Matamec completes Feasibility Study and provides update on heavy rare earth JV with Toyota
September 18, 2013 – Tracy Weslosky, Publisher of InvestorIntel interviews André Gauthier, President and CEO of Matamec Explorations Inc. (TSXV: MAT | OTCQX: MHREF) and discusses the company’s recently released Feasibility Study (with $2.55 billion in projected revenues), the details of Matamec’s Kipawa JV Heavy Rare Earths Project with Toyota, future corporate milestones, and — with millions in the company treasury — Matamec’s strategy moving forward. Matamec’s primary focus is developing the Kipawa Heavy Rare Earths Deposit with JV partner, Toyota in Quebec.
Weslosky starts: I’m here today with the President and CEO of Matamec Explorations, André Gauthier. André, how are you today?
AG: Very well, Tracy, and with good news announced to our investors and shareholders.
TW: Good news I think is a major understatement. You’ve just announced your completion of your Feasibility Study and I couldn’t help but notice the $2.55 billion for projected revenues.
AG: Yes, it’s good revenue. What’s very important with our Feasibility Study is the revenue, but it’s also the economics of the project. The most important point to note is that compared with the Preliminary Economic Assessment (the PEA), we increased the CAPEX by 18% and we’ve decreased the OPEX by 13%.
TW: The catalyst for doing this was your JV deal with Toyota. Can you tell some of our audience that may not be familiar with you – our dark horse from Quebec – about your JV deal with Toyota?
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AG: Matamec’s JV with Toyota was signed in July of 2012 and it’s with Toyota Tsusho Corp., a subsidiary of Toyota Motors. We signed that joint-venture agreement with Toyota because it’s a big player in the global rare earths market. Toyota is one of the biggest car manufacturers and they use a lot of rare earths. As such, the JV with Toyota is very important for our company.
TW: Recently you announced that you’re doing a buy in with Canada Strategic Metals Inc. for 6,000 hectares in Northern Quebec, is that correct Andre?
AG: The first project we optioned to another company is the Sakami gold project. We are currently in discussions with other companies regarding our other assets. Because we are a small company, we don’t have the funds to explore too many projects. We are concentrating our efforts on rare earths with our Kipawa JV Heavy Rare Earth Project with Toyota (the Kipawa deposit of the Zeus property, 100% owned by Matamec) and on two other projects — and that’s very exciting for our shareholders and investors. We have our flagship project with the Kipawa JV, but we have other very good assets and we can increase the value of the company with those assets also.
TW: You recently announced your Q2 financial results and Matamec’s net loss was down almost 20% from the previous year. Can you explain to our viewers and, perhaps, give some advice to other CEOs on how you managed to keep such a good budget?
AG: Per our agreement with Toyota, most of our technical team are on the payroll of the Kipawa JV. That’s important to understand. A lot of expenses are on the budget of the Feasibility Study.
TW: Based on my review of your latest earnings, your cash-flow situation is good, plus you’re looking at another $3.5 million in reimbursed tax credits, is that correct? What is your cash position right now?
AG: The current assets, including cash and the tax credits from the Quebec government, is around $4 to $4.5 million presently. That’s very good for us and we’ll continue to increase the current assets, but it’s very nice to have a good cash position. This allows us to continue our activities and to ensure that, for example, the Kipawa JV project will keep on track to construction.
TW: Can you just sum up your next benchmarks that all of us interested and following Matamec should anticipate; say for the end of the year and into the new year?
AG: We have to complete our social impact environmental study, plus the second pilot plant this fall. The next big news is coming after the second pilot plant and also the result of the (environmental) impact study.
TW: Andre, congratulations on your Feasibility Study and thank you for joining me today.
AG: Thank you so much, Tracy. You do a very good job for the Rare Earth industry.
Disclaimer: Matamec Explorations Inc. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel.
An accomplished entrepreneur and corporate finance professional, Tracy Weslosky is the CEO for InvestorIntel Corp. and the VP of Business Development for Bellotti Capital Partners ... <Read more about Tracy Weslosky>