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Monday 01 April, 2019

Mineral & Financial

Investment Update

RNS Number : 6780U
Mineral & Financial Invest. Limited
01 April 2019
 

MINERAL AND FINANCIAL INVESTMENTS LIMITED INVESTMENT UPDATE: 2019 LAGOA SALGADA EXPLORATION PROGRAM ANNOUNCED

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

·     Micon delivers the final draft of the Resource Update to Redcorp.

·     Ascendant has approved a 2019 exploration program totaling US$5.2M on Lagoa Salgada.

·     The 2019 drill program will be 15,175m, and increase of 114% over the 2018 program.

·     ASND's financial results in 2018 were good, despite volatile metal prices.

·     ASND's has announced to 2 funding transactions which could generate up to US$50M without diluting shareholders equity of Ascendant.

 

GEORGE TOWN CAYMAN ISLANDS, April 1, 2019 - Mineral and Financial Investments Limited (LSE-AIM: MAFL) ("M&FI" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on its investments in Redcorp Empreendimentos Mineiros Lda. (Redcorp), Lagoa Salgada and Ascendant Resources ("Ascendant"; ASND:CN). Micon International Limited ("Micon") has submitted its final draft of the Resource Update report dated March 27, 2019, authored by Charley Muhrahwi, M.Sc. P.Geo.. Pr.Sci.Nat., FAustIMM, to Redcorp. A copy of the full report will be published on the M&FI website. The content and conclusions of the report are unchanged from the summary provided in an MAFL RNS issued on February 13, 2019.

 

Additionally, Ascendant has informed M&FI of its planned and approved work program on Lagoa Salgada for 2019. The program, which was recently approved by Ascendant's Board, calls for gross exploration expenditures of US$5.2M (net US$4.3M) in 2019 on the Lagoa Salgada project.  The 2019 program will include 15,175m of borehole drilling, spread over 37 holes. Additionally, the exploration program will include an Induced Polarity Study (IP) totaling 2,250 line/km, a Soil Gas Survey, and a metallurgical test program. The 2019 work program also plans to include a Preliminary Economic Assessment Study (PEA), as defined by the Canadian National Instrument 43-101. 

 

The Micon study also included the following recommended the following work program budget:

 

Proposed Budget for the Lagoa Salgada Project for 2019-2020

 

Item

Cost (US$)

Metallurgical Tests

150,000

Diamond Drilling (37 holes, 15,175 m)

4,612,460

Geophysics and Structural Interpretation

259,070

Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA)

150,000

Total

5,171,530

 

Jacques Vaillancourt, M&FI's Chairman stated - "We continue to be highly satisfied with the partnership with Ascendant Resources. The expected progress to be made on Lagoa Salgada in 2019 should eclipse what was achieved in 2018. Moreover, we had hoped for a 10,000m to 12,000m program in 2019, and are over the moon with the plans for a 15km drilling program. This decision is further validation and support by Ascendant's board for our optimism for the Lagoa Salgada project."

 

M&FI also owns 2.05M shares of Ascendant Resources, representing 2.66% of Ascendant Resources issued common share capital. The 2018 full year financial results of ASND were negatively impacted by the weakness in Zinc prices which declined around US$1.50 /lb to $1.05/lb in the first half of 2018 and only partly recovered these price declines in the second to close 2018 out at about US$1.15/lb. Nevertheless, ASND's full Zinc Equivalent production was up 38% to 91.4M/lbs, and it's annual revenues were up 45% to US$85.62M. Its full year adjusted EBITDA was US$13.5M, net income was US$3.01M. Its full year cash operating costs declined to 24.8% to US$0.79/lb. These results are highly creditable, particularly in light of the volatile metal price environment in 2018.

 

Ascendant has put forward the following guidance and outlook for 2019:

 

Contained Metals in Concentrate:

2019

2018

Zinc Equiv. Metal

90M to 110M lbs.

91.4M/lbs.

Zinc

65M to 75M lbs.

62.6M/lbs.

Lead

21M to 26M lbs.

21.8M/lbs.

Silver

850,000 to 1,200,000 oz

1,001,000oz

Direct Operating Costs:

US$70 to US$80/tonne

US$78/tonne

Capital Expenditures:

US$15M to $20M

US21.9M

 

One of the numerous reasons for which were attracted to investing in, and working with, Ascendant was the management's attention to creating shareholder value through operational efficiency and minimizing shareholder dilution. During the last month ASND has announced two funding initiatives which should provide US$42.5M (and up to US$50M) of capital to Ascendant on what the Directors believe are reasonable terms. The first is a proposed US$35M 7-year project loan facility, subject to due diligence, from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to finance the expansion of ASND's El Mochito Mine in Honduras. The second is the sale of a Silver Stream with Maverix Metals Inc. The silver stream is on 22.5% of ASND's silver production for $7.5 million, which is expected to represent 2% of ASND's total projected revenue for 2019.

 

With the sale Maverix will make an upfront payment of US$7.5 million dollars to Ascendant for the right to purchase 22.5% of the life of mine payable silver production from the company's El Mochito mine in Honduras.  In addition to the initial payment, Ascendant will be entitled to an ongoing payment of 25% of the value of the corresponding portion of payable silver priced at the lesser of the average silver price during the preceding month or the price of silver at the time of delivery. The Agreement includes a step-down option whereby the stream percentage will be reduced from 22.5% down to 20% upon certain production milestones being met.  Upon the satisfaction of additional conditions, a mechanism exists to increase the value of the stream with an additional upfront payment of US$7.5 million for the right to purchase a combined total of 40% of the life of mine payable silver production from El Mochito under similar commercial terms. In this case, the stream percentage will be reduced to 30% once Maverix has purchased a cumulative total of 3,000,000 ounces of silver. The above two financing deals relate to Ascendant and not directly to Lagoa Salgada.

 

A summary of the Lagoa Salgada Mineral Resource Estimates - Effective Feb. 8, 2019, which was announced by M&FI on 13 Feb 2019, is set out in Tables below:

Lagoa Salgada

Total Mineral Resource Estimate

LS North, Central & South

@ Cut-off: Zn-Eq ≥ 3.00%

 

Category

Gross to Redcorp*

Net Attributable to MAFL (through 100% ownership of TH Crestgate)**

All Zones

Tonnes (,000)

ZnEq Grade (%/t)

Contained Metal Tonnes***

Tonnes (,000)

Grade (%/t)

Contained Metal Tonnes

Measured

1,761

11.02

194,062.2

1,320.75

11.02

145,546.6

Indicated

6,082

7.61

462,840.2

4,561.5

7.61

347,130.2

M + I

7,843

8.38

656,902.4

5,882.25

8.38

492,676.8

Inferred

12,823

6.37

816,825.1

9,617,250

6.37

612,618.8

Total

20,666

7.13

1,473,727.5

15,499,500

7.13

1,105,295.6

Source: The Mineral Resource Estimate was prepared by Micon International Limited

* Subject to Final Approval by Portuguese Secretary of State of EDM's sale of 15% of Lagoa Salgada to Redcorp;
**Current Redcorp Ownership: TH Crestgate 75%, Ascendant 25%
*** Contained Metal Calculation: Tonnes x Grade

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Grade

 

Category

Min

Zones

Tonnes

Zn-Eq

Cu

Zn

Pb

Sn

Ag

Au

 

 

 

 

%

%

%

%

%

g/t

g/t

 

North

Zone

Measured

Total

1,761

11.02

0.38

3.09

3.19

0.15

62.41

0.84

 

Indicated

Total

4,293

8.71

0.47

2.18

2.22

0.12

58.73

0.54

 

M + I

Total

6,054

9.38

0.44

2.44

2.50

0.13

59.80

0.63

 

Inferred

Total

7,847

7.43

0.31

1.90

2.22

0.07

50.34

0.58

 

South

Zone

Indicated

SW2

1,789

4.99

0.58

1.88

0.95

0.00

24.33

0.07

 

Inferred

SW2

3,899

4.50

0.52

1.65

0.89

0.00

22.36

0.06

 

Central Zone

Inferred

Total

1,078

5.41

0.11

0.17

0.06

0.00

12.15

2.89

 

 

 

Mineral Resource Estimate

 

The Mineral Resource Estimate was prepared by Micon International Limited. The effective date of this Mineral Resource Estimate is February 8th, 2019, and it is based on 3 contiguous areas (North, Central and South zones) of Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide ("VMS") style mineralization defined by 50 diamond drill holes up to December 31st, 2018. 3D solid models of sulphide mineralization reflecting a minimum grade of 3% ZnEq. Leapfrog Geo 4.4.2 software was used to assign block grades for copper (%), zinc (%), lead (%), tin (%), silver (g/t), gold(g/t) and density (g/cm3) for Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources using ordinary kriging interpolation methodology and capped 2-metre hole assay composites. Up to four interpolation passes were applied using progressively increasing ellipsoid ranges to cover the range of 3D solid model sizes present. Block size is 5 m across strike (x) by 10 m along strike (y) by 5 m vertically (z). Mineral Resource categorization was applied using geometric criteria, i.e. spacing between drill holes/assay composites.

The new technical Report is being prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") and the CIM Standards for mineral disclosure by Micon. This Technical Report will be filed on M&FI's internet site within 45 days of this press release.

 

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

 

Analytical work was carried out ALS Laboratories. Drill core samples were prepared in ALS Lab, in Seville, Spain. Pulp samples were then sent to their analytical Laboratory in Ireland, for analysis. The core samples are analyzed for gold (ppm) by fire assay (Au‐AA25), and for the other elements by Multi element analysis of base metal ores and mill products by optical emission spectrometry using the Varian Vista inductively coupled plasma spectrometer (ME-ICPORE). Samples from the Main Resource, LS_MS_DH ID, are also assayed for Tin (Sn) by ICP-AES after Sodium Peroxide Fusion (Sn-ICP81x).

 

ALS Laboratories has routine quality control procedures which ensure that every batch of samples includes three sample repeats, two commercial standards and blanks. ALS Laboratories is independent from Ascendant. Ascendant used standard QA/QC procedures, when inserting reference standards and blanks, for the drilling program.

 

Qualified Persons

The scientific and technical information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by References in this announcement to exploration results and resource updates have been approved for release by Joao Barros, BSc (Engineering), MSc (Geology), who has more than 15 years of relevant experience in the field of activity concerned. Mr. Barros is a Member of the Portuguese Engineers Association. Mr. Barros is employed by Redcorp Empreedimentos Mineiros, Lda., a 75% owned subsidiary of M&FI, and has consented to the inclusion of the material in the form and context in which it appears.

 

About Ascendant Resources Inc.

 

Ascendant is a Toronto-based mining company focused on its 100%-owned producing El Mochito zinc, lead and silver mine in west-central Honduras and its high-grade polymetallic Lagoa Salgada VMS Project located in the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt in Portugal.

 

After acquiring the El Mochito mine in December 2016, Ascendant spent two years implementing a rigorous and successful optimization program restoring the historic potential of El Mochito, a mine in production since 1948, to deliver record levels of production with profitability restored. The Company now remains focused on cost reduction and further operational improvements to drive robust profitability in 2019 and beyond. With a significant land package of approximately 11,000 hectares in Honduras and an abundance of historical data, there are several near-mine and regional targets providing longer term exploration upside which could lead to further Mineral Resource growth.

 

Ascendant holds an interest in the high-grade polymetallic Lagoa Salgada VMS Project located in the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt in Portugal. The Company is engaged in exploration of the Project with the goal of expanding the already-substantial defined Mineral Resources and testing additional known targets. The Company's acquisition of its interest in the Lagoa Salgada Project offers a low-cost entry point to a potentially significant exploration and development opportunity. The Company holds an additional option to increase its interest in the Project upon completion of certain milestones.

 


For further information please contact:

James Lesser

Mineral & Financial Investments Limited

Chief Operating Officer

Tel: +44 777 957 7216

 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Katy Mitchell and Jessica Cave, WH Ireland Limited                     +44 161 832 2174

Jon Belliss, Novum Securities Limited                                          +44 207 399 9400

James Lesser, Mineral & Financial Investments Ltd.                       +44 777 957 7216

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TECHNICAL GLOSSARY

Mineral Resources: Mineral Resources are sub-divided, in order of increasing geological confidence, into Inferred, Indicated and Measured categories. An Inferred Mineral Resource has a lower level of confidence than that applied to an Indicated Mineral Resource. An Indicated Mineral Resource has a higher level of confidence than an Inferred Mineral Resource but has a lower level of confidence than a Measured Mineral Resource.

Measured Mineral Resource: The part of a mineral resource for which quantity, grade or quality, etc., are so well established that they can be estimated with confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical parameters to support production planning and evaluation of economic viability.

Inferred Mineral Resource: The part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity.

Indicated Mineral Resource      : The part of a mineral resource for which quantity, grade, quality, etc., can be estimated with a level of confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and economic parameters, to support mine planning and evaluation of economic viability.

Mt:             Million tonnes

ZnEq:        Zinc Equivalent

Zn:             Zinc

Cu:            Copper

Pb:             Lead

Sn:             Tin

Ag:             Silver

Au:             Gold

NI 43-101 National Instrument: 43-101 Canadian Standard if reporting incorporates Canadian Institute of Mining standards.

Cut Off grade: Cut-Off grade is the minimum grade required in order for a mineral or metal to be economically mined.

IP: Induced Polarisation - Induced electrical polarization is manifested either by a decay of voltage in the Earth following the cessation of an excitation current pulse, or by a frequency dependence of the apparent resistivity of the Earth.

Anomaly: Any derivation from the norm. In mineral exploration, one is mainly concerned with anomalies in the geophysical and geochemical character of rocks, tills, soils, water or unconsolidated sediment in streams or lakes sediments. Anomalies are classed as positive or negative.

Kriging: In statistics, originally in geostatistics, kriging or Gaussian process regression is a method of interpolation for which the interpolated values are modeled by a Gaussian process governed by prior covariances.

Gossan: an iron-containing secondary deposit, largely consisting of oxides and typically yellowish or reddish, occurring above a deposit of a metallic ore.

PPM: Parts per million

Stockwork:       In geology, a stockwork is a complex system of structurally controlled or randomly oriented veins. Stockworks are common in many ore deposit types and in greisens. They are also referred to as stringer zones.

VMS: Volcanognic Massive Sulphide. VMS type of metal sulfide ore deposit, mainly copper-zinc which are associated with and created by volcanic-associated hydrothermal events.

QA/QC: Quality Control and Quality Assurance, a set of defined procedures in all aspects of the mineral deposit evaluation to ensure the best possible confidence in resultant mineral Resource and Reserve estimates are achieved; the quality of an estimate is dependent on the quality of the data used

Soil sampling: A rapid chemical analysis to access available nutrient status of the soil and includes interpretation, evaluation and fertilizer recommendation based on the result of chemical analysis and other considerations.


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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