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Trident Resources (TRR)

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Monday 29 June, 2020

Trident Resources

US$5 Million Acquisition of a Copper Royalty

RNS Number : 2989R
Trident Resources Plc
29 June 2020
 

 

29 June 2020

 

 

Trident Resources Plc

 

US$5 million acquisition of a copper royalty over a significant producing asset

 

Trident Resources Plc ("Trident" or the "Company", to be renamed Trident Royalties Plc) (AIM: TRR), is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Moxico Resources plc ("Moxico"), to acquire a staged Gross Revenue Royalty ("GRR") over production from the operating Mimbula copper mine and associated stockpiles (the "Mimbula Mine") located in Zambia's prolific Copperbelt Province. The GRR is being acquired in exchange for a cash consideration of US$5.0 million (the "Transaction"). Trident is entitled to royalty payments on production commencing from 1 July 2020 and extending in perpetuity.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

An attractive transaction structure, enhancing Trident's portfolio

· A highly accretive transaction on an immediately cash-generative royalty over a long-life, low-cost producing asset which is currently ramping-up production;

· Structured as a GRR of 1.25%, decreasing to 0.3% upon aggregate royalty payments of US$5.0 million being paid to Trident, with a subsequent decrease to 0.2% once the royalty has been paid on 575,000 tonnes of copper cathode or other finished copper product sold; and

· The GRR is subject to a Minimum Payment Schedule (as defined below), which ensures that Trident will at minimum be repaid US$5 million within three years.

· At current copper prices, Moxico's long-term production profile is expected to exceed that required for the Minimum Payment Schedule

A significant asset operated by an experienced counterparty

·     The asset is currently ramping-up production, having sold its first London Metal Exchange registered Grade A copper with a 99.99% purity in June 2020;

· The Mimbula Mine has a large, well-defined JORC (2012) compliant total Mineral Resource of 84 million tonnes of ore grading 0.95% copper for a total of 798,000 tonnes of contained copper at a 0.3% cut-off;

· The GRR covers a large land package of 1,271 hectares, with attractive exploration and growth potential; and

· Moxico has a high-quality management team led by Alan Davies (former Chief Executive of Rio Tinto's Minerals and Energy division) with additional collective prior experience at Anglo American, Anglo Gold Ashanti, and First Quantum.

A desirable commodity with sound growth fundamentals

· Enhances Trident's royalty portfolio diversification by adding exposure to a highly favourable commodity;

· Copper is currently in a deficit position which is forecast to widen in the near future; and

·     Zambia is a favourable mining jurisdiction as the 2nd largest copper producer in Africa and 7th largest globally.

 

The Central African copperbelt is the world's largest and highest-grade sediment-hosted copper district, with world class mining operators in the region such as First Quantum, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Barrick, Ivanhoe and China Non-Ferrous Metals. The Mimbula Mine is an open pit operation located adjacent to the Konkola Copper Mine complex. As an established mining district, Zambia boasts excellent infrastructure, a skilled workforce, and suitable legal framework for mining royalties.

 

Mimbula has JORC (2012) Measured and Indicated Resources of 69.8Mt grading 0.96% total copper ("TCu") for approximately 668,000 tonnes of contained copper and an Inferred Resources of 14.2 Mt grading 0.92% TCu for approximately 130,000 as at August 2019. In addition, the Company has a non-compliant Resource on the Zuka licence of 7.3Mt grading 1.1% TCu for 80,400 tonnes of contained copper. The Company has a strategic, life-of-mine tolling agreement with Konkola Copper Mines ("KCM") in which the oxide ores are currently being processed through the Nchanga Tailings Leach Plant ("TLP"), producing LME Grade A copper cathode.

 

 

Adam Davidson, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Trident commented:

 

"We are delighted to announce the acquisition of a cash generative royalty over the Mimbula Mine, a long-life asset with favourable production and cost profiles. The royalty will provide our investors with exposure to an attractive commodity produced from an asset located in a prolific region in the Zambian Copperbelt, operated by an experienced management team.

 

"In addition, the royalty is structured attractively such that Trident will rapidly recover its invested capital, while retaining long-life exposure to the growth of the asset. We are very pleased to have concluded transactions on two cash generative royalties within a short time frame and I look forward to reporting further on our progress as we continue to build a diversified portfolio of mining royalties and streams."

 

 

The Transaction

 

The Gross Revenue Royalty is being acquired for a cash consideration of US$5.0 million, payable immediately by Trident. Moxico will utilise the proceeds of the Transaction to fund the continued ramp-up of the Mimbula Mine, as well as for general working capital purposes. Royalty payments to Trident will be made on a quarterly basis.

 

The GRR rate will be 1.25%, decreasing to 0.3% upon US$5.0 million being paid on the royalty, with a subsequent decrease to 0.2% once the royalty has been paid on 575,000 tonnes of copper. In addition, the GRR is subject to a Minimum Payment Schedule in which the higher of the minimum amount, or the Gross Revenue Royalty amount, are due; specifically:

· No required minimum payments on production in 2020 (GRR rate still applies);

· Minimum payments of US$375,000 per quarter in 2021;

· Minimum payments of US$500,000 per quarter in 2022; and

· Minimum payments of US$750,000 in each of the first two quarters of 2023.

 

If, in a given quarter during the Minimum Payment Schedule period, Moxico makes GRR payments in excess of the quarterly minimum amount, it may carry over the excess amount to any subsequent quarter in which the GRR amount is less than the Minimum Payment Schedule amount.

 

 

Mimbula Mine

 

The GRR is applicable to production from the Mimbula Mine, comprising of 100% of production from licences 21816-HQ-LML (Mimbula), 8440-HQ-SML (Zuka), and on 50% of the production from licence 8514-HQ-SML (OB18). The licences collectively cover 1,271 ha.

 

Mimbula has a significant JORC (2012) Compliant Measured and Indicated Resource of 69.8Mt grading 0.96% total copper ("TCu") for 668,000 tonnes of contained copper and an Inferred Resources of 14.2 Mt grading 0.92% TCu as at August 2019. In addition, the Zuka licence has a non-compliant resource of 9.7Mt grading 1.14% TCu for 111,000 tonnes of contained copper. As the acquisition of 50% of the OB18 stockpile was completed post- publication of the JORC Resource, the below does not include OB18.

 

The Mimbula Mineral Resource Estimate as set out in the Mimbula Project Phase 1 Feasibility Study Report (dated 31/01/2019) was prepared by David H. Stock, Consulting Resource Geologist, in line with the 2012 edition of The Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves ("JORC (2012)"). Mr Stock is the Qualified Person responsible for the Mineral Resource Estimate in compliance with the Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI43-101) Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects for a Definitive Feasibility Study.

 

Mimbula Resource Statement as of August 2019

 

 

Measured

Indicated

Inferred

Total

 

Mt

TCu%

kt Cu

Mt

TCu%

kt Cu

Mt

TCu%

kt Cu

Mt

TCu%

kt Cu

Mimbula

46.9

0.98

459.6

22.9

0.91

208.4

14.2

0.92

130.6

84

0.95

795

Zuka

4.8

1.2

57.6

2.5

0.91

22.8

2.5

1.12

28.0

9.7

1.14

111

Total

51.7

1.0

517.2

25.4

0.91

231.1

16.7

0.95

158.6

93.7

0.97

909

Note: Cut-off at 0.3% Cu. Mimbula Resource is JORC (2012) compliant, while Zuka Resource is non-compliant.

 

Mimbula Reserve Statement as of August 2019

 

 

Proven

Probable

Total

 

Mt

TCu%

Mt

TCu%

Mt

TCu%

kt Cu

Mimbula

47.7

0.96

19.8

0.83

67.5

0.92

622.95

Note: Cut-off at 0.35% Cu.

 

The Resource is open on strike, indicating strong exploration potential. In addition, <5% of the current Resource is attributable to sulphide ore, indicating potential for extension at depth. The Company has a strategic tolling agreement with KCM for the life-of-mine in which oxides ores and stockpiles are being processed through the TLP producing LME Grade A copper cathode.

 

Moxico has a highly experienced Board and management team led by Alan Davies, who has assembled a strong team of proven mine operators with significant experience in the Zambian Copperbelt. 

 

 

Competent Person's Statement

 

The technical information contained in this disclosure has been read and approved by Mr Nick O'Reilly (MSc, DIC, MAusIMM, MIMMM, FGS), who is a qualified geologist and acts as the Competent Person under the AIM Rules - Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies. Mr O'Reilly is a Principal consultant working for Mining Analyst Consulting Ltd which has been retained by Trident to provide technical support.

 

The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.

 

 

** Ends **

 

Contact details:

 

Trident Resources Plc

Adam Davidson

www.tridentroyalties.com

+1 (757) 208-5171

Grant Thornton (Nominated Adviser)

Colin Aaronson / Richard Tonthat / Seamus Fricker

www.grantthornton.co.uk

+44 020 7383 5100

Tamesis Partners LLP (Financial Adviser and Broker)

Richard Greenfield

www.tamesispartners.com

+44 203 882 2868

Yellow Jersey (Public Relations)

Charles Goodwin

www.yellowjerseypr.com

+44 203 004 9512

 

 

About Trident

 

Trident is a growth-focused diversified mining royalty and streaming company, aiming to provide investors with exposure to a mix of base and precious metals, bulk materials (excluding thermal coal) and battery metals.

 

Key highlights of Trident's strategy include:

 

· Constructing a royalty and streaming portfolio to broadly mirror the commodity exposure of the global mining sector (excluding thermal coal) with a bias towards production or near-production assets, differentiating Trident from the majority of peers which are exclusively, or heavily weighted, to precious metals;

 

· Acquiring royalties and streams in resource-friendly jurisdictions worldwide, while most competitors have portfolios focused on North and South America;

 

· Targeting attractive small-to-mid size transactions which are often ignored in a sector dominated by large players;

 

· Active deal-sourcing which, in addition to writing new royalties and streams, will focus on the acquisition of assets held by natural sellers such as: closed-end funds, prospect generators, junior and mid-tier miners holding royalties as non-core assets, and counterparties seeking to monetise packages of royalties and streams which are otherwise undervalued by the market;  

 

· Maintaining a low-overhead model which is capable of supporting a larger scale business without a commensurate increase in operating costs; and

 

· Leveraging the experience of management, the board of directors, and Trident's adviser team, all of whom have deep industry connections and strong transactional experience across multiple commodities and jurisdictions.

 

The acquisition and aggregation of individual royalties and streams is expected to deliver strong returns for shareholders as assets are acquired on terms reflective of single asset risk compared with the lower risk profile of a diversified, larger scale portfolio. Further value is expected to be delivered by the introduction of conservative levels of leverage through debt. Once scale has been achieved, strong cash generation is expected to support an attractive dividend policy, providing investors with a desirable mix of inflation protection, growth and income.

 

 

Forward-looking Statements

 

This news release contains forward looking information. The statements are based on reasonable assumptions and expectations of management and Trident provides no assurance that actual events will meet management's expectations. In certain cases, forward looking information may be identified by such terms as "anticipates", "believes", "could", "estimates", "expects", "may", "shall", "will", or "would". Although Trident believes the expectations expressed in such forward looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Mining exploration and development is an inherently risky business. In addition, factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from the forward-looking information stated herein include any factors which affect decisions to pursue mineral exploration on the relevant property and the ultimate exercise of option rights, which may include changes in market conditions, changes in metal prices, general economic and political conditions, environmental risks, and community and non-governmental actions. Such factors will also affect whether Trident will ultimately receive the benefits anticipated pursuant to relevant agreements. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the forward looking statements. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.

 

Third Party Information

 

As a royalty and streaming company, Trident often has limited, if any, access to non-public scientific and technical information in respect of the properties underlying its portfolio of royalties and investments, or such information is subject to confidentiality provisions. As such, in preparing this announcement, the Company often largely relies upon information provided by or the public disclosures of the owners and operators of the properties underlying its portfolio of royalties, as available at the date of this announcement.

 

 

Glossary of Technical Terms

 

"cut-off grade"

A "cut-off grade" is a fundamental component in the preparation of Mineral Resources or Mineral Reserves. It is defined as the grade or value that is used to differentiate between ore and waste for a given set of conditions, parameters and time frame. As such, the criteria and processes by which a cut-off grade or value are determined will often be different between mineral properties, for different situations within a given mining operation, and at different times.

 

"grade"

The proportion of a mineral within a rock or other material. For copper mineralisation this is usually reported as % of copper per tonne of rock (g/t).

 

"Indicated Resource"

An 'Indicated Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity, grade (or quality), densities, shape and physical characteristics are estimated with sufficient confidence to allow the application of Modifying Factors in sufficient detail to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit.

 

Geological evidence is derived from adequately detailed and reliable exploration, sampling and testing gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes, and is sufficient to assume geological and grade (or quality) continuity between points of observation where data and samples are gathered.

An Indicated Mineral Resource has a lower level of confidence than that applying to a Measured Mineral Resource and may only be converted to a Probable Ore Reserve.

 

"Inferred Resource"

An 'Inferred Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade (or quality) are estimated on the basis of limited geological evidence and sampling. Geological evidence is sufficient to imply but not verify geological and grade (or quality) continuity. It is based on exploration, sampling and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes.

An Inferred Mineral Resource has a lower level of confidence than that applying to an Indicated Mineral Resource and must not be converted to an Ore Reserve. It is reasonably expected that the majority of Inferred Mineral Resources could be upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resources with continued exploration.

 

"JORC"

The Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves ('the JORC Code') is a professional code of practice that sets minimum standards for Public Reporting of minerals Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.  The JORC Code provides a mandatory system for the classification of minerals Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves according to the levels of confidence in geological knowledge and technical and economic considerations in Public Reports.

 

"Measured Resource"

A 'Measured Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity, grade (or quality), densities, shape, and physical characteristics are estimated with confidence sufficient to allow the application of Modifying Factors to support detailed mine planning and final evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit.

 

Geological evidence is derived from detailed and reliable exploration, sampling and testing gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes, and is sufficient to confirm geological and grade (or quality) continuity between points of observation where data and samples are gathered.

 

A Measured Mineral Resource has a higher level of confidence than that applying to either an Indicated Mineral Resource or an Inferred Mineral Resource. It may be converted to a Proved Ore Reserve or under certain circumstances to a Probable Ore Reserve.

 

"Mineral Reserve"

A "Mineral Reserve" is the economically mineable part of a Measured and/or Indicated Mineral Resource. It includes diluting materials and allowances for losses, which may occur when the material is mined or extracted and is defined by studies at Pre-Feasibility or Feasibility level as appropriate that include application of Modifying Factors. Such studies demonstrate that, at the time of reporting, extraction could reasonably be justified.

 

The reference point at which Mineral Reserves are defined, usually the point where the ore is delivered to the processing plant, must be stated. It is important that, in all situations where the reference point is different, such as for a saleable product, a clarifying statement is included to ensure that the reader is fully informed as to what is being reported.

 

"Mineral Resource"

A "Mineral Resource" is a concentration or occurrence of solid material of economic interest in or on the Earth's crust in such form and quantity and of such a grade or quality that it has reasonable prospects for economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade, geological characteristics and continuity of a Mineral Resource are known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge.

 

"open pit mining"

A method of extracting minerals from the earth by excavating downwards from the surface such that the ore is extracted in the open air (as opposed to underground mining).

 

 

 


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