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Danakali Limited (DNK)

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Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Danakali Limited

Covid-19 and financing update

RNS Number : 1807I
Danakali Limited
31 March 2020
 

Announcement

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

 

Danakali provides update on COVID-19 and financing

 

· COVID-19 update for Danakali and the Colluli project

· Tranche 2 of the AFC Subscription Agreement deferred in light of COVID-19 and market uncertainty

· Danakali is well funded to complete current planned activities and to withstand the impact during this volatile period

Danakali Limited (ASX: DNK, LSE: DNK, Danakali or the Company), provides today an update on business measures related to the COVID-19 crisis and the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) strategic equity investment.

COVID-19

With the status of Coronavirus (COVID-19) evolving rapidly, it provides a highly dynamic and challenging scenario for global markets to operate within. To address this, Danakali is monitoring the potential impact on its operations and has rolled out a business continuity plan and has mobilised all resources to continue to work on various workstreams according to the EPCM plan. At this stage, the Company has made significant progress with the delivery of Phase 1 and has commenced Phase 2.

Danakali has increased precautionary measures including working from home and suspending all non-essential projects. Given the nature of the current situation and the fact that our ongoing work programmes are desk-based, our project team is working remotely, to ensure that safety remains a top priority. Danakali is regularly assessing its operating structure, schedule and cost base and will continue to do so during this period of uncertainty presented by COVID-19.

AFC investment

In light of the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its significant impact on global financial markets, Tranche 2 of AFC's equity funding1 (Tranche 2) will be deferred to allow for the stabilisation of market and global conditions.

AFC remains fully supportive of Danakali and the Colluli Sulphate of Potash Project (Colluli or the Project), and advancing Tranche 2. AFC's confidence of the ultimate success of Colluli is evidenced by the Board appointments of two nominees that it is entitled to appoint under the US$50m Subscription Agreement between Danakali and AFC.

Danakali considers AFC to be a key strategic investor and partner in the Project and accordingly, given the requirement for financing in addition to AFC's investment, Tranche 2 will not be advanced whilst the critical market conditions are unfavourable and uncertain. The deferment of Tranche 2 will:

· allow the parties to work through satisfying many of the remaining conditions precedent to Danakali's debt financing, and

· give Danakali additional time to reassess its overall funding strategy in view of the changed market environment and review a range of options appropriate to the Project's funding requirements beyond the completion of EPCM Phases 1 and 2.

With the receipt of Tranche 1 of AFC's investment of US$21.5m (A$31.8m)2, Danakali is well funded to complete the current activities and close out the balance of the funding.

AFC has confirmed that prior to the advance of Tranche 2 it requires satisfaction of certain conditions precedent relating to CMSC's debt financing and execution of certain of the documents ancillary to that debt financing, in addition to the senior debt agreements already executed.

Danakali and AFC are working in good faith to agree the extent of AFC's requirements, which of these documents require execution before Tranche 2 can be advanced and a realistic timeframe for satisfaction of these requirements if that is beyond the existing deadline for satisfaction of the Tranche 2 conditions which is 2 June 2020. A further announcement will be made in due course.  Approval of Danakali's shareholders remains a further condition precedent, as previously announced.

For more information, please contact:

 

Danakali

 

Niels Wage

Chief Executive Officer

+61 8 6189 8635

Todd Romaine

Chief Sustainability Officer

+1 604 365 5999

Corporate Broker - Numis Securities

UK IR/PR - Instinctif Partners

John Prior / James Black / Paul Gillam

+44 (0)20 7260 1000

Mark Garraway / Dinara Shikhametova / Sarah Hourahane

[email protected]

+44 (0)207 457 2020

 

 

Visit the Company's website: www.danakali.com

Follow Danakali on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/danakali-limited

Subscribe to Danakali on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UChGKN4-M4lOvPKxs9b-IJvw

 

Announcement authorised for release by the Board of Danakali.

 

 

About Danakali

 

Danakali Limited (ASX: DNK, LSE: DNK) (Danakali, or the Company) is an ASX- and LSE-listed potash company focused on the development of the Colluli Sulphate of Potash Project (Colluli or the Project). The Project is 100% owned by the Colluli Mining Share Company (CMSC), a 50:50 joint venture between Danakali and the Eritrean National Mining Corporation (ENAMCO).

 

The Project is located in the Danakil Depression region of Eritrea, East Africa, and is ~75km from the Red Sea coast, making it one of the most accessible potash deposits globally. Mineralisation within the Colluli resource commences at just 16m, making it the world's shallowest known potash deposit. The resource is amenable to open cut mining, which allows higher overall resource recovery to be achieved, is generally safer than underground mining, and is highly advantageous for modular growth.

 

The Company has completed a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the production of potassium sulphate, otherwise known as Sulphate of Potash or SOP. SOP is a chloride free, specialty fertiliser which carries a substantial price premium relative to the more common potash type; potassium chloride (or MOP). Economic resources for production of SOP are geologically scarce. The unique composition of the Colluli resource favours low energy input, high potassium yield conversion to SOP using commercially proven technology. One of the key advantages of the resource is that the salts are present in solid form (in contrast with production of SOP from brines) which reduces infrastructure costs and substantially reduces the time required to achieve full production capacity.

 

The resource is favourably positioned to supply the world's fastest growing markets. A binding take-or-pay offtake agreement has been confirmed with EuroChem Trading GmbH (EuroChem) for up to 100% (minimum 87%) of Colluli Module I SOP production.

 

Development Finance Institutions, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank), have obtained formal credit approval to provide CMSC with US$200M in senior debt finance. The credit documentation was executed in December 2019, allowing drawdown of CMSC senior debt on satisfaction of customary conditions precedent. This represents the majority of funding required for the development and construction of the Colluli. AFC has also executed a Subscription Agreement to make a US$50M strategic equity investment in Danakali. The receipt of the first tranche of US$21.5M (A$31.8M) allowed commencement of the development.

 

Project execution has commenced and SOP production is expected during 2022. The Company's vision is to bring Colluli into production using the principles of risk management, resource utilisation and modularity, using the starting module (Module I) as a growth platform to develop the resource to its full potential.

 

Competent Persons Statement (Sulphate of Potash and Kieserite Mineral Resource)

 

Colluli has a JORC-2012 compliant Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 1,289Mt @11% K20 Equiv. and 7% Kieserite. The Mineral Resource contains 303Mt @ 11% K20 Equiv. and 6% Kieserite of Measured Resource, 951Mt @ 11% K20 Equiv. and 7% Kieserite of Indicated Resource and 35Mt @ 10% K20 Equiv. and 9% Kieserite of Inferred Resource.

 

The information relating to the Colluli Mineral Resource estimate is extracted from the report entitled "Colluli Review Delivers Mineral Resource Estimate of 1.289Bt" disclosed on 25 February 2015 and the report entitled "In excess of 85 million tonnes of Kieserite defined within Colluli Project Resource adds to multi agri-commodity potential" disclosed on 15 August 2016, which are available to view at www.danakali.com.au. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcement and, in the case of estimates of Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves, that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person's findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.

 

Competent Persons Statement (Sulphate of Potash Ore Reserve)

 

Colluli Proved and Probable Ore Reserve is reported according to the JORC Code and estimated at 1,100Mt @ 10.5% K2O Equiv. The Ore Reserve is classified as 285Mt @ 11.3% K2O Equiv. Proved and 815Mt @ 10.3% K2O Equiv. Probable. The Colluli SOP Mineral Resource includes those Mineral Resources modified to produce the Colluli SOP Ore Reserves.

 

The information relating to the January 2018 Colluli Ore Reserve is extracted from the report entitled "Colluli Ore Reserve update" disclosed on 19 February 2018 and is available to view at www.danakali.com.au. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcement and, in the case of estimates of Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves, that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person's findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.

 

Competent Persons Statement (Rock Salt Mineral Resource)

 

Colluli has a JORC-2012 compliant Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 347Mt @ 96.9% NaCl. The Mineral Resource estimate contains 28Mt @ 97.2% NaCl of Measured Resource, 180Mt @ 96.6% NaCl of Indicated Resource and 139Mt @ 97.2% NaCl of Inferred Resource.

 

The information relating to the Colluli Rock Salt Mineral Resource estimate is extracted from the report entitled "+300M Tonne Rock Salt Mineral Resource Estimate Completed for Colluli" disclosed on 23 September 2015 and is available to view at www.danakali.com.au. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcement and, in the case of estimates of Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves, that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person's findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.

 

AMC Consultants Pty Ltd (AMC) independence

 

In reporting the Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves referred to in this public release, AMC acted as an independent party, has no interest in the outcomes of Colluli and has no business relationship with Danakali other than undertaking those individual technical consulting assignments as engaged, and being paid according to standard per diem rates with reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. Therefore, AMC and the Competent Persons believe that there is no conflict of interest in undertaking the assignments which are the subject of the statements.

 

Quality control and quality assurance

 

Danakali exploration programs follow standard operating and quality assurance procedures to ensure that all sampling techniques and sample results meet international reporting standards. Drill holes are located using GPS coordinates using WGS84 Datum, all mineralisation intervals are downhole and are true width intervals.

 

The samples are derived from HQ diamond drill core, which in the case of carnallite ores, are sealed in heat-sealed plastic tubing immediately as it is drilled to preserve the sample. Significant sample intervals are dry quarter cut using a diamond saw and then resealed and double bagged for transport to the laboratory.

 

Halite blanks and duplicate samples are submitted with each hole. Chemical analyses were conducted by Kali-Umwelttechnik GmBH, Sondershausen, Germany, utilising flame emission spectrometry, atomic absorption spectroscopy and ion chromatography. Kali-Umwelttechnik (KUTEC) has extensive experience in analysis of salt rock and brine samples and is certified according by DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 by the Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAR). The laboratory follows standard procedures for the analysis of potash salt rocks chemical analysis (K+, Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Cl-, SO42-, H2O) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of the same samples as for chemical analysis to determine a qualitative mineral composition, which combined with the chemical analysis gives a quantitative mineral composition.

 

Forward looking statements and disclaimer

 

The information in this document is published to inform you about Danakali and its activities. Danakali has endeavoured to ensure that the information enclosed is accurate at the time of release, and that it accurately reflects the Company's intentions. All statements in this document, other than statements of historical facts, that address future production, project development, reserve or resource potential, exploration drilling, exploitation activities, corporate transactions and events or developments that the Company expects to occur, are forward looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements.

 

Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices of potash and, exploitation and exploration successes, capital and operating costs, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be evaluated, continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's filed documents.

 

There can be no assurance that the development of Colluli will proceed as planned. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking information. Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves have been reported according to the JORC Code, 2012 Edition. To the extent permitted by law, the Company accepts no responsibility or liability for any losses or damages of any kind arising out of the use of any information contained in this document. Recipients should make their own enquiries in relation to any investment decisions.

 

Mineral Resource, Ore Reserve, production target, forecast financial information and financial assumptions made in this announcement are consistent with assumptions detailed in the Company's ASX announcements dated 25 February 2015, 23 September 2015, 15 August 2016, 1 February 2017, 29 January 2018, and 19 February 2018 which continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects assumptions made.

 

No representation or warranty, express or implied, is or will be made by or on behalf of the Company, and no responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by the Company or its affiliates, as to the accuracy, completeness or verification of the information set out in this announcement, and nothing contained in this announcement is, or shall be relied upon as, a promise or representation in this respect, whether as to the past or the future. The Company and each of its affiliates accordingly disclaims, to the fullest extent permitted by law, all and any liability whether arising in tort, contract or otherwise which it might otherwise have in respect of this announcement or any such statement.

 

The distribution of this announcement outside the United Kingdom may be restricted by law and therefore any persons outside the United Kingdom into whose possession this announcement comes should inform themselves about and observe any such restrictions in connection with the distribution of this announcement. Any failure to comply with such restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any jurisdiction outside the United Kingdom.

 

 

1 Tranche 2 of AFC's equity funding consists of approximately 70 million new Danakali shares at an issue price of A$0.60 per share to raise A$42.0 million (US$28.5 million) as announced on 3 December 2019

2 Danakali's announcement on 10 December 2019


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