Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure
Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.
31 March 2020
Strategic Minerals plc
("Strategic Minerals" or the "Company")
Cobre Operations Uninterrupted By Partial Lockdown in New Mexico, USA
Strategic Minerals plc (AIM: SML; USOTC: SMCDY), a producing mineral company actively developing projects prospective for battery materials, wishes to confirm that operations at the Cobre magnetite stockpile have been unaffected by the recent decision of the state of New Mexico, USA to undertake a partial lockdown in response to the threat of Covid-19.
The movement of the magnetite material is considered an essential service and, as such, operations associated with it are exempt from conditions required during the partial lockdown.
Apart from essential service nature of operations, our wholly owned subsidiary, Southern Minerals Group (SMG), has 4 employees operating on site which is less than the state mandated 5 maximum employees for non-essential service organisations.
In line with its exemplary safety record, SMG has adopted recommended social distancing and has placed the safety of its employees as its paramount goal.
Commenting, John Peters, Managing Director of Strategic Minerals, said:
"Operations at Cobre in the first quarter of 2020 have continued in line with historical seasonal patterns and sales volumes have been in line with expectations. More detailed figures will be provided in the Company's quarterly update to be released by during April.
Whilst the progress of Leigh Creek's application to the South Australian government for a program for environment protection and rehabilitation is likely to be slowed, the fundamentals of the Company remain unchanged with tight cash control and continuing low overheads being combined with sustained revenues from Cobre.
We are fortunate that the current crisis has had little effect on the Company."
Notes to Editors
Strategic Minerals plc is an AIM-quoted, operating minerals company actively developing projects prospective for battery materials. It has an operation in the United States of America and Australia along with development projects in the UK and Australia. The Company is focused on utilising its operating cash flows, along with capital raisings, to develop high quality projects aimed at supplying the metals and minerals being sought in the burgeoning electric vehicle/battery market.
In September 2011, Strategic Minerals acquired the distribution rights to the Cobre magnetite tailings dam project in New Mexico, USA, a cash-generating asset, which it brought into production in 2012 and which continues to provide a revenue stream for the Company. This operating revenue stream is utilised to cover company overheads and invest in development projects orientated to supplying the burgeoning electric vehicle/battery market.
In January 2016, the portfolio was expanded with the acquisition of shares in Central Australian Rare Earths Pty Ltd, which holds tenements in Western Australia prospective for cobalt, nickel sulphides and rare earth elements. The Company has since acquired all shares in Central Australian Rare Earths Pty Ltd. In September 2018, the Company entered contracts for the sale of certain CARE tenements identified as gold targets.
In May 2016, the Company entered into an agreement with New Age Exploration Limited and, in February 2017, acquired 50% of the Redmoor Tin/Tungsten project in Cornwall, UK. The bulk of the funds from the Company's investment were utilised to complete a drilling programme that year. The drilling programme resulted in a significant upgrade of the resource. This was followed in 2018 with a successfully completed 12-hole 2018 drilling programme, and which resulted in a resource update, that was announced in February 2019. In March 2019, the Company entered into arrangements to acquire the balance of the Redmoor Tin/Tungsten project. This was completed on 24 July 2019.
In March 2018, the Company completed the acquisition of the Leigh Creek Copper Mine situated in the copper rich belt of South Australia and brought the project into production in April 2019.