Big picture - Why invest in Tertiary Minerals plc
Tertiary Minerals plc Snapshot
The Company’s aim is to add value to the Group’s mineral projects through the discovery of mineral resources and to become a reliable long-term and competitive supplier of fluorspar to world markets.
The strategy is to acquire and develop large fluorspar deposits located to established infrastructure and markets in stable, democratic and mining friendly jurisdictions.
Large deposits are essential to support a long mine life and to provide for future expansion. Proximity to infrastructure is critical for the development of industrial mineral deposits as they tend to be niche developments that do not stand substantial infrastructure costs. Transport costs can be a significant part of the costs of fluorspar delivered to a customer and so proximity to markets is important, especially in periods of low prices and so the Company has deliberately sought out projects close to the major markets in Europe and North America.
Mineral development is a high-risk business and as a result Tertiary seeks projects in countries with low levels of corruption and political risk. This helps satisfy the Company’s potential customers’ needs to demonstrate that their fluorspar raw materials are ethically sourced with minimum chance of political interference or supply disruption.
The Group’s business model has established it as a successful, efficient and low costs explorer. The Company identifies mineral project opportunities through internal research and prefers to acquire its interests by licence of “open ground” from the relevant authority. This allows Tertiary to acquire 100% ownership of valuable assets often at minimal cost - as was originally the case for the Storuman and Lassedalen projects. In other cases, rights are negotiated rights from existing owners for initially low periodic payments that rise over time as confidence in the project value increases - as is the case for the recently acquired MB project in Nevada USA.
The Group seeks to run the Company with a low cost base in order to maximise the amount that can be spent on exploration and development as this is where value can be added. The Company has 5 full time employees including the two executive directors who work with and oversee a range of carefully selected and experienced consultants and contractors as and when work requires.
The administration costs are reduced through a management agreement with Sunrise Resources, where Tertiary is a substantial shareholder (as defined under the AIM Rules), and whereby Sunrise Resources share Tertiary’s office costs and staff costs.
The Company’s activities are financed through periodic capital raisings, through placings and other innovative equity based financial instruments. As the projects become more advanced the Board aims to secure at least some project funding from future customers via production sharing and other marketing arrangements should fluorspar supplies from traditional Chinese suppliers become harder to obtain.
STORUMAN FLUORSPAR PROJECT
The Company's 100% owned Storuman project is located in north central Sweden and is linked by the E12 highway to the port city of Mo-i-Rana in Norway and by road and rail to the port of Umeå on the Gulf of Bothnia. A recently constructed bulk rail terminal 25km from the project site is likely to become an important factor in the cost-effective delivery of fluorspar to the key European fluorspar market.
The Company reached a significant milestone with the Storuman project on 18 February 2016 when a 25 year Exploitation (Mine) Permit was granted by the Swedish Mining Inspectorate.
For full project details, please click here
LASSEDALEN FLUORSPAR PROJECT
The Company holds exploration permits at Lassedalen which grant exploration rights to claimable minerals (those with a specific gravity of 5g/cm3 or greater) and the Company has secured exploration rights for non-claimable minerals (which includes fluorspar, specific gravity 3.2) from private land and mineral owners under new mining legislation introduced in 2010.
The Lassedalen fluorspar deposit was mined on a small scale during World War II when it was developed to a depth of 40m below surface and fluorspar was mined from a 560m long drift for use in aluminium smelting. The mine was dewatered in the 1970s by Norsk Hydro A/S and 29 diamond drill holes were drilled at surface as well as a series of percussion drill holes underground.
This project has complementary characteristics to the Company’s Storuman Fluorspar Project where a positive scoping study has been completed.
The Lassedalen fluorspar project is located in Southern Norway, 80km southwest of Oslo and 5km southwest of the historic silver mining town of Kongsberg. The project is located adjacent to the E134 highway which connects the project to the sea port of Drammen 50km to the east.
For full project details, please click here
MB FLUORSPAR PROJECT, NEVADA
On 3rd September 2012, as part of its strategy to build and develop a portfolio of long-life, high value fluorspar resources in stable, democratic and mining friendly jurisdictions, Tertiary Minerals plc announced a lease agreement and option to acquire a group of mining claims in Nevada (“the MB Property”), western USA.
Historic exploration results define a major fluorspar deposit that, the Company believes, could have world class potential.
The US Government considers fluorspar to be a strategic mineral. There is a large market for fluorspar in the US and around the Pacific Rim, but currently no significant US production.
The MB Project claims are located 19km southwest of the town of Eureka in central Nevada. Eureka is on US Highway 50 and is the administrative centre for Eureka County which hosts a number of major mines including Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine and other major deposits such as General Moly’s Mt. Hope porphyry molybdenum development.
Nevada is long recognised as one of the most attractive mining jurisdictions in the world and The MB Project now comprises 146 contiguous unpatented mining claims covering an area of approximately 2,800 acres.
For full project details, please click here
ROYALTY INTEREST PROJECTS
Kiekerömaa and Kaaresselkä Gold Projects
Located in the Lappland Greenstone Belt in Northern Finland, the 840 ha Kiekerömaa project hosts gold mineralization over a strike length of 300 m. The prospect was discovered by the state mining company Outukumpu Oy in the late 1990s while exploring for base metals. Tertiary acquired the prospect in 2003 by staking and completed a small drill program in 2011. Historic drill intercepts from limited drilling by Otukumpu and Tertiary include 5.8 g/t Au over 5.0 m, 7.4 g/t Au over 2.0 m and 3.6 g/t Au over 4.6 m. The mineralization remains open in all directions.Kaaresselkä Project
Located approximately 20 Km to the east of Kiekerömaa Project, the 315 ha Kaaresselkä project comprises multiple shear zone hosted gold zones that are up to 16 m wide and 650 m long, adjacent to the Sirkka Shear Zone, a major regional deformation zone, that is host to more than 45 gold prospects. Multiple high grade drill intercepts including 11.0 g/t Au over 4.9 m, 13.5 g/t Au over 2.75 m, and 45.0 g/t Au over 2.0 m have been reported. Mineralization there was initially discovered by the geological survey of Finland (GTK) who subsequently did extensive geochemical and geophysical surveying, trenching and diamond drilling. Tertiary acquired the project by staking in 2003 and subsequently completed limited geochemical and geophysical surveys followed by drilling. No exploration has been conducted since 2004. All mineralized zones remain open along strike and down dip.Sale of the Projects and Retained Royalty Interest
In December 2016, the Company announced the sale of the Kaaresselkä and Kiekerömaa projects to TSX-V listed Aurion Resources Ltd, www.aurionresources.com. Aurion is a Canadian listed (TSX-V: AU) precious metals exploration company primarily focusing on the development of its Finnish gold projects, several of which are under a joint venture with B2Gold, a main listed (TSX:BTO,NYSE MKT:BTG) gold producer and developer, www.b2gold.com. The completion of the sale was announced in March 2017.Highlights of the Sale:
- £100,000 initial consideration was paid by Aurion: £15,000 in cash and £85,000 in Aurion shares
Tertiary retains a royalty interest in the projects:
- Pre-Production Royalty of US$1.00/ounce gold following the definition of a NI 43-101 (or equivalent) Code compliant Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate on either project
- Pre-Production Royalty of US$2.00/ounce gold following the definition of a NI 43-101 (or equivalent) Code compliant Indicated Mineral Resource Estimate on either project
- Pre-Production Royalty of US$3.00/ounce gold following the definition of a NI 43-101 (or equivalent) Code compliant Measured Mineral Resource Estimate on either project
- Net Smelter Returns Royalty (NSR) of 2% on all future gold production from either property
- Aurion can purchase 50% of the NSR from Tertiary for USD$1,000,000 at any time prior to commencement of commercial production on either project
Aurion has recently announced the discovery of a new bonanza gold zone, called Aurora at its 100% owned Risti project. The Kaaresselkä project is located in the same regional deformation zone to the south of Risti133 rock grab samples collected from predominantly large and angular sub-cropping quartz-tourmaline blocks assayed from nil to 1563.5 g/t Au, including 36 samples which assayed greater than 31 g/t Au (1 ounce per tonne). The average grade of all 133 samples is 74.3 g/t Au.
Further information can be viewed at:
The Rosendal claim is located in south-west Finland, on Kemiö Island and was originally discovered by the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK).
Tertiary has carried out a number of drilling programmes at Rosendal. CSMA Consultants Ltd completed an initial financial evaluation in 2002 as a part of the preliminary feasibility study. This work evaluated capital and operating costs for a contract mining operation feeding a gravity concentration plant producing 60,000 pounds of Ta2O5 in high-grade tantalite concentrates and a saleable feldspar concentrate. The capital cost for a plant treating 125,000 tonnes per annum was estimated at US$5.5 million.The basis for the CSMA study was an Inferred Mineral Resource block model compiled by SRK Consulting and estimated to contain 1.05 million tonnes at a mean grade of 255ppm Ta2O5.
The Rosendal pegmatite is currently open at depth and contains a number of higher grade zones with potential to meet the future requirements for a commercial operation.
The market for tantalum is tied to the market for tantalum capacitors which account for 80% of tantalum demand. Capacitors are an essential component controlling current flow in most electronic devices including mobile phones, DVDs, laptops, personal computers, videos and digital cameras. Capacitor manufacturers (such as AVX and Kemet Corporations) use high purity, high performance tantalum powders and tantalum wire supplied by processors of tantalum concentrates (such as H.C.Starck and Cabot Corporation) who buy raw materials including tantalum concentrates from miners worldwide.
Developments in tantalum capacitor technologies suggest that the use of tantalum capacitors will at least keep pace with its main rivals, ceramic and aluminium capacitors. For example, in automotive electronics, a growth market, the high temperature and high stress environment requires the high performance delivered by tantalum capacitors and in electronics generally the replacement of lead solders with alternative but higher melting point solders means that capacitors need to survive increasingly high temperatures, again favouring tantalum.
Ghurayyah is a world-class deposit containing valuable tantalum, niobium, rare-earths, zirconium and yttrium with a last estimated Inferred Mineral Resource of nearly 400 million tonnes grading 245 grammes/tonne (0.024%) tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5), 2,840 grammes/tonne (0.28%) niobium pentoxide (Nb2O5), 8,915 grammes/tonne (0.89%) zirconium oxide (ZrO2), and 1,270 grammes/tonne (0.13%) yttrium oxide (Y2O3).
Following on from favourable metallurgical testwork a Scoping Study for development of the Ghurayyah tantalum-niobium deposit in Saudi Arabia was completed in 2003 with positive results. The Study included financial modelling of a number of alternative processing flow sheets over an initial 20-year mine life with costs estimated to an accuracy of +/- 30%. On a 100% equity funded, un-escalated basis the four main flow sheets were all economically attractive. Each produced pre-tax Internal Rates of Return (IRR) in excess of 25% and Net Present Values (NPV) in the range $55-285 million using discount rates between 10 and 20%.
Following the successful Scoping Study further activities have been carried out as part of a Pre-feasibility study including further metallurgical testwork, an environmental scoping study, a location trade-off study and additional resource investigation work.
The process flowsheet being evaluated will consider the hydrometallurgical separation of the metals following flotation and magnetic separation of ore after crushing/grinding. Further processing of Niobium into Ferro-niobium remains the preferred route for this metal.
The conceptual mining rate is 1.52 million tonnes ore per annum over an initial 20 year period although at this rate the known resources should be sufficient for over 200 years of operations.
The project is being funded jointly by Tertiary (Middle East) Ltd together with the consortium of Saudi investors (AH Algosaibi Bros Co and Al Nahla Trading & Contracting Co).
At present work on the project is currently suspended pending the re-issue of an exploration license over the deposit in the names of Tertiary (Middle East) Ltd - a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company (50%); AH Algosaibi Bros Co (25%); Al Nahla Trading & Contracting Co (25%).
Board of Directors
Patrick Cheetham - Executive Chairman
Patrick Cheetham has a first class honours degree in Mining Geology from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, University of London. He is also a former winner of the Cominco (Europe) prize for mining geology. Patrick co-founded Archaean Gold N.L. in 1993 with his wife, Karen. At the 1995 "Diggers and Dealers" mining forum in Western Australia, Archaean Gold N.L. was awarded "Best Junior Explorer of the Year", and in July 1996 it was the subject of a successful $50 million takeover bid by Lachlan Resources NL. Prior to founding Archaean Gold, Patrick was, from 1986 to 1993 joint managing director of Dragon Mining NL, during which time he was responsible for the formation of that company, the identification of and acquisition of its exploration projects, its listing on the Australian Stock Exchange and the subsequent development of its exploration projects. Patrick operated a private mineral exploration company, Sovereign Mining Limited, in the UK from 1983 to 1985 and prior to that worked for Western Mining Corporation in Western Australia, and for Imperial Metals Corporation in British Columbia, Canada. He is also Chairman of Sunrise Resources plc.
Richard Clemmey – Managing Director
Richard is a Chartered Engineer with more than 20 years of mine/quarry development and management experience. A graduate of the Royal School of Mines in London, Richard spent the first 7 years of his career in the Middle East for Derwent Mining Ltd developing and managing a chromite mining business. On return to the UK Richard has held many senior positions including Operations Manager for Lafarge running their flagship industrial minerals operation in the north of England; General Manager for Hargreaves GB Ltd responsible for their quarrying and recycling operations and UK Operations Manager for Marshalls plc responsible for 8 quarrying operations. Richard returned back to the Middle East working as General Manager for CFE Rock managing their industrial minerals operations in Oman before joining Tertiary Minerals plc in September 2011. He was appointed by the Board to the position of Operations Director in May 2012 and became Managing Director in November 2013.
Donald McAlister - Non-Executive Director
Mr McAlister is a founding director of the Company and has 20 years’ experience in all financial aspects of the resource industry. He was until recently finance director of Ridge Mining plc. Prior to that he was finance director of Reunion Mining. Donald’s experience includes the economic evaluation of gold and base metal mines and the arranging of project finance for feasibility studies and mine developments. He is familiar with all financial aspects of resource companies including metal hedging, tax planning and economic modelling. He is currently finance director of Mwana Africa PLC.
David Whitehead - Non-Executive Director
Mr Whitehead is a mining geologist. He joined Tertiary in April 2002 on retiring as Vice-President, Integration, Exploration and Innovation at BHP Billiton Group Plc, having been with the Billiton Group since 1976. As Chief Executive, Exploration and Development of Billiton Plc from 1997, David created and introduced a market oriented and commercial approach to minerals exploration, involving the formation of strategic alliances with junior exploration companies. Following the merger of Billiton with BHP. David led the team responsible for the integration of the two companies’ exploration and development groups. He has a broad range of exploration and general mining and management skills. Mr Whitehead was until recently Chairman of ENK plc.
Colin Fitch MA, LLM, FCIS, Barrister-at- Law - Company Secretary
Colin Fitch is a Barrister-at-Law, and was previously Corporate Finance Director of Kleinwort Benson, Partner and Head of Corporate Finance at Rowe & Pitman (SG Warburg Securities) and Assistant Secretary at the London Stock Exchange. He has also held a number of non-executive directorships of public and private companies, including Merrydown Plc, African Lakes and Manders plc. Since retiring from full time work he is currently non-executive director of African Lakes and was until recently Company Secretary of both Ridge Mining plc and Cluff Gold. He is currently also Company Secretary for Sunrise Resources plc.
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