EDITOR: | September 24th, 2013

Rare Earth Minerals PLC: Unaudited Interim Results

| September 24, 2013 | No Comments
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September 24, 2013 (Source: Rare Earth Minerals PLC) — Rare Earth Minerals plc (AIM: REM.L), the rare earth minerals and metals projects investment company, announces its unaudited interim results for the six month period ending 30 June 2013.

First Half Highlights

  • Signed an agreement with listed Canadian company Bacanora Minerals (BCN.V) to participate in drilling and project evaluation of the 34 square kilometre El Sauz and Fleur Concessions in northern Mexico, taking an initial 10% stake.
  • Raised £400,000 in a placing to pay for drilling and exploration commitments on the El Sauz and Fleur Lithium Project.
  • Applied with the Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum in Greenland for a strategic 38 square kilometres mineral exploration licence for rare earth minerals.

Post First Half Highlights

  • Exercised the Company’s option to acquire a further 20% holding in the Fleur-El Sauz Lithium Project, increasing its interest from 10% to 30%.
  • Issued a maiden resource estimate at the Fleur-El Sauz Lithium Project with an initial inferred resource of 1.78 million tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE), from 153.8 million tonnes grading 1.09% LCE at a 1,000 ppm Lithium cut.
  • Joint-venture partner Bacanora Minerals Ltd. (BCN.V) secured additional concessions that have increased its area of mineral rights around the Fleur-El Sauz Lithium Project by 60%.
  • Completed a 58% partial close of the existing equity swap agreement with YA Global Master SPV, Ltd raising £2.16 million for the Company, without issuing any further equity.
  • Government of Greenland approves the license to explore for rare earth minerals at the 38 sq. km mineral exploration adjacent to the Kvanefjeld rare earth element, uranium and zinc deposit.
  • A significantly larger Stage 2 drilling programme has been commissioned on the joint venture lands of the Lithium Project in Mexico, and detailed metallurgical test work has commenced to determine the economic parameters for a Preliminary Economic Assessment.

Financial & Corporate

  • Cash at bank and cash equivalents of approximately £2.4m as at 24 September 2013.
  • Pre-tax group loss for the period of £323,000 (30 June 2012: loss of £356,000)
  • In September 2013, Donald Strang was appointed Finance Director; Kiran Morzaria was appointed CEO and Richard Griffiths stepped down from the board.

Targets to the end of 2013

  •  Publish the NI 43-101 resource on Fleur-El Sauz.
  • Continued drilling on Fleur -El Sauz to increase the overall Lithium resource.
  • Establish the metallurgical characteristics of the Lithium bearing clays.
  • Publish a Preliminary Economic Evaluation on Fleur-El Sauz.
  • Plan a detailed exploration programme in Greenland for Spring 2014.
  • Assess further investment opportunities.

David Lenigas, Executive Chairman commented:

“We have made enormous progress this year, particularly at the Fleur-El Sauz Lithium Project in Northern Mexico. We strongly believe, based on the drilling results to date, that the Project has the potential to become one of the world’s foremost lithium resources. Metallurgical test work has started as a precursor to a major second stage drilling programme for which we have already pre-paid. We expect to produce a Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Project by end of 2013.

“This is without doubt one of the most exciting minerals projects that my management team has been involved with and we look forward to reporting further progress in the months ahead.”

REVIEW OF COMPANY INVESTMENTS FOR THE PERIOD:

Lithium Joint Venture, Mexico

  • In February 2013, the Company advised that it had signed an agreement with listed Canadian company Bacanora Minerals Ltd (“Bacanora”) to participate in drilling and project evaluation of the extensions of its new 60 million tonne La Ventana high grade Lithium discovery in northern Mexico. The farm-in licences cover the 34 square kilometre El Sauz and Fleur concessions (“Concessions”) adjacent to and along strike from Bacanora’s  La Ventana discovery. The La Ventana discovery is stated by Bacanora to contain 930,000 tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) in the 60 Million Tonnes of ore.
  • Lithium is the lightest of the alkali metals and has unique electrochemical properties that make it the element of choice in batteries of high energy storage capacity as well as a host of other industrial and health applications.
  • Bacanora announced on 25 January 2013 the results of a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) on its adjacent La Ventana Lithium Project in Sonora, Mexico. In addition, Bacanora announced a total estimated inferred resource for the La Ventana Project of 60 million tonnes averaging 3,000 ppm Li (1.6%  Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (‘LCE’) or 930,000 tonnes LCE . The Net present value (“NPV”) of that Project, at an 8% discount rate, was $US848 million, assuming an output of 35,000 tonnes of battery grade Lithium Carbonate over a 20 year open pit life with an average Lithium Carbonate price of $US6,000/tonne for the life of the mine.

In May 2013, the Company signed formal Farm-in agreements which the key terms are:

REM will earn an initial 10% interest in Bacanora’s 100% owned subsidiary, MEXILIT SA de CV (“MEXILIT”), that will hold the Concessions by making an upfront cash payment of $250,000 and providing another $500,000 to the Company in two installments, to be used for exploration and drilling on the Concessions and delivered in full no later than 4 weeks after drilling starts.

Following completion of the above, REM shall have an option to increase its interest in the Company’s subsidiary to 30% by providing written notice of exercise, together with delivery of an additional cash payment of $500,000 and thereafter depositing a further $1,000,000 within 6 months of exercise of this option, which funds shall be used for drilling and exploration expenditures on the Concessions.

Following completion of the prior two stages, REM will thereafter have an exclusive option to negotiate terms to increase interest in the subsidiary holding the Concessions from 30% to a maximum of 49.9%.

In September 2013, the Company advised it had increased its equity in MEXILIT to 30% following completion of the additional payments totalling $1.5 million

Fieldwork commenced in March 2013 and initial drilling results were very encouraging.  In August 2013 final drill results were announced following which a Maiden Lithium Resource Estimate was released on 29 August 2013.

REM received the results for a maiden inferred lithium resource estimate for the Fleur and El Sauz concessions (the “Concessions”) in northern Mexico from Bacanora. A summary of the inferred lithium resources estimated for the Joint Venture lands are shown below, the deposit identified to date remains open on strike to the south and depth, down dip to the east.

 

Table 1.                Summary of gross inferred resources estimated for El Sauz & Fleur Concessions

(note: REM’s beneficial interest of these inferred resources is 30%)

  Grade  
Cut-off

(ppm Li)

True1Thickness (m) Tonnage4 Li ppm Li2O2% LCE3% Tonnes of LCE
Upper Clay            
1,000 18.30 57,700,000 1,381 0.30 0.74 427,000
2,000 6.80 20,060,000 2,748 0.59 1.46 293,000
3,000 8.10 9,846,000 3,398 0.73 1.81 178,000
Lower Clay
1,000 27.60 96,103,000 2,526 0.54 1.35 1,297,000
2,000 14.70 68,211,000 3,278 0.71 1.75 1,193,000
3,000 24.00 44,083,000 4,030 0.87 2.15 948,000
Combined Clay Units
1,000 45.90 153,806,940 2,052 0.44 1.09 1,782,000
2,000 21.50 88,271,000 3,163 0.68 1.68 1,486,000
3,000 32.10 53,929,000 3,922 0.84 2.09 1,126,000

Notes:

1) True thickness is estimated to be 94% of drill intercepts.

2) Li2O = lithium oxide and is determined by multiplying Li value in percent by 2.153 to get an equivalent Li2O value in percent

3) LCE = lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) Equivalent: determined by multiplying Li value in percent by 5.324 to get an equivalent Li2CO3value in percent. Use of LCE assumes 100% recovery and no process losses in conversion of Li to Li2CO3.

4) It should be noted that figures expressed above are gross figures. The Concessions are the subject of a joint venture between REM and Bacanora, pursuant to which REM has an option to earn up to a 49.9% interest in the Concessions. To date, REM has earned a 10% interest in the Concessions and has provided notice of its intention to exercise its option to increase its interest in the Concessions to 30%.  REM’s interest is set out in table 2, below.

5) Bacanora Minerals Ltd. is the operator of the Concessions

6) As previously announced, REM has exercised its option over 30% interest in the Concessions.

With Lithium Carbonate currently trading around US$5,000 – 6,000 a tonne, this resource estimate implies a potentially significant in-ground value.  Further drilling over the next 6 months is planned to test for further resources, as the Lithium bearing clays in the deposit identified to date remain open on strike to the south and to depth, down dip to the east.

The recently completed drilling campaign on the Joint Venture lands tested a 4 kilometre strike length of the lithium-bearing volcanic-sedimentary succession, which remains open down dip and to the east as well as on strike to the south. A relatively high-grade portion of the deposit underlies the northern 2.7 kilometres of the area tested and, at a cut-off of 3,000 ppm Li, contains 53,929,000 tonnes averaging 3,922 ppm Li (2.09% LCE). It adjoins and is the southward extension of Bacanora’s La Ventana Li Deposit, situated immediately to the north, which contains an NI 43-101 compliant inferred lithium resource of 60 million tonnes averaging 3,000 ppm Li (1.6% LCE).

On 4 September 2013, the Company announced that additional concessions, contiguous with the existing Fleur and El-Sauz concessions the (“Existing Concessions”) that contain the Fleur-El Sauz Lithium deposit in northern Mexico, have been staked and mineral rights secured. The acreage under the Joint Venture has as a result been increased by approximately 60% from 3,305 hectares to 5,325 hectares.

The new total of 5,325 hectares of concessions, are the subject of a joint venture between Bacanora and REM, pursuant to which REM has given notice to increase its interest in the joint venture from 10% to 30% and has a first right of refusal to negotiate a deal to further increase its interest in the joint venture to 49.9%.

These new concessions cover strategic ground to the east and north of the Existing Concessions where it is believed that the Lithium-bearing clay units within the Existing Concessions identified by the stage 1 drilling programme may extend down-dip and eastward.

On 13 September 2013, the Company announced that:

·           a significantly larger Stage 2 drilling programme has been commissioned on the Concessions and
will comprise a programme nearly three times larger than the initial Stage 1 drilling programme
used to define the initial maiden resource; and

·           a detailed metallurgical test work had also commenced to assist with determining the economic
parameters for a Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”).

The Stage 2 programme will consist of a series of diamond drill holes totalling some 3,000 to 3,500 metres. The drilling is designed to not only infill the known mineralisation into better defined categories under the NI 43-101 reporting standards, but is also designed to test for extensions of the deposit, both down dip to the east and along strike to the south, as the deposit remained open in both of these directions. Surface mapping over recent weeks has identified the further potential to extend the lithium-bearing clays by approximately 2km along strike to the south-east from the previously identified mineralisation and some of this potential will be tested in the upcoming drill programme.

Drilling contracts have now been awarded for initially one drill rig with additional rigs available from the contractor, if required, in order to meet a planned timeframe of approximately 6 months for the Stage 2 programme. Drilling crews are already on site assessing the task and are planning for a drilling start sometime in the next few weeks.

Samples of diamond drill core, from the initial Stage 1 diamond drill programme were assayed by ALS Chemex as will be samples from Stage 2. Sample rejects from both Stage 1 and 2 will be dispatched to Inspectorate International Limited, a leading independent multinational group with capabilities in an extensive range of commodities that provides independent inspection, sampling and testing services to many business sectors. This metallurgical test work will provide estimates of potential lithium recoveries and an assessment of processing methods suitable for the extraction of lithium from the Project.  The work will provide the basis for estimating treatment plant capital and operating costs necessary for building a financial model for an initial PEA of the Concessions. An initial PEA is expected to be available over the coming months.

Rare Earth Concessions, Greenland

The Company continues to maintain its 100% holding of 3 exploration licences in Greenland. On 10 September 2013, the Company advised it had been awarded a further licence 2013/20 for a strategic 38 square kilometre area which is approximately 500 metres from the licence area owned by Greenland Minerals and Energy (ASX: “GGG”) which hosts the substantial Kvanefjeld rare earth element, uranium and zinc deposit.

Kvanefjeld plus two other of GGG’s associated deposits in the Ilimaussaq Complex have JORC compliant Inferred and Indicated resources that total 956 Mt at 1.08% total rare earth oxides, 273 ppm U3O8 and 2,351 ppm Zn at a cut-off grade of 150 ppm U3O8.  The project is currently undergoing a feasibility study for development of the Kvanefjeld deposit.

The Company is assessing its development options for these licences.

Other investments

The Company continues to maintain its 30% interest in the Yangibana rare earth project (“the Project”) situated in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. REM has a free-carry interest during the initial exploration stage.

Hastings Rare Metals Limited is the manager of the Project and holds a 60% interest. The Project has the potential to increase possible resources by additional drilling along strike in the oxide zone at selected sites and at depth in the as yet largely untested primary zone of the dykes. The ironstone dykes at Yangibana are the weathered surface expressions of ferro-carbonatite dykes which along with the associated fenitic alteration are considered to be sourced from an as yet undiscovered carbonatite intrusion which might have significant rare earth potential.

In September 2013, the Company announced the following further investments:

–      Bacanora is a TSX-V listed company exploring for and developing industrial mineral resources in Mexico with a primary focus on Borates and Lithium.  It is the joint venture partner of REM in the Fleur-El Sauz Lithium project (the “Joint Venture”).  REM has an interest of approximately 0.90% in the issued share capital of Bacanora, acquired at a cost of $0.25 million.  This interest, when aggregated with REM’s 30% direct interest in the Joint Venture, results in a total economic interest in the Joint Venture of 30.63%

 

–      Western Lithium is a TSX-V listed company whose principal project is the Kings Valley, Nevada lithium carbonate deposit.  REM has an interest of approximately 1.75% in the issued share capital of Western Lithium, acquired at a cost of $0.51 million.

Funding

On 6 March 2013, the Company raised gross proceeds of £400,000 in a placing to investors of 666,666,667 new ordinary shares of 0.01p each in the Company at 0.06p per share, together with a 0.5 warrant for each Placing Share subscribed, each warrant entitling the holder to subscribe for one ordinary share in the Company at 0.06p per share before 30 June 2014.

On 17 June 2013, the Company entered into a £300,000 Placing Agreement and, separately, a £150,000 Equity Swap Agreement with YA Global Master SPV, Ltd. (“YAGM”). YAGM has subscribed for a total of 666,666,666 new ordinary shares of 0.01p each in the Company at 0.045p per share and therefore for a gross £300,000 in aggregate. £150,000 was paid immediately to REM by YAGM and REM was to receive an additional £12,500 per month for a 12 month period.  On 9 September 2013, the Company announced it had completed a 58% partial close of the existing Equity Swap agreement with YAGM, due to the rapid rise in the Company’s share price, and received a cash payment of approximately £2.16 million. The balance of the Swap will provide additional funding to the Company over the 12 months beginning December 2014.

On 22 August 2013, the Company raised gross proceeds of £750,000 in a placing to investors of 150,000,000 new ordinary shares of 0.01p each in the capital of the Company at a placing price of 0.5 pence per Share together with a warrant for every two Placing Shares subscribed, each warrant entitling the holder to subscribe for one Share at a price of 0.5 pence per Share before 31 August 2014.

The Board believes the Company is sufficiently funded at present. It has fully paid for its 30% farm-in to the Mexico Joint Venture project and currently has approximately £2.4 million in cash and cash equivalents which places the Company in a very sound financial position.

David Lenigas

Executive Chairman

RARE EARTH MINERALS PLC

STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 JUNE 2012

  Notes Unaudited Period ended 30 June 2013   Unaudited Period ended 30 June 2012   Audited Year ended  31 December 2012
    £’000   £’000   £’000
             
Administrative expenses   (275)   (356)   (789)
             
Total administrative expenses   (275)   (356)   (789)
Loss from operations   (275)   (356)   (789)
             
Loss on sale of available for sale investments   (48)     (184)
Loss before taxation   (323)   (356)   (973)
             
Taxation      
             
Loss after taxation and loss attributable to the equity holders of the Company   (323)   (356)   (973)
             
Other comprehensive income            
Exchange differences on translating foreign operations   (52)   (2)   (22)
Transfer to income statement of available for sale asset reserve   47       115
Decrease in value of available for sale asset       (49)   (25)
Other comprehensive income for the period net of tax   (5)   (51)   68
             
Total comprehensive expenditure for the period   (375)   (407)   (905)
             
Loss per share            
Basic and diluted (pence per share) 3 (0.01)   (0.02)   (0.07)

RARE EARTH MINERALS PLC

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY

FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 JUNE 2013

    Share capital Share premium account Share-based payment reserve Available for sale asset reserve Exchange reserve Retained earnings Total equity
    £’000 £’000 £’000 £’000 £’000 £’000 £’000
                 
Balance at 1 January 2012   561 6,866 626 (137) 25 (6,064) 1,877
Share based payments   25   25
Transactions with owners                 –                 – 25                   –                   –               – 25
Foreign exchange   (2) (2)
Decrease in value of available for sale asset   (49) (49)
Loss for the period   (356) (356)
Total comprehensive loss for the period                 –                 –               – (49) (2) (356) (407)
Balance at 30 June 2012 (unaudited)   561 6,866 651 (186) 23 (6,420) 1,495
Issue of share capital   67 335 402
Share issue costs   (3) (3)
Share based payments   61 61
Transactions with owners                67              332              61                   –                   –               –              460
Foreign exchange   (20) (20)
Transfer to income statement                  115 115
Decrease in value of available for sale asset                    24 24
Loss for the period   (617) (617)
Total comprehensive loss for the period                 –                 –               – 139 (20) (617) (498)
Balance at 31 December 2012 (audited)   628 7,198 712 (47) 3 (7,037) 1,457
Issue of share capital   133 567 700
Share issue costs     (11)   (11)
Share based payments   9 9
Transactions with owners          133              556 9                   –                   –               –              698
Foreign exchange   (52) (52)
Transfer to income statement   47 47
Loss for the period   (323) (323)
Total comprehensive loss for the period                 –                 –               – 47 (52) (323) (328)
Balance at 30 June 2013 (unaudited)   761 7,754 721                   – (49) (7,360) 1,827

 

RARE EARTH MINERALS PLC

STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION

AS AT 30 JUNE 2013

    Unaudited   Unaudited   Audited
   30 June 2013    30 June 2012   31 December 2012
           
Assets Notes £’000   £’000   £’000
             
Non-current            
Intangible assets   806   1,049   879
Available for sale assets     299   35
Total non-current assets   806   1,348   914
             
Current assets            
Trade and other receivables   1,137   251   489
Cash and cash equivalents   6   1   176
Total current assets   1,143   252   665
             
Total assets   1,949   1,600   1,579
             
EQUITY AND LIABILITIES            
             
Current liabilities            
Trade and other payables   122   105   122
Total current liabilities and total liabilities   122   105   122
             
             
             
Equity            
Share capital 4 761   561   628
Share premium   7,754   6,866   7,198
Share based payment reserve   721   651   712
Available for sale asset reserve     (186)   (47)
Exchange reserve   (49)   23   3
Retained earnings   (7,360)   (6,420)   (7,037)
             
Total equity and liabilities            
to owners of the company   1,827   1,495   1,457
             
Total equity and liabilities   1,949   1,600   1,579
             

RARE EARTH MINERALS PLC

CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOW STATEMENT

FOR THE PERIOD 30 JUNE 2013

 

    Unaudited Period ended   Unaudited Period ended   Audited Year ended
    30 June 2013   30 June 2012   31 December 2012
             
    £’000   £’000   £’000
Cash flows from operating activities            
Loss after tax   (275)   (356)   (789)
Amortisation of intangibles   29   29   57
Equity settled share-based payments   9   25   86
(Increase)/decrease in trade and other receivables   (648)   15   (151)
Increase in trade and other payables     64   81
Net cash outflow from operating activities   (885)   (223)   (716)
             
Cash flows from investing activities            
Investment in exploration   (8)   (49)  
Sale of AFS asset   34   30   250
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from investing activities   26   (19)   250
             
Cash flows from financing activities            
Proceeds from issue of share capital   700     402
Share issue costs   (11)     (3)
Net cash inflow from financing activities                           689     399
             
Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents   (170)   (242)   (67)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period   176   243   243
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period   6   1   176

NOTES TO THE INTERIM REPORT

FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 JUNE 2013

1 BASIS OF PREPARATION

The interim financial statements have been prepared in accordance with applicable accounting standards and under the historical cost convention.  The financial information set out in this interim report does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in section 434 of the Companies Act 2006. The Group’s statutory financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2012 have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The auditor’s report on those financial statements was unqualified.

The principal accounting policies of the Group are consistent with those detailed in the 31 December 2012 financial statements, which are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs), as adopted by the European Union.

GOING CONCERN

The Directors have prepared cash flow forecasts for the period ending 30 September 2014. The forecasts demonstrate that the Group has sufficient funds to allow it to continue in business for a period of at least twelve months from the date of approval of these financial statements. Accordingly, the accounts have been prepared on a going concern basis.

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING ESTIMATES AND JUDGEMENTS

Estimates and judgements are continually evaluated and are based on historical experience and other factors, including expectations of future events that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances.

The Group makes estimates and assumptions concerning the future. The resulting accounting estimates will, by definition, seldom equal the related actual results

2 SEGMENTAL REPORTING

An operating segment is a distinguishable component of the Group that engages in business activities from which it may earn revenues and incur expenses, whose operating results are regularly reviewed by the Group’s chief operating decision maker to make decisions about the allocation of resources and assessment of performance and about which discrete financial information is available.

The chief operating decision maker reviews financial information for and makes decisions about the Group’s performance as a whole. The Group has not actively traded during the period.

Subject to further acquisitions the Group expects to further review its segmental information during the forthcoming financial year.

3 LOSS PER SHARE

The calculation of the loss per share is based on the loss attributable to ordinary shareholders divided by the weighted average number of shares in issue during the period.

  Unaudited   Unaudited   Audited
  six months ended   six months ended   year ended
  30 June 2013   30 June 2012   31 December 2012
  £’000   £’000   £’000
           
Loss on ordinary activities after tax (£’000) (323)   (356)   (973)
           
Weighted average number of shares for calculating basic loss per share   2,544,558,276     1,443,619,050     1,480,231,072
           
Basic and diluted loss per share (pence) (0.01)   (0.02)   (0.07)

The share options are anti-dilutive, as a consequence of the loss for the period.

4 SHARE CAPITAL

  Unaudited   Unaudited   Audited
30 June 2013   30 June 2012   31 December 2012
  £’000   £’000   £’000
Allotted, issued and fully paid          
173,619,050 deferred shares of 0.24p (30 June and 31 December 2012: 173,619,050) 417   417   417
3,446,952,382 ordinary shares of 0.01p (30 June 2012: 1,443,619,050, 31 December 2012: 2,113,619,050)                       344                         144                         211
                        761                         561                         628

 


Raj Shah

Editor:

Raj Shah has professional experience working for over a half a dozen years at financial firms such as Merrill Lynch and First Allied Securities Inc., ... <Read more about Raj Shah>


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