allocation, stock and sector selection) and risk management, as well as ancillary functions such as administration, secretarial, accounting and marketing services. The Manager has sub-delegated portfolio management to the Investment Manager. Successful management of shareholders’ assets by the Investment Manager is critical for the Company to successfully deliver its investment strategy and meet its objective. The Company is also reliant on the Manager as AIFM to provide support in meeting relevant regulatory obligations under the AIFMD and other relevant legislation. In order for the Company to function as an investment trust with a listing on the premium segment of the official list of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and trade on the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) main market for listed securities, the Board relies on a diverse range of advisors for support in meeting relevant obligations and safeguarding the Company’s assets. For this reason, the Board considers the Company’s Depositary, Registrar, Fund Accountants and Brokers to be stakeholders. The Board maintains regular contact with its key external service providers and receives regular reporting from them through the Board and Committee meetings, as well as outside of the regular meeting cycle. Portfolio holdings are ultimately shareholders’ assets and the Board recognises the importance of good stewardship and communication with investee companies in meeting the Company’s investment objective and strategy. The Board monitors the Manager’s stewardship arrangements and receives regular feedback from the Manager in respect of meetings with the management of investee companies.

A summary of the key areas of engagement undertaken by the Board with its key stakeholders in the year under review and how Directors have acted upon this to promote the long-term success of the Company are set out in the table below.

Area of Engagement Issue Engagement Impact
Investment mandate and objective The Board is committed to promoting the role and success of the Company in delivering on its investment mandate to shareholders over the long term.

The Board also has responsibility to shareholders to ensure that the Company’s portfolio of assets is invested in line with the stated investment objective and in a way that ensures an appropriate balance between spread of risk and portfolio returns.
The Board worked closely with the Investment Manager throughout the year in further developing investment strategy and underlying policies, not simply for the purpose of achieving the Company’s investment objective but in the interests of shareholders and future investors. In addition the Company continues to seek out new unquoted investments which could add long-term value. The portfolio activities undertaken by the Investment Manager can be found in their Report above. The Investment Manager continues to actively look for opportunities to grow royalty exposure given it is a key differentiator of the Company and an effective mechanism to lock-in long-term income which further diversifies the Company’s revenues.

Details regarding the Company’s NAV and share price performance can be found in the Chairman’s Statement above and in this Strategic Report.
Responsible investing More than ever, the importance of good governance and sustainability practices are key factors in making investment decisions. Climate change is becoming a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects across the investment spectrum with significant and lasting implications for economic growth and prosperity. The mining industries in which the Company’s investment universe operate are facing ethical and sustainability issues that cannot be ignored by asset managers and investment companies alike. The Board works closely with the Investment Manager to regularly review the Company’s performance, investment policy and strategy to seek to ensure that the Company’s investment objective continues to be met in an effective and responsible way in the interests of shareholders and future investors. The Company has not adopted an ESG investment strategy and does not exclude investment in stocks based on ESG criteria, but the Board believes that responsible investment and sustainability are integral to the longer-term delivery of the Company’s success.

The Investment Manager’s approach to the consideration of ESG factors in respect of the Company’s portfolio, as well as the Investment Manager’s engagement with investee companies to encourage sound corporate governance practices, are kept under review by the Board. The Board also expects to be informed by the Investment Manager of any sensitive voting issues involving the Company’s investments.

The Investment Manager reports to the Board in respect of its approach to ESG integration; a summary of BlackRock’s approach to ESG integration is set out in the Annual Report and Financial Statements. The Investment Manager’s approach to engagement with investee companies and voting guidelines is summarised in the Annual Report and Financial Statements and further detail is available on the BlackRock website.
The Board and the Investment Manager believe there is likely to be a positive correlation between strong ESG practices and investment performance over time. This is especially important in mining given the long investment cycle and the impact of ESG practices on the ability of a mining company to maintain its social licence to operate. ESG is one of the many factors that we look at and site visits to companies’ operations (when circumstances permit) provide valuable insights into their ESG practices. The Investment Manager has continued to engage with investee companies virtually and has, where necessary, conducted virtual site visits.

In 2020, BlackRock exited its active public debt and equity investment in businesses generating greater than 25% of their revenue from thermal coal production due to the heightened risks associated with their economic activity. During the year under review, the Company has had no exposure to companies whose principal activity is the extraction of thermal coal.

Within the parameters of the Company’s existing investment policy, the Investment Manager is continuing to look for opportunities to deploy capital in growth investments that should benefit from the energy transition. It is likely that this area will become a more significant part of the portfolio.
Shareholders Continued shareholder support and engagement are critical to the continued existence of the Company and the successful delivery of its long-term strategy. The Board is committed to maintaining open channels of communication and to engage with shareholders. The Company welcomes and encourages attendance and participation from shareholders at its Annual General Meetings. Shareholders will have the opportunity to meet the Directors and Investment Manager and to address questions to them directly. The Investment Manager will also provide a presentation on the Company’s performance and the outlook for the mining sector.

The Annual Report and Half Yearly Financial Report are available on the BlackRock website and are also circulated to shareholders either in printed copy or via electronic communications. In addition, regular updates on performance, monthly factsheets, the daily NAV and other information are also published on the website at www.blackrock.com/uk/brwm.

The Board also works closely with the Manager to develop the Company’s marketing strategy with the aim of ensuring effective communication with shareholders.

Unlike trading companies, one-to-one shareholder meetings normally take the form of a meeting with the Investment Manager as opposed to members of the Board. The Company’s willingness to enter into discussions with institutional shareholders is also demonstrated by the programmes of institutional presentations by the Investment Manager.

If shareholders wish to raise issues or concerns with the Board, they are welcome to do so at any time. The Chairman is available to meet directly with shareholders periodically to understand their views on governance and the Company’s performance where they wish to do so. He may be contacted via the Company Secretary whose details are given in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.
The Board values any feedback and questions from shareholders ahead of and during Annual General Meetings in order to gain an understanding of their views and will take action when and as appropriate. Feedback and questions will also help the Company evolve its reporting, aiming to make reports more transparent and understandable.

Feedback from all substantive meetings between the Investment Manager and shareholders will be shared with the Board. The Directors will also receive updates from the Company’s broker and Kepler, marketing consultants, on any feedback from shareholders, as well as share trading activity, share price performance and an update from the Investment Manager.

The portfolio management team attended a number of professional investor meetings (many by video conference) and held discussions with a number of wealth management desks and offices in respect of the Company during the year under review.

Portfolio holdings are ultimately shareholders’ assets and the Board recognises the importance of good stewardship and communication with investee companies in meeting the Company’s investment objective and strategy. The Board monitors the Manager’s stewardship arrangements and receives regular feedback from the Investment Manager in respect of meetings with the management of portfolio companies.
Management for share rating The Board recognises the importance to shareholders that the market price of the Company’s shares should not trade at either a significant discount or premium to their prevailing NAV. The Board believes this may be achieved by the use of share buyback powers and the issue of shares. The Board monitors the Company’s discount on an ongoing basis and receives regular updates from the Manager and the Company’s Brokers regarding the level of discount. The Board believes that the best way of maintaining the share rating at an optimal level over the long term is to create demand for the shares in the secondary market. To this end, the Investment Manager is devoting considerable effort to broadening the awareness of the Company, particularly to wealth managers and to the wider retail market.

In addition, the Board has worked closely with the Manager to develop the Company’s marketing strategy, with the aim of ensuring effective communication with existing shareholders and to attract new shareholders to the Company in order to improve liquidity in the Company’s shares and to sustain the share rating of the Company.
The Board continues to monitor the Company’s premium/discount to NAV and will look to issue or buy back shares if it is deemed to be in the interests of shareholders as a whole. The Company participates in a focused investment trust sales and marketing initiative operated by the Manager on behalf of the investment trusts under its management. Further details are set out in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

During the financial year the Company reissued 5,071,920 shares from treasury. A further 150,000 shares have been reissued from treasury since the year end. As at 28 February 2023 the Company’s shares were trading at a discount of 0.2% to the cum income NAV.
Service levels of third-party providers The Board acknowledges the importance of ensuring that the Company’s principal suppliers are providing a suitable level of service, including the Investment Manager in respect of investment performance and delivering on the Company’s investment mandate; the Custodian and Depositary in respect of their duties towards safeguarding the Company’s assets; the Registrar in its maintenance of the Company’s share register and dealing with investor queries; and the Company’s Brokers in respect of the provision of advice and acting as a market maker for the Company’s shares. The Manager reports to the Board on the Company’s performance on a regular basis. The Board carries out a robust annual evaluation of the Manager’s performance, their commitment and available resources.

The Board performs an annual review of the service levels of all third-party service providers and concludes on their suitability to continue in their role. The Board receives regular updates from the AIFM, Depositary, Registrar and Brokers on an ongoing basis.

The Board has also worked closely with the Manager to gain comfort that relevant business continuity plans are operating effectively for all of the Company’s key service providers.
All performance evaluations were performed on a timely basis and the Board concluded that all third-party service providers, including the Manager and Investment Manager, were operating effectively and providing a good level of service.

The Board has received updates in respect of business continuity planning from the Company’s Manager, Custodian, Depositary, Fund Accountant, Registrar and Printer and is confident that arrangements are in place to ensure a good level of service will continue to be provided and that measures are in place so that working remotely, which occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be reinstated.
Board composition The Board is committed to ensuring that its own composition brings an appropriate balance of knowledge, experience and skills, and that it is compliant with best corporate governance practice under the UK Code, including guidance on tenure and the composition of the Board’s committees. All Directors are subject to a formal evaluation process on an annual basis (more details and the conclusions of the 2022 evaluation process are given in the Annual Report and Financial Statements). All Directors stand for re-election by shareholders annually.

Shareholders may attend the Annual General Meeting and raise any queries in respect of Board composition or individual Directors in person or may contact the Company Secretary or the Chairman using the details provided in the Annual Report and Financial Statements with any issues.
As at the date of this report, the Board was comprised of three men and two women. Under the AIC Code the tenure of a director who is elevated to Chairman may be extended by three years. The Board has decided that this extension should apply to Mr Cheyne’s tenure which will therefore be extended until the Annual General Meeting in the Spring of 2024. Mr Edey, who will be reaching his nine year tenure in May, will not be seeking re-election at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting. The Board is currently undertaking a review of succession planning arrangements having identified the need for a new Director when Mr Edey retires. Details of each Director’s contribution to the success and promotion of the Company are set out in the Directors’ Report in the Annual Report and Financial Statements and details of the Directors’ biographies can be found in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

The Directors are not aware of any issues that have been raised directly by shareholders in respect of Board composition in the year under review. Details for the proxy voting results in favour and against individual Directors’ re-election at the 2022 Annual General Meeting are given on the Manager’s website at www.blackrock.com/uk/brwm.

ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE ISSUES AND APPROACH
The Board’s approach
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues can present both opportunities and threats to long term investment performance. The Company’s investment universe comprises sectors that are undergoing significant structural change and are likely to be highly impacted by increasing regulation as a result of climate change and other social and governance factors. Your Board is committed to ensuring that we have appointed a Manager that integrates ESG considerations into its investment process, and has the skill to navigate the structural transition that the Company’s investment universe is undergoing. The Board believes effective engagement with company management is, in most cases, the most effective way of driving meaningful change in the behaviour of investee company management. While the Company does not have an ESG or impact focused investment strategy or apply exclusionary screens, as a general approach the Company will not invest in companies which have high ESG risks and no plans to address existing deficiencies. Where the Board is not satisfied that an investee company is taking steps to address matters of an ESG nature, it may discuss with the Manager how this situation might be resolved, including potentially by a full disposal of shares.

ESG integration does not change the Company’s investment objective or constrain the Investment Manager’s investable universe, and does not mean that an ESG or impact focused investment strategy or any exclusionary screens have been or will be adopted by the Company. Similarly, ESG integration does not determine the extent to which the Company may be impacted by sustainability risks. More information on BlackRock’s global approach to ESG integration, as well as activity specific to the BlackRock World Mining Trust plc portfolio is set out below.

The Company does not meet the criteria for Article 8 or 9 products under the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the investments underlying this financial product do not take into account the EU criteria for environmentally sustainable economic activities. The Investment Manager has access to a range of data sources, including principal adverse indicator (PAI) data, when making decisions on the selection of investments. However, whilst BlackRock considers ESG risks for all portfolios and these risks may coincide with environmental or social themes associated with the PAIs, the Company does not commit to considering PAIs in driving the selection of its investments. Additional information on ESG integration, sustainability risk and SFDR is set out in the AIFMD Fund Disclosures available on the Company's website.

BlackRock World Mining Trust plc – BlackRock Investment Stewardship engagement with portfolio companies in 2022
Given the Board’s belief in the importance of engagement and communication with portfolio companies, they receive regular updates from the Investment Manager in respect of activity undertaken for the year under review. The Investment Manager engages with company management teams and undertakes company meetings to identify the best management teams with the ability to create value for shareholders over the long term. In addition, BlackRock also has a separate BlackRock Investment Stewardship (BIS) team. Consistent with BlackRock’s fiduciary duty as an asset manager, BIS seeks to support investee companies in their efforts to deliver long-term durable financial performance on behalf of BlackRock’s clients. BIS engages with investee companies to build its understanding of these companies’ approach to addressing material risks and opportunities. The Board notes that over the year to 31 December 2022, 58 total company engagements were held with the management teams of 37 portfolio companies representing 55% of the portfolio by value at 31 December 2022. To put this into context, there were 69 companies in the BlackRock World Mining Trust plc portfolio at 31 December 2022. Additional information is set out in the table below and charts in the Annual Report and Financial Statements as well as the key engagement themes for the meetings held in respect of the Company’s portfolio holdings.



 
Year ended 
31 December 
2022 
Number of engagements held 58 
Number of companies met 37 
% of equity investments covered 55 
Shareholder meetings voted at 61 
Number of proposals voted on 648 
Number of votes against management 36 
% of total votes represented by votes against management 5.2 
========= 

Source: Institutional Shareholder Services as at 31 December 2022.

The importance and challenges of considering ESG when investing in the Natural Resources Sector and Blackrock’s approach to ESG integration

Environmental Social Corporate Governance
Impact As well as the longer-term contribution to carbon emissions and the impact on the environment, the activities undertaken by many companies in the portfolio such as digging mines will inevitably have an impact on local surroundings. It is important how companies manage this process and ensure that an appropriate risk oversight framework is in place, with consideration given to all stakeholders. The significant fall in the market cap of companies like Vale, after the Brumadinho dam collapse, highlights the key role that ESG has on share price performance.
BlackRock’s approach to climate risk and opportunities and the global energy transition is based on our role as a fiduciary to our clients. As the world works toward a transition to a low-carbon economy, we are interested in hearing from companies about their strategies and plans for responding to the challenges and capturing the opportunities that this transition creates. When companies consider climate-related risks, it is likely that they will also assess their impact and dependence on natural capital.
BlackRock believes it is vital that natural resources companies maintain their social licence to operate. BIS’ Global Principles underscore our belief that companies are best placed to deliver value for long-term shareholders like BlackRock’s clients when they also consider the interests of their other key stakeholders, which generally will include workers, business partners (such as suppliers and distributors), clients and consumers, government and the communities in which they operate.
In our experience, companies that build strong relationships with their stakeholders are more likely to meet their own strategic objectives, while poor relationships may create adverse impacts that expose a company to legal, regulatory, operational and reputational risks and jeopardise their ability to deliver sustainable, long-term financial performance.
As with all companies, good corporate governance is especially critical for natural resources companies. The performance and effectiveness of the board is critical to the success of a company, the protection of shareholders’ interests, and long-term shareholder value creation. Governance issues, including the management of material sustainability issues that have a significant impact for natural resources companies, all require effective leadership and oversight from a company’s board.
We believe companies with experienced, engaged and diverse directors, who are effective in actively advising and overseeing management as a board, are well-positioned to deliver long-term value creation.

BIS held 3,693 engagements with 2,464 unique companies globally between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022. Globally, BIS voted on behalf of those clients who authorised us to do so, at more than 18,000 shareholder meetings on more than 173,000 proposals. Similar to previous years, shareholder proposals represented less than 1% of the total proposals BIS voted on during in the year to 30 June 2022. More detail can be found at: www.blackrock.com/corporate/literature/publication/2022-investment-stewardship-voting-spotlight.pdf

Environmental Social Corporate Governance
BIS – Examples of approach to voting and engagement across ESG categories
(year ended 30 June 2022)1
BIS held 2,058 engagements on climate and natural capital topics.
BIS voted to signal concerns about climate action or disclosure at 234 companies (321 last year). BIS did not support the election of 176 directors for climate-related concerns (254 last year).
In the year to 30 June 2022, BIS continued to focus its stewardship efforts where the energy transition is likely to materially impact a company’s performance. To that end, the BIS Climate Focus Universe, which includes over 1,000 carbon-intensive public companies, represents nearly 90% of the global scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions of the companies in which BlackRock invests on behalf of our clients. More detail can be found at www.blackrock.com/corporate/literature/publication/blk-climate-focus-universe.pdf.
BIS held 1,283 engagements related to company impacts on people.
In the year to 30 June 2022, BIS voted on 200 shareholder proposals related to social issues. BIS supported 38 shareholder proposals relating to company impacts on people (social-related proposals) out of 200, i.e., approximately 19%.
BIS centers our stewardship work in corporate governance. That is why board quality and effectiveness remain a top engagement priority, and a key factor in the majority of votes cast on behalf of clients.
BIS held 2,326 engagements on board quality and effectiveness; 2,115 focused on strategy, purpose and financial resilience; and 1,352 on incentives aligned with value creation.
Like last year, the leading reasons for BIS not supporting director elections in the year to 30 June 2022 – and management proposals more broadly – were governance-related: 1) lack of board independence, 2) lack of board diversity, 3) directors having too many board commitments and 4) executive compensation that was not aligned with company strategy or long-term performance.
BIS did not support 1,521 companies globally over concerns about board independence.
BIS did not support 936 companies globally for concerns related to board diversity.
BIS did not support 661 companies globally for concerns related to overcommitment.
BIS did not support 576 companies due to concerns over compensation.

1  The data in this table applies to BIS’ engagements globally. Most engagement conversations cover multiple topics. BIS’ engagement statistics reflect the primary topics discussed during the meeting. More detail can be found at: www.blackrock.com/corporate/literature/publication/2022-investment-stewardship-voting-spotlight.pdf

BlackRock’s approach to ESG integration
BlackRock believes that sustainability risk – and climate risk in particular – now equates to investment risk, and this will drive a profound reassessment of risk and asset values as investors seek to react to the impact of climate policy changes. This in turn (in BlackRock’s view) is likely to drive a significant reallocation of capital away from traditional carbon intensive industries over the next decade. BlackRock believes that carbon-intensive companies will play an integral role in unlocking the full potential of the energy transition, and to do this, they must be prepared to adapt, innovate and pivot their strategies towards a low carbon economy.

As part of BlackRock’s structured investment process, ESG risks and opportunities (including sustainability/climate risk) are considered within the portfolio management team’s fundamental analysis of companies and industries. ESG factors are an important consideration of the BlackRock Natural Resources Team’s investment process and the Company’s portfolio managers work closely with BIS to assess the governance quality of companies and understand any potential issues, risks or opportunities.

As part of their approach to ESG integration, the portfolio managers use ESG information when conducting research and due diligence on new investments and again when monitoring investments in the portfolio. In particular, portfolio managers now have access to 1,200 key ESG performance indicators in Aladdin (BlackRock’s proprietary trading system) from third-party data providers. BlackRock’s internal sustainability research framework scoring is also available alongside third-party ESG scores in core portfolio management tools. BlackRock’s analysts’ sector expertise and local market knowledge allows it to engage with companies through direct interaction with management teams and conducting site visits. In conjunction with the portfolio management team, BIS meets with boards of companies frequently to evaluate how they are strategically managing their longer-term issues, including those surrounding ESG and the potential impact these may have on company financials. BIS’s and the portfolio management team’s understanding of ESG issues is further supported by BlackRock’s Sustainable and Transition Solutions (STS) function. STS looks to advance ESG research and integration, active engagement and the development of sustainable investment solutions across the firm.

Investment stewardship
Consistent with BlackRock’s fiduciary duty as an asset manager, BIS seeks to support investee companies in their efforts to deliver long-term durable financial performance on behalf of our clients. These clients include public and private pension plans, governments, insurance companies, endowments, universities, charities and, ultimately, individual investors, among others. BIS serves as an important link between BlackRock’s clients and the companies they invest in. Clients depend on BlackRock to help them meet their investment goals; the business and governance decisions that companies make will have a direct impact on BlackRock’s clients’ long-term investment outcomes and financial well-being.

Global principles
BlackRock’s approach to corporate governance and stewardship is comprised in BIS’ Global Principles and market-specific voting guidelines. BIS’ policies set out the core elements of corporate governance that guide its investment stewardship activities globally and within each regional market, including when voting at shareholder meetings for those clients who have authorised BIS to vote on their behalf. Each year, BIS reviews its policies and updates them as necessary to reflect changes in market standards and regulations, insights gained over the year through third-party and its own research, and feedback from clients and companies. BIS’ Global Principles are available on its website at www.blackrock.com/corporate/literature/fact-sheet/blk-responsible-investment-engprinciples-global.pdf

Market-specific proxy voting guidelines
BIS’ voting guidelines are intended to help clients and companies understand its thinking on key governance matters. They are the benchmark against which it assesses a company’s approach to corporate governance and the items on the agenda to be voted on at a shareholder meeting. BIS applies its guidelines pragmatically, taking into account a company’s unique circumstances where relevant. BlackRock informs voting decisions through research and engages as necessary. BIS reviews its voting guidelines annually and updates them as necessary to reflect changes in market standards, evolving governance practice and insights gained from engagement over the prior year.

BIS’ market-specific voting guidelines are available on its website at www.blackrock.com/corporate/about-us/investment-stewardship#stewardship-policies

BlackRock is committed to transparency in terms of disclosure on its stewardship activities on behalf of clients. BIS publishes its stewardship policies – such as the Global Principles, engagement priorities, and voting guidelines – to help BlackRock’s clients understand its work to advance their interests as long-term investors in public companies. Additionally, BIS published both annual and quarterly reports detailing its stewardship activities, as well as vote bulletins that describe its rationale for certain votes at high profile shareholder meetings.

More detail in respect of BIS reporting can be found at www.blackrock.com/corporate/about-us/investment-stewardship

BlackRock’s reporting and disclosures
In terms of its own reporting, BlackRock believes that the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board provides a clear set of standards for reporting sustainability information across a wide range of issues, from labour practices to data privacy to business ethics. For evaluating and reporting climate-related risks, as well as the related governance issues that are essential to managing them, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) provides a valuable framework. BlackRock recognises that reporting to these standards requires significant time, analysis, and effort. BlackRock’s 2021 TCFD report can be found at www.blackrock.com/corporate/literature/continuous-disclosure-and-important-information/tcfd-report-2021-blkinc.pdf

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD
CAROLINE DRISCOLL

FOR AND ON BEHALF OF
BLACKROCK INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT (UK) LIMITED
Company Secretary

2 March 2023

RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

The Board currently consists of five non-executive Directors all of whom are considered to be independent by the Board. None of the Directors has a service contract with the Company. The Chairman receives an annual fee of £49,350, the Chairman of the Audit Committee/Senior Independent Director receives an annual fee of £41,475, and each other Director receives an annual fee of £33,600. All five members of the Board hold shares in the Company. Mr Cheyne holds 35,000 ordinary shares, Mr Edey holds 20,000 ordinary shares, Ms Lewis holds 5,362 ordinary shares, Ms Mosely holds 7,400 ordinary shares and Mr Venkatakrishnan holds 1,000 ordinary shares. The amount of Directors’ fees outstanding at 31 December 2022 was £16,000 (2021: £14,375).

STATEMENT OF DIRECTORS' RESPONSIBILITIES IN RESPECT OF THE ANNUAL REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The Directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and Financial Statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Company law requires the Directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under that law, the Directors are required to prepare the financial statements in accordance with UK-adopted International Accounting Standards (IAS).

Under Company law, the Directors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Group and Company and of the profit or loss of the Group for that period. In preparing those financial statements, the Directors are required to:

· present fairly the financial position, financial performance and cash flows of the Group and Company;

· select suitable accounting policies in accordance with IAS 8: Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors and then apply them consistently;

· present information, including accounting policies, in a manner that provides relevant, reliable, comparable and understandable information;

· make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;

· state whether the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with UK-adopted IAS, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements;

· provide additional disclosures when compliance with the specific requirements in accordance with UK-adopted IAS is insufficient to enable users to understand the impact of particular transactions, other events and conditions on the Group’s and Company’s financial position and financial performance; and

· prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Group and Company will continue in business.

The Directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the Group’s and Company’s transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Group and Company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006.

They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

The Directors are also responsible for preparing the Strategic Report, Directors’ Report, the Directors’ Remuneration Report, the Corporate Governance Statement and the Report of the Audit Committee in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 and applicable regulations, including the requirements of the Listing Rules and the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules. The Directors have delegated responsibility to the Manager for the maintenance and integrity of the Company’s corporate and financial information included on the BlackRock website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

Each of the Directors, whose names are listed in the Annual Report and Financial Statements, confirm to the best of their knowledge that:

· the financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with UK-adopted IAS, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and net return of the Group and Company; and

· the Strategic Report contained in the Annual Report and Financial Statements includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the Group and Company, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that it faces.

The 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code also requires Directors to ensure that the Annual Report and Financial Statements are fair, balanced and understandable. In order to reach a conclusion on this matter, the Board has requested that the Audit Committee advise on whether it considers that the Annual Report and Financial Statements fulfil these requirements. The process by which the Committee has reached these conclusions is set out in the Audit Committee’s Report in the Annual Report and Financial Statements. As a result, the Board has concluded that the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2022, taken as a whole, are fair, balanced and understandable and provide the information necessary for shareholders to assess the Group’s and Company’s position, performance, business model and strategy.

FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
DAVID CHEYNE

Chairman
2 March 2023

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2022

2022 2021

 

Notes 
Revenue 
£000 
Capital 
£000 
Total 
£000 
Revenue 
£000 
Capital 
£000 
Total 
£000 
Income from investments held at fair value through profit or loss 78,087  811  78,898  80,558  80,558 
Other income 7,909  7,909  7,118  7,118 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total revenue 85,996  811  86,807  87,676  87,676 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
Net profit on investments held at fair value through profit or loss 152,937  152,937  122,374  122,374 
Net loss on foreign exchange (17,645) (17,645) (1,696) (1,696)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total 85,996  136,103  222,099  87,676  120,678  208,354 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
Expenses
Investment management fee (2,615) (8,031) (10,646) (2,252) (6,978) (9,230)
Other operating expenses (1,037) (28) (1,065) (1,034) (9) (1,043)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total operating expenses (3,652) (8,059) (11,711) (3,286) (6,987) (10,273)
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
Net profit on ordinary activities before finance costs and taxation 82,344  128,044  210,388  84,390  113,691  198,081 
Finance costs (1,182) (3,520) (4,702) (374) (1,117) (1,491)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net profit on ordinary activities before taxation 81,162  124,524  205,686  84,016  112,574  196,590 
Taxation (charge)/credit (5,149) 1,883  (3,266) (5,106) 986  (4,120)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net profit on ordinary activities after taxation 76,013  126,407  202,420  78,910  113,560  192,470 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
Earnings per ordinary share (pence) – basic and diluted 40.68  67.64  108.32  43.59  62.73  106.32 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

The total column of this statement represents the Group’s Statement of Comprehensive Income, prepared in accordance with UK-adopted International Accounting Standards (IASs). The supplementary revenue and capital accounts are both prepared under guidance published by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC). All items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. No operations were acquired or discontinued during the year. All income is attributable to the equity holders of the Group.

The Group does not have any other comprehensive income (2021: £nil). The net profit for the year disclosed above represents the Group’s total comprehensive income.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2022




Group



Notes 
Called 
up share 
capital 
£000 
Share 
premium 
account 
£000 
Capital 
redemption 
reserve 
£000 

Special 
reserve 
£000 

Capital 
reserves 
£000 

Revenue 
reserve 
£000 


Total 
£000 
For the year ended 31 December 2022
At 31 December 2021 9,651  138,818  22,779  155,123 742,430 74,073 1,142,874
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the year 126,407  76,013  202,420 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Ordinary shares reissued from treasury 9,10  9,289  25,683  34,972 
Share reissue costs 9,10  (70) (70)
Dividends paid1 (80,911) (80,911)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 December 2022 9,651  148,107  22,779  180,736  868,837  69,175  1,299,285 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
For the year ended 31 December 2021
At 31 December 2020 9,651  127,155  22,779  103,992  628,870  38,378  930,825 
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the year 113,560  78,910  192,470 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Ordinary shares reissued from treasury 11,663  51,651  63,314 
Share reissue costs (127) (127)
Ordinary shares purchased into treasury (390) (390)
Share purchase costs (3) (3)
Dividends paid2 (43,215) (43,215)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 December 2021 9,651  138,818  22,779  155,123  742,430  74,073  1,142,874 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

1  The final dividend of 27.00p per share for the year ended 31 December 2021, declared on 8 March 2022 and paid on 19 May 2022; 1st interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022, declared on 6 May 2022 and paid on 30 June 2022; 2nd interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022, declared on 23 August 2022 and paid on 30 September 2022 and 3rd interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022, declared on 16 November 2022 and paid on 22 December 2022.

2  The final dividend of 8.30p per share for the year ended 31 December 2020, declared on 4 March 2021 and paid on 6 May 2021; 1st interim dividend of 4.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2021, declared on 29 April 2021 and paid on 25 June 2021; 2nd interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2021, declared on 19 August 2021 and paid on 24 September 2021 and 3rd interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2021, declared on 18 November 2021 and paid on 24 December 2021.

For information on the Company’s distributable reserves please refer to note 10 below.

PARENT COMPANY STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2022




Company



Notes 
Called 
up share 
capital 
£000 
Share 
premium 
account 
£000 
Capital 
redemption 
reserve 
£000 

Special 
reserve 
£000 

Capital 
reserves 
£000 

Revenue 
reserve 
£000 


Total 
£000 
For the year ended 31 December 2022
At 31 December 2021 9,651  138,818  22,779  155,123  748,107  68,396  1,142,874 
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the year 126,460  75,960  202,420 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Ordinary shares reissued from treasury 9,10  9,289  25,683  34,972 
Share reissue costs 9,10  (70) (70)
Dividends paid1 (80,911) (80,911)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 December 2022 9,651  148,107  22,779  180,736  874,567  63,445  1,299,285 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
For the year ended 31 December 2021
At 31 December 2020 9,651  127,155  22,779  103,992  634,547  32,701  930,825 
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the year 113,560  78,910  192,470 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Ordinary shares reissued from treasury 11,663  51,651  63,314 
Share reissue costs (127) (127)
Ordinary shares purchased into treasury (390) (390)
Share purchase costs (3) (3)
Dividends paid2 (43,215) (43,215)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 December 2021 9,651  138,818  22,779  155,123  748,107  68,396  1,142,874 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

1  The final dividend of 27.00p per share for the year ended 31 December 2021, declared on 8 March 2022 and paid on 19 May 2022; 1st interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022, declared on 6 May 2022 and paid on 30 June 2022; 2nd interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022, declared on 23 August 2022 and paid on 30 September 2022 and 3rd interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022, declared on 16 November 2022 and paid on 22 December 2022.

2  The final dividend of 8.30p per share for the year ended 31 December 2020, declared on 4 March 2021 and paid on 6 May 2021; 1st interim dividend of 4.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2021, declared on 29 April 2021 and paid on 25 June 2021; 2nd interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2021, declared on 19 August 2021 and paid on 24 September 2021 and 3rd interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2021, declared on 18 November 2021 and paid on 24 December 2021.

For information on the Company’s distributable reserves please refer to note 10 below.

CONSOLIDATED AND PARENT COMPANY STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION AS AT 31 DECEMBER 2022

31 December 2022 31 December 2021

 

Notes 
Group 
£000 
Company 
£000 
Group 
£000 
Company 
£000 
Non current assets
Investments held at fair value through profit or loss 1,424,844  1,432,075  1,256,801  1,263,979 
Current assets
Current tax asset 821  821  85  85 
Other receivables 4,431  4,431  5,209  5,209 
Cash collateral held with brokers 6,795  6,795  580  580 
Cash and cash equivalents 29,492  23,317  26,332  20,222 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total current assets 41,539  35,364  32,206  26,096 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Total assets 1,466,383  1,467,439  1,289,007  1,290,075 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Current liabilities
Current tax liability (373) (361) (427) (427)
Other payables (6,155) (7,223) (5,183) (6,251)
Derivative financial liabilities held at fair value through profit or loss (1,227) (1,227) (667) (667)
Bank overdraft (356) (356)
Bank loans (158,783) (158,783) (138,867) (138,867)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total current liabilities (166,538) (167,594) (145,500) (146,568)
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Total assets less current liabilities 1,299,845  1,299,845  1,143,507  1,143,507 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Non current liabilities
Deferred taxation liability (560) (560) (633) (633)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net assets 1,299,285  1,299,285  1,142,874  1,142,874 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Equity attributable to equity holders
Called up share capital 9,651  9,651  9,651  9,651 
Share premium account 10  148,107  148,107  138,818  138,818 
Capital redemption reserve 10  22,779  22,779  22,779  22,779 
Special reserve 10  180,736  180,736  155,123  155,123 
Capital reserves:
At 1 January 742,430  748,107  628,870  634,547 
Net profit for the year 126,407  126,460  113,560  113,560 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 December 10  868,837  874,567  742,430  748,107 
Revenue reserve:
At 1 January 74,073  68,396  38,378  32,701 
Net profit for the year 76,013  75,960  78,910  78,910 
Dividends paid (80,911) (80,911) (43,215) (43,215)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 December 10  69,175  63,445  74,073  68,396 
Total equity 1,299,285  1,299,285  1,142,874  1,142,874 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Net asset value per ordinary share (pence) 688.35  688.35  622.21  622.21 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 

CONSOLIDATED AND PARENT COMPANY CASH FLOW STATEMENTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2022

31 December 2022 31 December 2021

 
Group 
£000 
Company 
£000 
Group 
£000 
Company 
£000 
Operating activities
Net profit before taxation 205,686  205,686  196,590  196,590 
Add back finance costs 4,702  4,702  1,491  1,491 
Net profit on investments held at fair value through profit or loss (including transaction costs) (152,937) (152,990) (122,374) (122,374)
Net loss on foreign exchange 17,645  17,645  1,696  1,696 
Sales of investments held at fair value through profit or loss 489,236  489,236  354,182  354,182 
Purchases of investments held at fair value through profit or loss (503,782) (503,782) (442,711) (442,711)
Decrease/(increase) in other receivables 13  13  (1,233) (1,233)
Increase in other payables 1,025  1,013  2,571  2,571 
Decrease in amounts due from brokers 243  243  2,776  2,776 
Decrease in amounts due to brokers (2,473) (2,473)
Net movement in cash collateral held with brokers (6,215) (6,215) 2,363  2,363 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from operating activities before taxation 55,616  55,551  (7,122) (7,122)
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Taxation paid (432) (432) (484) (484)
Taxation on investment income included within gross income (3,210) (3,210) (3,303) (3,303)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from operating activities 51,974  51,909  (10,909) (10,909)
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Financing activities
Drawdown of loans 2,359  2,359  35,020  35,020 
Interest paid (4,720) (4,720) (1,439) (1,439)
Shares purchased into treasury (390) (390)
Share purchase costs paid (3) (3)
Net proceeds from ordinary shares reissued from treasury 34,902  34,902  63,187  63,187 
Dividends paid (80,911) (80,911) (43,215) (43,215)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net cash (outflow)/inflow from financing activities (48,370) (48,370) 53,160  53,160 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Increase in cash and cash equivalents 3,604  3,539  42,251  42,251 
Cash and cash equivalents at start of the year 25,976  19,866  (16,008) (22,118)
Effect of foreign exchange rate changes (88) (88) (267) (267)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Cash and cash equivalents at end of year 29,492  23,317  25,976  19,866 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Comprised of:
Cash and cash equivalents 29,492  23,317  26,332  20,222 
Bank overdraft (356) (356)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
29,492  23,317  25,976  19,866 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 

NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2022

1. Principal activity
The principal activity of the Company is that of an investment trust company within the meaning of Section 1158 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010. The Company was incorporated in England on 28 October 1993 and this is the 29th Annual Report.

The principal activity of the subsidiary, BlackRock World Mining Investment Company Limited, is investment dealing.

2. Accounting policies
The principal accounting policies adopted by the Group and Company have been applied consistently, other than where new policies have been adopted and are set out below.

(a) Basis of preparation
On 31 December 2020, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the European Union at that date was brought into UK law and became UK-adopted International Accounting Standards (IASs), with future changes being subject to endorsement by the UK Endorsement Board and with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 as applicable to companies reporting under those standards. The Company transitioned to IASs in its consolidated financial statements with effect from 1 January 2021. There was no impact or changes in accounting policies from the transition.

The Group and Company financial statements have been prepared under the historic cost convention modified by the revaluation of certain financial assets and financial liabilities held at fair value through profit or loss and in accordance with IASs. The Company has taken advantage of the exemption provided under Section 408 of the Companies Act 2006 not to publish its individual Statement of Comprehensive Income and related notes. All of the Group’s operations are of a continuing nature.

Insofar as the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for investment trust companies and venture capital trusts, issued by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) in October 2019 and updated in July 2022, is compatible with IASs, the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with guidance set out in the SORP.

Substantially all of the assets of the Group consist of securities that are readily realisable and, accordingly, the Directors believe that the Group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future for the period to 31 March 2024, being a period of at least twelve months from the date of approval of the financial statements and therefore consider the going concern assumption to be appropriate. The Directors have reviewed compliance with the covenants associated with the bank overdraft facility, loan facility, income and expense projections and the liquidity of the investment portfolio in making their assessment.

The Directors have considered the impact of climate change on the value of the investments included in the Financial Statements and have concluded that:

· there was no further impact of climate change to be considered as the investments are valued based on market pricing as required by IFRS 13; and

· the risk is adequately captured in the assumptions and inputs used in measurement of Level 3 assets, as noted in note 18 of the Financial Statements in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

None of the Group's other assets and liabilities were considered to be potentially impacted by climate change.

The Group’s financial statements are presented in sterling, which is the currency of the primary economic environment in which the Group operates. All values are rounded to the nearest thousand pounds (£000) except where otherwise indicated.

Relevant International Accounting Standards that have yet to be adopted:
IFRS 17 – Insurance contracts (effective 1 January 2023). This standard replaces IFRS 4, which currently permits a wide range of accounting practices in accounting for insurance contracts. IFRS 17 will fundamentally change the accounting by all entities that issue insurance contracts and investment contracts with discretionary participation features.

This standard is unlikely to have any impact on the Company as it has no insurance contracts.

IAS 12 – Deferred tax related to assets and liabilities arising from a single transaction (effective 1 January 2023). The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has amended IAS 12 Income Taxes to require companies to recognise deferred tax on particular transactions that, on initial recognition, give rise to equal amounts of taxable and deductible temporary differences. According to the amended guidance, a temporary difference that arises on initial recognition of an asset or liability is not subject to the initial recognition exemption if that transaction gave rise to equal amounts of taxable and deductible temporary differences. These amendments might have a significant impact on the preparation of financial statements by companies that have substantial balances of right-of-use assets, lease liabilities, decommissioning, restoration and similar liabilities. The impact for those affected would be the recognition of additional deferred tax assets and liabilities.

The amendment of this standard is unlikely to have any significant impact on the Group.

None of the standards that have been issued, but are not yet effective, are expected to have a material impact on the Company.

(b) Basis of consolidation
The Group’s financial statements are made up to 31 December each year and consolidate the financial statements of the Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, which is registered and operates in England and Wales, BlackRock World Mining Investment Company Limited (together ‘the Group’). The subsidiary company is not considered an investment entity. In the financial statements of the Parent Company, the investment in the subsidiary company is held at fair value.

Subsidiaries are consolidated from the date of their acquisition, being the date on which the Company obtains control, and continue to be consolidated until the date that such control ceases. The financial statements of subsidiaries used in the preparation of the consolidated financial statements are based on consistent accounting policies. All intra-group balances and transactions, including unrealised profits arising therefrom, are eliminated.

(c) Presentation of the Statement of Comprehensive Income
In order to better reflect the activities of an investment trust company and in accordance with guidance issued by the AIC, supplementary information which analyses the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income between items of a revenue and a capital nature has been presented alongside the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income.

(d) Segmental reporting
The Directors are of the opinion that the Group is engaged in a single segment of business being investment business.

(e) Income
Dividends receivable on equity shares are recognised as revenue for the year on an ex-dividend basis. Where no ex-dividend date is available, dividends receivable on or before the year end are treated as revenue for the year. Provision is made for any dividends and interest income not expected to be received. Special dividends, if any, are treated as a capital or a revenue receipt depending on the facts or circumstances of each particular case. The return on a debt security is recognised on a time apportionment basis so as to reflect the effective yield on the debt security. Interest income and deposit interest is accounted for on an accruals basis.

Options may be purchased or written over securities held in the portfolio for generating or protecting capital returns, or for generating or maintaining revenue returns. Where the purpose of the option is the generation of income, the premium is treated as a revenue item. Where the purpose of the option is the maintenance of capital, the premium is treated as a capital item.

Option premium income is recognised as revenue evenly over the life of the option contract and included in the revenue account of the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income unless the option has been written for the maintenance and enhancement of the Group’s investment portfolio and represents an incidental part of a larger capital transaction, in which case any premia arising are allocated to the capital account of the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income.

Royalty income from contractual rights is measured at the fair value of the consideration received or receivable where the Investment Manager can reliably estimate the amount, pursuant to the terms of the agreement. Royalty income from contractual rights received comprises of a return of income and a return of capital based on the underlying cost of the contract and, accordingly, the return of income element is taken to the revenue account and the return of capital element is taken to the capital account. These amounts are disclosed in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income within income from investments and net profit on investments held at fair value through profit or loss, respectively.

The useful life of the contractual rights will be determined by reference to the contractual arrangements, the planned mine life on commencement of mining and the underlying cost of the contractual rights will be revalued on a systematic basis using the units of production method over the life of the contractual rights which is estimated using available estimated proved and probable reserves specifically associated with the mine. The Investment Manager relies on public disclosures for information on proven and probable reserves from the operators of the mine. Amortisation rates are adjusted on a prospective basis for all changes to estimates of the life of contractual rights and iron ore reserves. These are disclosed in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income within net profit on investments held at fair value through profit or loss.

Where the Group has elected to receive its dividends in the form of additional shares rather than in cash, the cash equivalent of the dividend is recognised as income. Any excess in the value of the shares received over the amount of the cash dividend is recognised in capital.

Underwriting commission receivable is taken into account on an accruals basis.

(f) Expenses
All expenses, including finance costs, are accounted for on an accruals basis. Expenses have been charged wholly to the revenue account of the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income, except as follows:

· expenses which are incidental to the acquisition or sale of an investment are charged to the capital account of the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income. Details of transaction costs on the purchases and sales of investments are disclosed within note 10 to the financial statements in the Annual Report and Financial Statements;

· expenses are treated as capital where a connection with the maintenance or enhancement of the value of the investments can be demonstrated; and

· the investment management fee and finance costs have been allocated 75% to the capital account and 25% to the revenue account of the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income in line with the Board’s expectations of the long-term split of returns, in the form of capital gains and income, respectively, from the investment portfolio.

(g) Taxation
The tax expense represents the sum of the tax currently payable and deferred tax. The tax currently payable is based on the taxable profit for the year. Taxable profit differs from net profit as reported in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income because it excludes items of income or expenses that are taxable or deductible in other years and it further excludes items that are never taxable or deductible. The Group’s liability for current tax is calculated using tax rates that were applicable at the balance sheet date.

Where expenses are allocated between capital and revenue accounts, any tax relief in respect of the expenses is allocated between capital and revenue returns on the marginal basis using the Company’s effective rate of corporation tax for the accounting period.

Deferred taxation is recognised in respect of all temporary differences that have originated but not reversed at the financial reporting date, where transactions or events that result in an obligation to pay more taxation in the future or right to pay less taxation in the future have occurred at the financial reporting date. This is subject to deferred taxation assets only being recognised if it is considered more likely than not that there will be suitable profits from which the future reversal of the temporary differences can be deducted. Deferred taxation assets and liabilities are measured at the rates applicable to the legal jurisdictions in which they arise.

(h) Investments held at fair value through profit or loss
In accordance with IFRS 9, the Group classifies its investments at initial recognition as held at fair value through profit or loss and are managed and evaluated on a fair value basis in accordance with its investment strategy and business model.

All investments, including contractual rights, are measured initially and subsequently at fair value through profit or loss. Purchases of investments are recognised on a trade date basis. Contractual rights are recognised on the completion date, where a purchase of the rights is under a contract, and are initially measured at fair value excluding transaction costs. Sales of investments are recognised at the trade date of the disposal.

The fair value of the financial investments is based on their quoted bid price at the financial reporting date, without deduction for the estimated future selling costs. This policy applies to all current and non-current asset investments held by the Group.

The gains and losses from changes in fair value of contractual rights are taken to the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income and arise as a result of the revaluation of the underlying cost of the contractual rights, changes in commodity prices and changes in estimates of proven and probable reserves specifically associated with the mine.

Under IASs, the investment in the subsidiary in the Company’s Statement of Financial Position is fair valued which is deemed to be the net asset value of the subsidiary.

Changes in the value of investments held at fair value through profit or loss and gains and losses on disposal are recognised in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income as ‘Net profit on investments held at fair value through profit or loss’. Also included within the heading are transaction costs in relation to the purchase or sale of investments.

For all financial instruments not traded in an active market, the fair value is determined by using various valuation techniques. Valuation techniques include market approach (i.e., using recent arm’s length market transactions adjusted as necessary and reference to the current market value of another instrument that is substantially the same) and the income approach (i.e., discounted cash flow analysis and option pricing models making as much use of available and supportable market data where possible). See note 2(q) below.

(i) Options
Options are held at fair value through profit or loss based on the bid/offer prices of the options written to which the Group is exposed. The value of the option is subsequently marked-to-market to reflect the fair value through profit or loss of the option based on traded prices. Where the premium is taken to the revenue account, an appropriate amount is shown as capital return such that the total return reflects the overall change in the fair value of the option. When an option is exercised, the gain or loss is accounted for as a capital gain or loss. Any cost on closing out an option is transferred to the revenue account along with any remaining unamortised premium.

(j) Other receivables and other payables
Other receivables and other payables do not carry any interest and are short-term in nature and are accordingly stated on an amortised cost basis.

(k) Dividends payable
Under IASs, final dividends should not be accrued in the financial statements unless they have been approved by shareholders before the financial reporting date. Interim dividends should not be recognised in the financial statements unless they have been paid.

Dividends payable to equity shareholders are recognised in the Consolidated and Parent Company Statements of Changes in Equity.

(l) Foreign currency translation
Transactions involving foreign currencies are converted at the rate ruling at the date of the transaction. Foreign currency monetary assets and liabilities and non-monetary assets held at fair value are translated into sterling at the rate ruling on the financial reporting date. Foreign exchange differences arising on translation are recognised in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income as a revenue or capital item depending on the income or expense to which they relate. For investment transactions and investments held at the year end, denominated in a foreign currency, the resulting gains or losses are included in the profit/(loss) on investments held at fair value through profit or loss in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income.

(m) Cash and cash equivalents
Cash comprises cash in hand, bank overdrafts and on demand deposits. Cash equivalents are short-term, highly liquid investments that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and that are subject to an insignificant risk of changes in value. Bank overdrafts are shown separately on the Consolidated and Parent Company Statements of Financial Position.

(n) Bank borrowings
Bank overdrafts and loans are recorded at the net proceeds received. Finance charges, including any premium payable on settlement or redemption and direct issue costs, are accounted for on an accruals basis in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income using the effective interest rate method and are added to the carrying amount of the instrument to the extent that they are not settled in the period in which they arise.

(o) Offsetting
Financial assets and financial liabilities are offset and the net amount reported in the Consolidated and Parent Company Statements of Financial Position if there is a currently enforceable legal right to offset the recognised amounts and there is an intention to settle on a net basis, or to realise the asset and settle the liability simultaneously.

(p) Share repurchases and share reissues
Shares repurchased and subsequently cancelled – share capital is reduced by the nominal value of the shares repurchased and the capital redemption reserve is correspondingly increased in accordance with Section 733 of the Companies Act 2006. The full cost of the repurchase is charged to the special reserve.

Shares repurchased and held in treasury – the full cost of the repurchase is charged to the special reserve.

Where treasury shares are subsequently reissued:

-       amounts received to the extent of the repurchase price are credited to the special reserve and capital reserves based on a weighted average basis of amounts utilised from these reserves on repurchases; and

-       any surplus received in excess of the repurchase price is taken to the share premium account.

Where new shares are issued, amounts received to the extent of any surplus received in excess of the par value are taken to the share premium account.

Share issue costs are charged to the share premium account. Costs on share reissues are charged to the special reserve and capital reserves.

(q) Critical accounting estimates and judgements
The Group makes estimates and assumptions concerning the future. The resulting accounting estimates and assumptions will, by definition, seldom equal the related actual results. Estimates and judgements are regularly evaluated and are based on historical experience and other factors, including expectations of future events that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. The estimates and assumptions that have a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the next financial year are addressed below.

Fair value of unquoted financial instruments
When the fair values of financial assets and financial liabilities recorded in the Consolidated and Parent Company Statements of Financial Position cannot be derived from active markets, their fair value is determined using a variety of valuation techniques that include the use of valuation models.

(a)  The fair value of the OZ Minerals contractual rights was assessed by an independent valuer with a recognised and relevant professional qualification. The inputs to these models are taken from observable markets where possible, but where this is not feasible, estimation is required in establishing fair values. The estimates include considerations of production profiles, commodity prices, cash flows and discount rates. Changes in assumptions about these factors could affect the reported fair value of financial instruments in the Consolidated and Parent Company Statements of Financial Position and the level where the instruments are disclosed in the fair value hierarchy. To assess the significance of a particular input to the entire measurement, the external valuer performs sensitivity analysis.

(b)  The fair value of the investment in equity shares of Jetti Resources and MCC Mining were assessed by an independent valuer with a recognised and relevant professional qualification.

The valuation is carried out based on market approach using earnings multiple and price of recent transactions. Changes in assumptions about these factors could affect the reported fair value of financial instruments in the Consolidated and Parent Company Statements of Financial Position and the level where the instruments are disclosed in the fair value hierarchy. To assess the significance of a particular input to the entire measurement, the external valuer performs sensitivity analysis.

(c)  The investment in the subsidiary company was valued based on the net assets of the subsidiary company, which is considered appropriate based on the nature and volume of transactions in the subsidiary company.

The key assumptions used to determine the fair value of the unquoted financial instruments and sensitivity analyses are provided in note 18(d) in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

3. Income


 
2022 
£000 
2021 
£000 
Investment income:
UK dividends 17,536  25,681 
UK special dividends 2,167  5,507 
Overseas dividends 45,094  36,624 
Overseas special dividends 3,808  1,250 
Income from contractual rights (OZ Minerals Royalty) 3,096  2,562 
Income from Vale debentures 3,863  6,971 
Income from fixed income investments 2,523  1,963 
---------------  --------------- 
Total investment income 78,087  80,558 
=========  ========= 
Other income:
Option premium income 7,297  7,065 
Deposit interest 513 
Broker interest received 18 
Stock lending income 81  53 
---------------  --------------- 
7,909  7,118 
=========  ========= 
Total income 85,996  87,676 
=========  ========= 

During the year, the Group received option premium income in cash totalling £7,541,000 (2021: £6,745,000) for writing put and covered call options for the purposes of revenue generation.

Option premium income is amortised evenly over the life of the option contract and, accordingly, during the year, option premiums of £7,297,000 (2021: £7,065,000) were amortised to revenue.

At 31 December 2022, there were three open positions (2021: two) with an associated liability of £1,227,000 (2021: £667,000).

Dividends and interest received in cash during the year amounted to £68,630,000 and £5,918,000 (2021: £68,199,000 and £5,186,000).

Special dividends of £811,000 have been recognised in capital during the year (2021: £nil).

4. Investment management fee

2022 2021

 
Revenue 
£000 
Capital 
£000 
Total 
£000 
Revenue 
£000 
Capital 
£000 
Total 
£000 
Investment management fee 2,615  8,031  10,646  2,252  6,978  9,230 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total 2,615  8,031  10,646  2,252  6,978  9,230 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

The investment management fee (which includes all services provided by BlackRock) is 0.8% of the Company’s gross assets (subject to certain adjustments). During the year, £9,848,000 (2021: £8,537,000) of the investment management fee was generated from net assets and £798,000 (2021: £693,000) from the gearing effect on gross assets due to the quarter–on– quarter increase in the NAV per share for the year as set out below:



Quarter end
Cum income 
NAV per share 
(pence)
Quarterly 
increase/ 
(decrease) % 
Gearing effect 
on management 
fees (£000)
31 December 2021 622.21 
31 March 2022 769.58  +23.7  267 
30 June 2022 584.86  –24.0 
30 September 2022 602.56  +3.0  294 
31 December 2022 688.35  +14.2  237 
=========  =========  ========= 

   



Quarter end
Cum income 
NAV per share 
(pence)
Quarterly 
increase/ 
(decrease) % 
Gearing effect 
on management 
fees (£000)
31 December 2020 536.34 
31 March 2021 566.62  +5.6  243 
30 June 2021 616.20  +8.8  224 
30 September 2021 554.49  –10.0 
31 December 2021 622.21  +12.2  226 
=========  =========  ========= 

The daily average of the net assets under management during the year ended 31 December 2022 was £1,232,043,000 (2021: £1,085,438,000).

The fee is allocated 25% to the revenue account and 75% to the capital account of the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income.

There is no additional fee for company secretarial and administration services.

5. Other operating expenses


 
2022 
£000 
2021 
£000 
Allocated to revenue:
Custody fee 101  103 
Auditors’ remuneration:
– audit services 51  41 
– non-audit services1
Registrar’s fee 86  91 
Directors’ emoluments2 197  176 
AIC fees 21  21 
Broker fees 24  25 
Depositary fees 116  101 
FCA fee 30  24 
Directors' insurance 23  19 
Marketing fees 132  140 
Stock exchange fees 37  26 
Legal and professional fees 35  52 
Bank facility fees3 97  73 
Printing and postage fees 47  37 
Write back of prior year expenses4 (55)
Other administrative costs 86  96 
---------------  --------------- 
1,037  1,034 
=========  ========= 
Allocated to capital:
Transaction charges5 28 
---------------  --------------- 
1,065  1,043 
=========  ========= 

   

2022  2021 
The Company’s ongoing charges6, calculated as a percentage of average daily net assets and using the management fee and all other operating expenses, excluding finance costs, direct transaction costs, transaction charges, VAT recovered, taxation, prior year expenses written back and certain non-recurring items were: 0.95%  0.95% 
The Company’s ongoing charges6, calculated as a percentage of average daily gross assets and using the management fee and all other operating expenses, excluding finance costs, direct transaction costs, transaction charges, VAT recovered, taxation, prior year expenses written back and certain non-recurring items were: 0.84%  0.84% 
=========  ========= 

1  Fees paid to the auditor for non-audit services of £8,925 excluding VAT (2021: £8,500) relate to the review of the Condensed Half Yearly Financial Report.

2  Details of the Directors’ emoluments can be found in the Directors’ Remuneration Report in the Annual Report and Financial Statements. The Company has no employees.

3  There is a 4 basis point facility fee chargeable on the full loan facility whether drawn or undrawn.

4  Relates to Directors’ expenses, miscellaneous fees, legal fees and professional services fees written back during the year (2021: no accruals written back).

5  For the year ended 31 December 2022, expenses of £28,000 (2021: £9,000) were charged to the capital account of the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income. These include transaction costs charged by the custodian on sale and purchase trades.

6  Alternative Performance Measures, see Glossary in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

6. Finance costs

2022 2021

 
Revenue 
£000 
Capital 
£000 
Total 
£000 
Revenue 
£000 
Capital 
£000 
Total 
£000 
Interest payable – bank loans 1,177  3,505  4,682  365  1,097  1,462 
Interest payable – bank overdraft 15  20  20  29 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total 1,182  3,520  4,702  374  1,117  1,491 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

7. Dividends
Dividends paid on equity shares:


 

Record date 

Payment date 
2022 
£000 
2021 
£000 
Final dividend of 27.00p per share for the year ended 31 December 2021 (2020: 8.30p) 18 March 2022  19 May 2022  49,898  14,782 
1st interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022 (2021: 4.50p) 27 May 2022  30 June 2022  10,251  8,224 
2nd interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022 (2021: 5.50p) 2 September 2022  30 September 2022  10,381  10,106 
3rd interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022 (2021: 5.50p) 25 November 2022  22 December 2022  10,381  10,103 
---------------  --------------- 
80,911  43,215 
=========  ========= 

The total dividends payable in respect of the year ended 31 December 2022 which form the basis of Section 1158 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010 and Section 833 of the Companies Act 2006, and the amounts declared, meet the relevant requirements as set out in this legislation.

Dividends paid, or declared on equity shares:


 
2022 
£000 
2021 
£000 
1st quarterly interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022 (2021: 4.50p) 10,251  8,224 
2nd quarterly interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022 (2021: 5.50p) 10,381  10,106 
3rd quarterly interim dividend of 5.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022 (2021: 5.50p) 10,381  10,103 
Final dividend of 23.50p per share for the year ended 31 December 2022 (2021: final dividend 27.00p)1 44,392  49,898 
---------------  --------------- 
75,405  78,331 
=========  ========= 

1  Based on 188,903,036 ordinary shares in issue on 2 March 2023.

8. Consolidated earnings and net asset value per ordinary share
Total revenue, capital earnings and net asset value per ordinary share are shown below and have been calculated using the following:

2022  2021 
Net revenue profit attributable to ordinary shareholders (£000) 76,013  78,910 
Net capital profit attributable to ordinary shareholders (£000) 126,407  113,560 
---------------  --------------- 
Total profit attributable to ordinary shareholders (£000) 202,420  192,470 
=========  ========= 
Equity shareholders’ funds (£000) 1,299,285  1,142,874 
The weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the year on which the earnings per ordinary share was calculated was: 186,868,187  181,037,188 
The actual number of ordinary shares in issue at the year end on which the net asset value per ordinary share was calculated was: 188,753,036  183,681,116 
Earnings per ordinary share
Revenue earnings per share (pence) - basic and diluted 40.68  43.59 
Capital earnings per share (pence) - basic and diluted 67.64  62.73 
---------------  --------------- 
Total earnings per share (pence) - basic and diluted 108.32  106.32 
=========  ========= 

   



 
As at 
31 December 
2022 
As at 
31 December 
2021 
Net asset value per ordinary share (pence) 688.35  622.21 
Ordinary share price (pence) 697.00  589.00 
=========  ========= 

There were no dilutive securities at the year end.

9. Called up share capital



 
Ordinary shares 
in issue 
number 

Treasury shares 
number 


Total shares 
number 

Nominal
value 
£000 
Allotted, called up and fully paid share capital comprised:
Ordinary shares of 5p each
At 31 December 2021 183,681,116  9,330,726  193,011,842  9,651 
Ordinary shares reissued from treasury 5,071,920  (5,071,920)
----------------  ----------------  ----------------  ---------------- 
At 31 December 2022 188,753,036  4,258,806  193,011,842  9,651 
==========  ==========  ==========  ========== 

During the year ended 31 December 2022 the Company:

– did not buy back shares into treasury (2021: 69,698 shares bought back for a net consideration after costs of £393,000);

– reissued 5,071,920 shares (2021: 10,200,000 shares) from treasury for a net consideration after costs of £34,902,000 (2021: £63,187,000).

Since the year end and up to 2 March 2023, the Company has reissued 150,000 ordinary shares from treasury for a total consideration net of costs of £1,084,000.

10. Reserves








Group




Share 
premium 
account 
£000 




Capital 
redemption 
reserve 
£000 





Special 
reserve 
£000 


Capital 
reserve 
arising on 
investments 
sold 
£000 
Capital 
reserve 
arising on 
revaluation 
of 
investments 
held 
£000 





Revenue 
reserve 
£000 
At 31 December 2021 138,818  22,779  155,123  345,594  396,836  74,073 
Movement during the year:
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the year 82,729  43,678  76,013 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Ordinary shares reissued from treasury 9,289  25,683 
Share reissue costs (70)
Dividends paid (80,911)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 December 2022 148,107  22,779  180,736  428,323  440,514  69,175 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

   

Distributable reserves







Company




Share 
premium 
account 
£000 




Capital 
redemption 
reserve 
£000 





Special 
reserve 
£000 


Capital 
reserve 
arising on 
investments 
sold 
£000 
Capital 
reserve 
arising on 
revaluation 
of 
investments 
held 
£000 





Revenue 
reserve 
£000 
At 31 December 2021 138,818  22,779  155,123  344,093  404,014  68,396 
Movement during the year:
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the year 82,729  43,731  75,960 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Ordinary shares reissued from treasury 9,289  25,683 
Share reissue costs (70)
Dividends paid (80,911)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 December 2022 148,107  22,779  180,736  426,822  447,745  63,445 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

   








Group




Share 
premium 
account 
£000 




Capital 
redemption 
reserve 
£000 





Special 
reserve 
£000 


Capital 
reserve 
arising on 
investments 
sold 
£000 
Capital 
reserve 
arising on 
revaluation 
of 
investments 
held 
£000 





Revenue 
reserve 
£000 
At 31 December 2020 127,155  22,779  103,992  277,389  351,481  38,378 
Movement during the year:
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the year 68,205  45,355  78,910 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Ordinary shares reissued from treasury 11,663  51,651 
Share reissue costs (127)
Ordinary shares purchased into treasury (390)
Share purchase costs (3)
Dividends paid (43,215)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 December 2021 138,818  22,779  155,123  345,594  396,836  74,073 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

   

Distributable reserves







Company




Share 
premium 
account 
£000 




Capital 
redemption 
reserve 
£000 





Special 
reserve 
£000 


Capital 
reserve 
arising on 
investments 
sold 
£000 
Capital 
reserve 
arising on 
revaluation 
of 
investments 
held 
£000 





Revenue 
reserve 
£000 
At 31 December 2020 127,155  22,779  103,992  275,888  358,659  32,701 
Movement during the year:
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the year 68,205  45,355  78,910 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Ordinary shares reissued from treasury 11,663  51,651 
Share reissue costs (127)
Ordinary shares purchased into treasury (390)
Share purchase costs (3)
Dividends paid (43,215)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 December 2021 138,818  22,779  155,123  344,093  404,014  68,396 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

Pursuant to a resolution of the Company passed at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 13 January 1998 and following the Company’s application to the Court for cancellation of its share premium account, the Court approval was received on 27 January 1999 and £157,633,000 was transferred from the share premium account to a special reserve which is a distributable reserve.

The share premium and capital redemption reserve are not distributable profits under the Companies Act 2006. In accordance with ICAEW Technical Release 02/17BL on Guidance on Realised and Distributable Profits under the Companies Act 2006, the special reserve and capital reserves of the Parent Company may be used as distributable reserves for all purposes and, in particular, the repurchase by the Parent Company of its ordinary shares and for payments as dividends. In accordance with the Company’s Articles of Association, the special reserve, capital reserves and the revenue reserve may be distributed by way of dividend. The Parent Company’s capital gains of £874,567,000 (2021: capital gain of £748,107,000) comprise a gain on capital reserve arising on investments sold of £426,822,000 (2021: gain of £344,093,000), a gain on capital reserve arising on revaluation of listed investments of £409,037,000 (2021: gain of £387,997,000) revaluation gains on unquoted investments of £31,477,000 (2021: £8,839,000) and a revaluation gain on the investment in the subsidiary of £7,231,000 (2021: gain of £7,178,000). The capital reserve arising on the revaluation of listed investments of £391,896,000 (2021: £387,997,000) is subject to fair value movements and may not be readily realisable at short notice; as such it may not be entirely distributable. The investments are subject to financial risks, as such capital reserves (arising on investments sold) and the revenue reserve may not be entirely distributable if a loss occurred during the realisation of these investments. The reserves of the subsidiary company are not distributable until distributed as a dividend to the Parent Company.

11. Valuation of financial instruments
Financial assets and financial liabilities are either carried in the Consolidated and Parent Company Statements of Financial Position at their fair value (investment and derivatives) or at amortised cost (due from brokers, dividends and interest receivable, due to brokers, accruals, cash at bank and bank overdrafts). IFRS 13 requires the Group to classify fair value measurements using a fair value hierarchy that reflects the significance of inputs used in making the measurements. The valuation techniques used by the Group are explained in the accounting policies note 2(h) to the Financial Statements above.

Categorisation within the hierarchy has been determined on the basis of the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement of the relevant asset.

The fair value hierarchy has the following levels:

Level 1 – Quoted market price for identical instruments in active markets
A financial instrument is regarded as quoted in an active market if quoted prices are readily and regularly available from an exchange, dealer, broker, industry group, pricing service or regulatory agency and those prices represent actual and regularly occurring market transactions on an arm’s length basis. The Group does not adjust the quoted price for these instruments.

Level 2 – Valuation techniques using observable inputs
This category includes instruments valued using quoted prices for similar instruments in markets that are considered less than active, or other valuation techniques where all significant inputs are directly or indirectly observable from market data.

Valuation techniques used for non-standardised financial instruments such as options, currency swaps and other over-the-counter derivatives include the use of comparable recent arm’s length transactions, reference to other instruments that are substantially the same, discounted cash flow analysis, option pricing models and other valuation techniques commonly used by market participants making the maximum use of market inputs and relying as little as possible on entity specific inputs.

Over-the-counter derivative option contracts have been classified as Level 2 investments as their valuation has been based on market observable inputs represented by the underlying quoted securities to which these contracts expose the Group.

Level 3 – Valuation techniques using significant unobservable inputs
This category includes all instruments where the valuation technique includes inputs not based on market data and these inputs could have a significant impact on the instrument’s valuation.

This category also includes instruments that are valued based on quoted prices for similar instruments where significant entity determined adjustments or assumptions are required to reflect differences between the instruments and instruments for which there is no active market. The Investment Manager considers observable data to be that market data that is readily available, regularly distributed or updated, reliable and verifiable, not proprietary, and provided by independent sources that are actively involved in the relevant market.

The level in the fair value hierarchy within which the fair value measurement is categorised in its entirety is determined on the basis of the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement. If a fair value measurement uses observable inputs that require significant adjustment based on unobservable inputs, that measurement is a Level 3 measurement.

Assessing the significance of a particular input to the fair value measurement requires judgement, considering factors specific to the asset or liability. The determination of what constitutes ‘observable’ inputs requires significant judgement by the Investment Manager.

Valuation process and techniques for Level 3 valuations
(a) OZ Minerals Royalty
The Directors engage a mining consultant, an independent valuer with a recognised and relevant professional qualification, to conduct a periodic valuation of the contractual rights and the fair value of the contractual rights is assessed with reference to relevant factors. At the reporting date the income streams from contractual rights have been valued on the net present value of the pre-tax cash flows discounted at a rate the external valuer considers reflects the risk associated with the project. The valuation model uses discounted cash flow analysis which incorporates both observable and non-observable data. Observable inputs include assumptions regarding current rates of interest and commodity prices. Unobservable inputs include assumptions regarding production profiles, price realisations, cost of capital and discount rates. In determining the discount rate to be applied, the external valuer considers the country and sovereign risk associated with the project, together with the time horizon to the commencement of production and the success or failure of projects of a similar nature. To assess the significance of a particular input to the entire measurement, the external valuer performs a sensitivity analysis. The external valuer has undertaken an analysis of the impact of using alternative discount rates on the fair value of contractual rights.

This investment in contractual rights is reviewed regularly to ensure that the initial classification remains correct given the asset’s characteristics and the Group’s investment policies. The contractual rights are initially recognised using the transaction price as it was indicative of the best evidence of fair value at acquisition and are subsequently measured at fair value, taking into consideration the relevant IFRS 13 requirements. In arriving at their estimates of market values, the valuers have used their market knowledge and professional judgement. The Group classifies the fair value of this investment as Level 3.

Valuations are the responsibility of the Directors of the Company. In arriving at a final valuation, the Directors consider the independent valuer’s report, the significant assumptions used in the fair valuation and the review process undertaken by BlackRock’s Pricing Committee. The valuation of unquoted investments is performed on a quarterly basis by the Investment Manager and reviewed by the Pricing Committee of the Manager. On a quarterly basis the Investment Manager will review the valuation of the contractual rights and inputs for significant changes. A valuation of contractual rights is performed annually by an external valuer, SRK Consulting (UK) Limited, and reviewed by the Pricing Committee of the Manager. The valuations are also subject to quality assurance procedures performed within the Pricing Committee. On a semi-annual basis, after the checks above have been performed, the Investment Manager presents the valuation results to the Directors. This includes a discussion of the major assumptions used in the valuations. There were no changes in valuation techniques during the year.

(b) Jetti Resources and MCC Mining equity shares
The fair value of the investment equity shares of Jetti Resources and MCC Mining were assessed by an independent valuer with a recognised and relevant professional qualification. The valuation is carried out based on market approach using earnings multiple and price of recent transactions. Changes in assumptions about these factors could affect the reported fair value of financial instruments in the Consolidated and Parent Company Statements of Financial Position and the level where the instruments are disclosed in the fair value hierarchy. To assess the significance of a particular input to the entire measurement, the external valuer performs a sensitivity analysis.

Fair values of financial assets and financial liabilities
The table below sets out fair value measurements using the IFRS 13 fair value hierarchy.

Financial assets/(liabilities) at fair value through profit or loss at
31 December 2022 – Group
Level 1 
£000 
Level 2 
£000 
Level 3 
£000 
Total 
£000 
Assets:
Equity investments 1,250,984  35,692  1,286,685 
Fixed income securities 68,894  48,066  116,960 
Investment in contractual rights 21,199  21,199 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total assets 1,319,878  48,075  56,891  1,424,844 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Liabilities:
Derivative financial instruments – written options (1,227) (1,227)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total 1,319,878  46,848  56,891  1,423,617 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 

   

Financial assets/(liabilities) at fair value through profit or loss at
31 December 2021 – Group
Level 1 
£000 
Level 2 
£000 
Level 3 
£000 
Total 
£000 
Assets:
Equity investments 1,114,430  8,955  1,846  1,125,231 
Fixed income securities 59,108  40,895  13,405  113,408 
Investment in contractual rights 18,162  18,162 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total assets 1,173,538  49,850  33,413  1,256,801 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Liabilities:
Derivative financial instruments – written options (667) (667)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total 1,173,538  49,183  33,413  1,256,134 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 

   

Financial assets/(liabilities) at fair value through profit or loss at
31 December 2022 – Company
Level 1 
£000 
Level 2 
£000 
Level 3 
£000 
Total 
£000 
Assets:
Equity investments 1,250,984  42,923  1,293,916 
Fixed income securities 68,894  48,066  116,960 
Investment in contractual rights 21,199  21,199 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total assets 1,319,878  48,075  64,122  1,432,075 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Liabilities:
Derivative financial instruments – written options (1,227) (1,227)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total 1,319,878  46,848  64,122  1,430,848 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 

   

Financial assets/(liabilities) at fair value through profit or loss at 
31 December 2021 – Company
Level 1 
£000 
Level 2 
£000 
Level 3 
£000 
Total 
£000 
Assets:
Equity investments 1,114,430  8,955  9,024  1,132,409 
Fixed income securities 59,108  40,895  13,405  113,408 
Investment in contractual rights 18,162  18,162 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total assets 1,173,538  49,850  40,591  1,263,979 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 
Liabilities:
Derivative financial instruments – written options (667) (667)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total 1,173,538  49,183  40,591  1,263,312 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 

A reconciliation of fair value measurement in Level 3 is set out below.


Level 3 Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss at 31 December – Group
2022 
£000 
2021 
£000 
Opening fair value 33,413  19,753 
Return of capital – royalty (267) (267)
Additions at cost 20,106  14,390 
Transfer of equities from Level 1 to Level 3
Conversion of equity and transfer to Level 1 (2,546)
Conversion of convertible bond to equity and transfer to Level 2 (10,160)
Transfer of equities and convertible bonds to Level 2 (19,305)
Total profit or loss included in net profit on investments in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income:
– assets transferred to Level 1 during the period 169 
– assets transferred to Level 2 during the period 14,212 
– assets held at the end of the period 21,267  (463)
---------------  --------------- 
Closing balance 56,891  33,413 
=========  ========= 

   


Level 3 Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss at 31 December – Company
2022 
£000 
2021 
£000 
Opening fair value 40,591  26,931 
Return of capital – royalty (267) (267)
Additions at cost 20,106  14,390 
Transfer of equities from Level 1 to Level 3
Conversion of equity and transfer to Level 1 (2,546)
Conversion of convertible bond to equity and transfer to Level 2 (10,160)
Transfer of equities and convertible bonds to Level 2 (19,305)
Total profit or loss included in net profit on investments in the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income:
- assets transferred to Level 1 during the period 169 
- assets transferred to Level 2 during the period 14,212 
- assets held at the end of the period 21,320  (463)
---------------  --------------- 
Closing balance 64,122  40,591 
=========  ========= 

The Level 3 valuation process and techniques used are explained in the accounting policies in note 2(h) above. A more detailed description of the techniques is found in the Annual Report and Financial Statements under ‘Valuation process and techniques’.

The Level 3 investments as at 31 December 2022 in the table below relate to the OZ Minerals Brazil Royalty, convertible bonds and equity shares of Jetti Resources, MCC Mining and Lifezone SPAC PIPE. In accordance with IFRS 13, these investments were categorised as Level 3.

In arriving at the fair value of the OZ Minerals Brazil Royalty, the key inputs are the underlying commodity prices and illiquidity discount. In arriving at the fair value of Jetti Resources and MCC Mining securities, the key inputs are shown below.

The Level 3 valuation process and techniques used by the Company are explained in the accounting policies in notes 2(h) and 2(q) above and a detailed explanation of the techniques is also available in the Annual Report and Financial Statements under 'Valuation process and techniques'.

Quantitative information of significant unobservable inputs – Level 3 – Group and Company
The significant unobservable inputs used in the fair value measurement categorised within Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy, together with an estimated quantitative sensitivity analysis, as at 31 December 2022 and 31 December 2021 are as shown below.




Description
As at 
31 December 
2022 
£000 


Valuation 
technique 


Unobservable 
input 
Range of 
weighted 
average 
inputs 

Reasonable 
possible 
shift¹ +/- 


Impact on 
fair value 




OZ Minerals Brazil Royalty




21,199 



Discounted 
cash flows 
Discounted 
rate–
weighted 
average cost 
of capital 




5.0% - 8.0% 




1.0% 




£1.0m 

Average 
gold prices 
US$1,400- 
US$1,600 
per ounce 


10.0% 


£1.5m 

Average 
copper prices 
US$7,209- 
US$8,510 
per tonne 


10.0% 


£1.0m 

Jetti Resources

29,873 
Market 
approach 
Earnings 
multiple 

5.93x 

5.0% 

£0.6m 


MCC Mining


5,819 

Market 
approach 
Price of recent 
transaction 


5.0% 


£0.3m 
Lifezone commitment (see Note 14)




Polyus




Listing 
suspended 
– valued 
at nominal 
US$0.01 
--------------- 
Total 56,891 
========= 

1  The sensitivity analysis refers to a percentage amount added or deducted from the input and the effect this has on the fair value.




Description
As at 
31 December 
2021 
£000 


Valuation 
technique 


Unobservable 
input 
Range of 
weighted 
average 
inputs 

Reasonable 
possible 
shift¹ +/- 


Impact on 
fair value 




OZ Minerals Brazil Royalty




18,162 



Discounted 
cash flows 
Discounted 
rate–
weighted 
average cost 
of capital 




5.0% - 8.0% 




1.0% 




£1.0m 

Average 
gold prices 
US$1,400- 
US$1,600 
per ounce 


10.0% 


£1.5m 

Average 
copper prices 
US$7,209- 
US$8,510 
per tonne 


10.0% 


£1.0m 




Invanhoe Electric and I-Pulse securities





15,251 
Market 
approach 
and scenario 
analysis for 
convertible 
notes 




Asset multiple 





0.75x - 1.25x 





25.0% 





£0.5m 
--------------- 
Total 33,413 
========= 

1  The sensitivity analysis refers to a percentage amount added or deducted from the input and the effect this has on the fair value.

The sensitivity impact on fair value is calculated based on the sensitivity estimates set out by the independent valuer in its report on the valuation of contractual rights. Significant increases/(decreases) in estimated commodity prices and discount rates in isolation would result in a significantly higher/(lower) fair value measurement. Generally, a change in the assumption made for the estimated value is accompanied by a directionally similar change in the commodity prices and discount rates.

For exchange listed equity investments, the quoted price is the bid price. Substantially, all investments are valued based on unadjusted quoted market prices. Where such quoted prices are readily available in an active market, such prices are not required to be assessed or adjusted for any business risks, including climate change risk, in accordance with the fair value related requirements of the Company's financial reporting framework.

12. Transactions with the Investment Manager and AIFM
BlackRock Fund Managers Limited (BFM) provides management and administration services to the Company under a contract which is terminable on six months’ notice. BFM has (with the Group’s consent) delegated certain portfolio and risk management services, and other ancillary services to BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited (BIM (UK)). Further details of the investment management contract are disclosed in the Directors’ Report in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

The investment management fee due for the year ended 31 December 2022 amounted to £10,646,000 (2021: £9,230,000). At the year end, £5,443,000 was outstanding in respect of the management fee (2021: £4,587,000).

In addition to the above services, BIM (UK) has provided the Group with marketing services. The total fees paid or payable for these services for the year ended 31 December 2022 amounted to £132,000 excluding VAT (2021: £140,000). Marketing fees of £62,000 were outstanding as at 31 December 2022 (2021: £55,000).

The ultimate holding company of the Manager and the Investment Manager is BlackRock, Inc., a company incorporated in Delaware, USA.

13. Related party disclosure
Directors’ emoluments
At the date of this report, the Board consists of five non-executive Directors, all of whom are considered to be independent of the Manager by the Board.

Disclosures of the Directors’ interests in the ordinary shares of the Company and fees and expenses payable to the Directors are set out in the Directors’ Remuneration Report in the Annual Report and Financial Statements. As at 31 December 2022, £16,000 (2021: £14,375) was outstanding in respect of Directors’ fees.

Significant holdings
The following investors are:

a.  funds managed by the BlackRock Group or are affiliates of BlackRock Inc. (Related BlackRock Funds); or

b.  investors (other than those listed in (a) above) who held more than 20% of the voting shares in issue in the Company and are as a result, considered to be related parties to the Company (Significant Investors).

As at 31 December 2022


Total % of shares held by Related
BlackRock Funds
Total % of shares held by Significant
Investors who are not affiliates of
BlackRock Group or BlackRock, Inc.
Number of Significant Investors who
are not affiliates of BlackRock Group or
BlackRock, Inc.
2.27 n/a n/a

As at 31 December 2021


Total % of shares held by Related
BlackRock Funds
Total % of shares held by Significant
Investors who are not affiliates of
BlackRock Group or BlackRock, Inc.
Number of Significant Investors who
are not affiliates of BlackRock Group or
BlackRock, Inc.
1.77 n/a n/a

14. Capital commitment
There was one capital commitment at 31 December 2022 (2021: nil). This was a US$10,000,000 commitment in relation to the SPAC PIPE commitment for investment in Lifezone SPAC.

15. Publication of non statutory accounts
The financial information contained in this announcement does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in the Companies Act 2006. The Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2022 will be filed with the Registrar of Companies after the Annual General Meeting.

The figures set out above have been reported upon by the auditor, whose report for the year ended 31 December 2022 contains no qualification or statement under Section 498(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

The comparative figures are extracts from the audited financial statements of BlackRock World Mining Trust plc and its subsidiary for the year ended 31 December 2021, which have been filed with the Registrar of Companies. The report of the auditor on those financial statements contained no qualification or statement under Section 498 of the Companies Act 2006.

16. Annual Report and Financial Statements
Copies of the Annual Report and Financial Statements will be published shortly and will be available from the registered office, c/o The Secretary, BlackRock World Mining Trust plc, 12 Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2DL.

17. Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Company will be held at 12 Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2DL on Tuesday, 18 April 2023 at 11.30 a.m.

ENDS

The Annual Report and Financial Statements will also be available on the BlackRock website at www.blackrock.com/uk/brwm. Neither the contents of the website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the website (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

For further information, please contact:

Melissa Gallagher, Managing Director, Closed End Funds, BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited – Tel:  020 7743 3000

Evy Hambro, Fund Manager, BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited – Tel:  020 7743 3000

Emma Phillips, Media & Communications, BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited – Tel:  020 7743 2922

Press enquires:

Ed Hooper, Lansons Communications

Tel:  020 7294 3616

E-mail:  BlackRockInvestmentTrusts@lansons.com or EdH@lansons.com

2 March 2023


12 Throgmorton Avenue
London EC2N 2DL

UK 100