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Strategic Minerals - Leigh Creek Copper Mine Project Update

RNS Number : 6532X
Strategic Minerals PLC
01 September 2020

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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.


1 September 2020

Strategic Minerals plc

("Strategic Minerals" or the "Company")

Leigh Creek Copper Mine Project Update


Strategic Minerals plc (AIM: SML; USOTC: SMCDY), a producing mineral company actively developing projects prospective for battery materials, announces that the planned lodgement by Leigh Creek Copper Mine ("LCCM") of updated information to accompany the draft Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation ("PEPR") with the South Australian government has been delayed by a few weeks so as to upgrade the submission to a full PEPR application.

Previously, the Board had reported that it expected to provide updated requested information to the South Australian government in a draft form by the end of August.  However, after reviewing the information provided, and in consultation with the relevant government department it was decided to delay a few weeks and lodge the information as a full PEPR application. The Company's consultants have recommended this approach and the Company was encouraged as it opens the way for a PEPR approval before the end of the year, subject to internal South Australian government processes.

During the Company's current endeavours to secure project level funding for LCCM, it received feedback from potential investors in relation to its feasibility study analysis and, in particular, a request to update the likely capital cost of developing the Lynda/Lorna Doone deposit, scheduled to commence during the third year of operations. The Lynda/Lorna Doone deposit is located approximately 70km north of the Paltridge North deposit and was included in the feasibility study announced in November 2019.  The proposed funding of the development of Lynda/Lorna Doone is intended to be sourced out of project cash flows.

The Company is currently organising an independent third party, familiar with this operation, to provide the update on the likely capital cost of developing Lynda/Lorna Doone.  Additionally, the Company has taken the opportunity to, in light of its operating experience, fine tune some of the key assumption variables of the feasibility study, which are focused on further enhanced expected profitability.  LCCM is also assessing the use of a mini Solvent Extraction Electronic Winning (SX-EW) plant process at site which has the potential to produce LME grade copper cathode for direct to market sale.

Whilst copper prices exhibited a significant downturn during the first half of 2020, prices have recovered substantially to above pre-covid levels and are currently higher than US$3.00/lb which is a 2 year high.

It is the intention of the Board to provide the market an update on the financial analysis shortly after receiving the capital cost review.

Commenting, John Peters, Managing Director of Strategic Minerals, said:

"The Company continues to move the Leigh Creek Copper Mine forward with an expectation of operations commencing early 2021, subject to finance. This is likely to lead to significant cash flows during 2021.

At the same time, the Company is actively seeking funding to enable the early 2021 commencement of production and continues to review the planned operations to maximise returns from the project."


For further information, please contact:

Strategic Minerals plc

+61 (0) 414 727 965

John Peters

Managing Director




[email protected]

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SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP

+44 (0) 20 3470 0470

Nominated Adviser and Broker


Ewan Leggat


Charlie Bouverat



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 12-hole 2018 drilling programme has now been completed and the resource update that resulted 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 temporarily brought the project into production in April 2019. Recommencement of full scale processing is expected in 2021.

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Quick facts: Strategic Minerals PLC

Price: 0.381

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £6.61 m

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