leadf
logo-loader
RNS
viewBerkeley Energia Ltd

Berkeley Energia - Quarterly Report June 2020

RNS Number : 5438U
Berkeley Energia Limited
30 July 2020
 

BERKELEY ENERGIA LIMITED

NEWS RELEASE | 30 July 2020

Quarterly Report June 2020

 

Summary:

·     Permitting Update:

The Company's focus continues to be on progressing the approvals required to commence construction of the Salamanca mine and bring it into production.

The Company continued to engage with the relevant authorities in a collaborative manner to facilitate the timely resolution of the pending approvals required to commence construction of the mine.

The Company's Spanish executives and advisors have met and continued to have constructive dialogue with officials from the Nuclear Safety Council ("NSC"), the Federal Government, the Regional Government of Castilla y Leon and the Municipality of Retortillo, as well as other key stakeholders, during the quarter.

In late March, the Company formally submitted the updated official documentation in relation to the Authorisation for Construction ("NSC II") to the NSC. During the quarter, the Company held a number of teleconference meetings with the NSC technical team to discuss and clarify minor queries on the updated documentation. The Company also provided written responses and/or additional technical information to the NSC when requested. The next step in the process is for the NSC technical team to finalise its report and submit it to the NSC Board for ratification.

In late July, the NSC issued a favourable report for the extension of the validity of the Initial Authorisation ("NSC I"). NSC I was granted in September 2015, with a 5-year validity period. The next step is for the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge ("MITECO") to approve this authorisation and set its duration period.

With regard to the Urbanism Licence ("UL"), the Ministry of Environment and Development of the Regional Government of Castilla y León informed the Municipality of Retortillo and the Company in March that the previously granted Authorisation of the Exceptional Land Use, a prerequisite for the award of the UL, remains fully valid and enforceable. This resolution allows the Municipality of Retortillo to advance the processing of the Company's UL application. The Company has met with the relevant officials of the Municipality of Retortillo during the quarter to ensure that they have all the required information to be able to award the UL.

·     Uranium Market:

During the quarter, the uranium spot price rose to a high of US$33.40 per pound and currently stands at US$32.20 per pound which represents a year to date price increase of ~30%.

Uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 impacts to the nuclear fuel supply chain continued, with supply disruptions being experienced by a number of major uranium producers including Kazatomprom (Kazakhstan operations), Cameco (Cigar Lake mine), CNNC (Rössing mine) and Swakop Uranium (Husab mine).

Analysts expect further tightening of market conditions as the current structural supply deficit in the global uranium market is exacerbated by these, and possible other, COVID-19 supply disruptions. The current market uncertainty is also expected to heighten concerns about the security of future supply and continued upward movement in the spot price may be a trigger for increased term market activity.

·     COVID-19:

During the quarter, the Spanish Government declared that the National 'State of Alarm' relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began on 14 March, would end on 21 June with its borders reopening to Europe and free movement being allowed within the country.

Towards the end of July, Spain began experiencing another surge in COVID-19 cases, with spikes in new daily infection rates forcing the Government to reinstate both voluntary guidelines and mandatory restrictions and place parts of the country, particularly in the north-eastern region of Catalonia, under temporary lockdown again.

All of the Berkeley team based in Spain are safe and well. Consistent with current Government guidelines, the Company has maintained a 'work from home' policy. Subject to the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and related Government policy and guidelines, it is expected that the team will recommence working from the Madrid and Retortillo offices following the end of the European summer.

Despite the Spanish Government suspending the term of all administrative and legal proceedings while the 'State of Alarm' was active, the Spanish Administration was still functioning during this time and Berkeley was able to maintain regular communication with the relevant officials from the NSC and the federal, regional and local governments to ensure the permitting processes continued to advance.

 

For further information please contact:

Robert Behets                                                Franciso Bellón        

Acting Managing Director                                 Chief Operations Officer

+61 8 9322 6322                                             +34 91 555 1380

info@berkeleyenergia.com

 

Project Update:

The Salamanca mine is being developed to the highest international standards and the Company's commitment to health, safety and the environment remains a priority. It holds certificates in Sustainable Mining (UNE 22470-80), Environmental Management (ISO 14001), and Health and Safety (OHSAS 18001) which were awarded by AENOR, an independent Spanish government agency.

During the quarter, planning continued in advance of the annual internal and external audits of the Company's Sustainable Mining and Environmental Management Systems which are scheduled to take place in the coming months.

The annual evaluation of Environmental Aspects ("EA"), which was completed during the quarter, highlighted that significant reductions had been achieved in a number of target areas, including a 38% reduction in fuel consumption, a 48% reduction in printer toner consumption, and a 85% reduction in fluorescent residue. New targets have been set for 2020-21, with a focus of further reducing the consumption of electricity, water, paper and printer toner. 

As part of its commitment to Sustainable Mining, the Company has commenced a Life Cycle Analysis of its operational processes, in order to determine the environmental impact of the products associated with these processes from their origin (raw materials) through to the end of their useful life. During the quarter, this initiative has focused on the analysis of the environmental impact of carbon dioxide ("CO2") emissions generated by exploration drilling activities.

To facilitate an enhanced understanding of the environmental impact of CO2 emissions and to determine which phase/activity of the life cycle is responsible for generating the most CO2 emissions, a series of graphics providing visual representation of the information were designed during the quarter.

 

The determination and quantification of the direct environmental aspects derived from the consumption of raw materials and the production of waste that occurs during the different phases of the life cycle of exploration drilling activities was also completed.

The Company continued the migration its Health and Safety Management System from OHSAS 18001 to its replacement standard, ISO 45001, a process which is targeted for completion in the second half of 2020. As part of this process, an internal audit is planned for the first week of August, and the external audit (by AENOR) for the first week of September.

The monitoring programs associated with the NSC approved pre-operational Surveillance Plan for Radiological and Environmental Affections and pre-operational Surveillance Plan for the Control of the Underground Water continued during the quarter.

Permitting Update:

The Company continues to engage with all relevant authorities in a collaborative manner in order to facilitate the timely resolution of the pending approvals required to commence construction of the Salamanca mine.

During the quarter, the Company's Spanish executives and advisors have met with (via teleconference calls or in person once COVID-19 restrictions were lifted) and had constructive dialogue with relevant officials from the NSC, the Federal Government, the Regional Government of Castilla y León, the Municipality of Retortillo, and other key stakeholders.

As previously reported, at the request of the NSC, Berkeley consolidated the Company's responses to all of the NSC's technical queries into the official documentation, expanded the description of some sections (e.g. waste management, analysis of potential accidents, environmental radiological impact assessment, hydrological modelling), and formally submitted the updated official documentation to the NSC at the end of March.

During the current quarter, the Company held a number of meetings with the NSC technical team to discuss and clarify minor queries on the updated documentation. The Company has also provided written responses and/or additional technical information to the NSC when requested.

The next step in this process is for the NSC technical team to finalise their report and submit it to the NSC Board for approval. Once approved by the NSC Board, the NSC report and recommendation which is 'compulsory and binding on radiological matters' is provided to MITECO, who is the substantive authority responsible for the granting NSC II.

In late July, the NSC issued a favourable report for the extension of the validity of NSC I for the process plant as a radioactive facility at the Salamanca project. NSC I was granted by the then Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism in September 2015, with a 5-year validity period. The favourable report issued by NSC considered that the circumstances and characteristics of the process plant are the same as those contained in the Initial Authorisation issued in 2015. The next step is for the MITECO to approve this authorisation and set its duration period.

With regard to the award of the UL, the Municipality of Retortillo and the Company were informed by the Ministry of Environment and Development of the Regional Government of Castilla y León in March that the previously granted Authorisation of the Exceptional Land Use (a prerequisite for the award of the UL) remains fully valid and enforceable. This resolution by the Minister of Environment and Development allows the Municipality of Retortillo to advance the processing of the Company's UL application. The Company has met with the relevant officials of the Municipality of Retortillo during the quarter to ensure that they have all the required information to be able to award the UL, and to demonstrate that the application fulfils all technical and legal requirements.

The Company will continue to maintain a consistent approach, ensuring that the project complies with all applicable laws and regulations, as it progresses the approvals required to commence construction of the Salamanca mine and bring it into production.

Uranium market:

Uranium spot price continues to rise on uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 impacts to the nuclear fuel supply chain.

COVID-19 related supply disruptions have been experienced by a number of major uranium producers, including by Kazatomprom (Kazakhstan operations), Cameco (Cigar Lake mine), CNNC (Rössing mine) and Swakop Uranium (Husab mine). As a result, the uranium spot price increased to a high of US$33.40 per pound during the quarter and currently stands at US$32.20 per pound, representing a year to date increase of ~30%.

Analysts expect further tightening of market conditions as the current structural supply deficit in the global uranium market is exacerbated by these, and possible other, COVID-19 supply disruptions.

The current market uncertainty is also expected to heighten concerns about the security of future supply. Continued upward movement in the spot price may be a trigger for increased term market activity. Nuclear fuel buyers for utilities typically look to secure contracts a minimum of two years ahead of use. With a number of contracts dropping off from 2021, buyers may step into the market, providing another possible prop to uranium prices. 

COVID-19:

During the quarter, the Spanish Government declared that the National 'State of Alarm' relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began on 14 March, would end on 21 June with its borders reopening to Europe and free movement being allowed within the country.

Towards the end of July, Spain began experiencing another surge in COVID-19 cases, with spikes in new daily infection rates forcing the Government to reinstate both voluntary guidelines and mandatory restrictions and place parts of the country, particularly in the north-eastern region of Catalonia, under temporary lockdown again.

Specifically, with regard to Berkeley, all of its Spanish team are safe and well. Consistent with current Government guidelines, the Company has maintained its 'work from home' policy. Subject to the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and related Government policy and guidelines, it is expected that the Berkeley team will recommence working from the Madrid and Retortillo offices following the end of the European summer.

Despite the Spanish Government suspending the term of all administrative and legal proceedings while the 'State of alarm' was active, the Spanish Administration was still functioning during this time and Berkeley and its advisors were able to maintain regular communication with the NSC, federal, regional and local government officials, and other key stakeholders, to ensure the permitting processes continued to advance.

Balance Sheet:

The Company is in a strong financial position with A$92 million in cash.

 

Forward Looking Statements

Statements regarding plans with respect to Berkeley's mineral properties are forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that Berkeley's plans for development of its mineral properties will proceed as currently expected. There can also be no assurance that Berkeley will be able to confirm the presence of additional mineral deposits, that any mineralisation will prove to be economic or that a mine will successfully be developed on any of Berkeley mineral properties. These forward-looking statements are based on Berkeley's expectations and beliefs concerning future events.  Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Berkeley, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Berkeley makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this announcement, to reflect the circumstances or events after the date of that announcement.

This announcement has been authorised for release by Mr Robert Behets, Director.

To view the full report including all figures and illustrations, please visit https://www.berkeleyenergia.com/investor-relations/company-reports/.

Appendix 1: Summary of Mining Tenements

As at 30 June 2020, the Company had an interest in the following tenements:

Location

Tenement Name

Percentage Interest

Status

Spain




Salamanca

D.S.R Salamanca 28 (Alameda)

100%

Granted


D.S.R Salamanca 29 (Villar)

100%

Granted


E.C. Retortillo-Santidad

100%

Granted


E.C. Lucero

100%

Pending


I.P. Abedules

100%

Granted


I.P. Abetos

100%

Granted


I.P. Alcornoques

100%

Granted


I.P. Alisos

100%

Granted


I.P. Bardal

100%

Granted


I.P. Barquilla

100%

Granted


I.P. Berzosa

100%

Granted


I.P. Campillo

100%

Granted


I.P. Castaños 2

100%

Granted


I.P. Ciervo

100%

Granted


I.P. Dehesa

100%

Granted


I.P. El Águila

100%

Granted


I.P. El Vaqueril    

100%

Granted


I.P. Espinera

100%

Granted


I.P. Horcajada

100%

Granted


I.P. Lis

100%

Granted


I.P. Mailleras

100%

Granted


I.P. Mimbre

100%

Granted


I.P. Oñoro

100%

Granted


I.P. Pedreras

100%

Granted


E.P. Herradura

100%

Granted


I.P. Conchas

Application

Pending

Cáceres

I.P. Almendro

100%

Granted


I.P. Ibor

100%

Granted


I.P. Olmos

100%

Granted

Badajoz

I.P. Don Benito Este

100%

Granted


I.P. Don Benito Oeste

100%

Granted

                                                                      

No tenements were acquired or disposed of during the quarter ended 30 June 2020. There were no other changes to beneficial interest, acquired or disposed of, in any mining tenements due to farm-in or farm-out agreements.

Appendix 2: Related Party Payments

During the quarter ended 30 June 2020, the Company made payments of $172,029 to related parties and their associates. These payments relate to existing remuneration arrangements (director and consulting fees plus statutory superannuation).


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 rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.
 
END
 
 
TSTKKKBPDBKKKON

Quick facts: Berkeley Energia Ltd

Price: 32.5

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £84.05 m
Follow

Create your account: sign up and get ahead on news and events

NO INVESTMENT ADVICE

The Company is a publisher. You understand and agree that no content published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is...

FOR OUR FULL DISCLAIMER CLICK HERE