DAN: TSX-V (Canada)
JE9N: FSE (Germany)
DRRSF: OTC (USA)
SAGUENAY, QC, March 20, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Arianne Phosphate (the "Company" or "Arianne") (TSXV: DAN) (OTC: DRRSF) (FRANKFURT: JE9N), a development-stage phosphate mining company, advancing the Lac à Paul project in Quebec's Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, reported its financial results for both the three and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2019. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless noted.
"The fourth quarter was a strong finish to what was a very good year," said Brian Ostroff, Chief Executive Officer of Arianne Phosphate. "During the quarter, Arianne was able to conclude two offtake agreements that, not only demonstrate commercial interest in our product but, at premium prices that account for the high-quality nature of our concentrate. As well, during the quarter, approval was received for a maritime facility on the north shore of the Saguenay River which, will allow for global shipping of our product. These two major events, coupled with our other accomplishments throughout the year, are the milestones needed to advance our shovel-ready project through the financing stage and interest many of the strategic players that we are talking to."
2018 Financial and Operational Highlights
- In March 2018, the Company announced that it has received an investment from the Government of Quebec by way of private placement of $1,407,000 into the common shares of Arianne. Under the terms of the offering, the Company issued 2,333,333 units at a price of $0.63 per unit. Each unit is comprised of one common share and one half of one common share purchase warrant. Each warrant entitles its holder to purchase one common share at a price of $0.85 per share until March 14, 2021.
- In March 2018, the Company announced, the start of research and development work to integrate aluminum in the design of the trailer that will transport the phosphate concentrate from the Lac à Paul mine to the deep-water port that will be located in Sainte-Rose-du-Nord. The work will be done by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Alcoa Innovation. In order to carry out this major work, Arianne will be able to rely on confirmed financial support from the Centre québécois de recherche et de développement de l'aluminium (CQRDA) and the Société de la vallée de l'aluminium.
- In April 2018, the Company announced that it received a grant of $1.5 million from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Quebec. This funding has been provided as part of the Government's plan to help advance the Quebec phosphate (apatite) sector. Arianne will be using this funding in support of its previously announced program to produce additional high-purity phosphate concentrate to fulfil demand from potential customers and, to conduct further pilot-scale tests. The tests will be conducted at COREM (Research Consortium for the Treatment and Processing of Mineral Substances) in Quebec City, where the Company conducted its previous pilot-scale tests, and, materials will be sent to parties that have expressed a strong interest in pursuing some form of offtake and/or a strategic partnership with Arianne.
- In August 2018, the Company announced it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") for the supply of sulphuric acid. Aside from phosphate rock, a phosphoric acid plant would also require a supply of sulphuric acid that could be consistently delivered in timely fashion. It is on this basis that Arianne has entered into an MoU with a large marketer of sulphuric acid. This agreement will allow the Company to work with a strong industry player that can provide the venture ongoing guidance on sulfuric acid pricing, logistics and industry supply/demand trends; all necessary aspects in determining the project's viability.
- In August 2018, the Company announced that it has partnered with the Province of New Brunswick to further its review of constructing a phosphoric acid plant in Belledune, New Brunswick. As part of this agreement, the Government, through Opportunities New Brunswick ("ONB"), will provide a financial contribution toward the cost of a prefeasibility study, the next step in Arianne's assessment of its downstream opportunity.
- In September 2018, the Company announced the formal execution of its first offtake agreement. Under the terms of the Agreement, the buyer has entered into a long-term contract to purchase Arianne's high-purity phosphate concentrate which, will be shipped to the buyer's processing plant for further processing into downstream phosphate products. The offtake agreement also has a mechanism whereby it can be extended beyond the initial contract period and applies pricing that accounts for the high quality of Arianne's concentrate.
- In October 2018, the Company announced that the Port of Saguenay received a favorable decision with regards to the construction of a maritime terminal facility on the north shore of the Saguenay River. Granted by the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, the Honorable Catherine McKenna, this decision now paves the way forward for the construction of a terminal that will allow for the shipping of Arianne's phosphate concentrate to customers around the world. In light of this announcement, the Company determined that the technical feasibility and commercial viability of the Lac à Paul property had been established and, accordingly, the Company reclassified capitalized costs associated with the Lac à Paul property from exploration and evaluation assets and mining properties to mineral property under development within property, plant and equipment.
- In December 2018, the Company extended its secured credit facility with Mercury which will now have a maturity of June 30, 2020. These credit facilities will continue to bear interest at an annual rate of 15%, with all interest capitalized through maturity. The Company has also issued Mercury 22,417,458 non-transferable warrants with an exercise price of $0.425 per share. The warrants are exercisable through June 30, 2020. As required under the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange, 17,338,739 non-transferable warrants originally issued to Mercury have been cancelled as a result of the new extension.
- Arianne has also closed on an unsecured loan in the aggregate amount of $1.5 million with third party lenders. This loan will bear interest at a rate of 12% per annum and mature on December 19, 2019. In conjunction with the loan, Arianne issued the lenders 2,117,646 non-transferable warrants at an exercise price of $0.425 per share, exercisable until December 19, 2019.
- In December 2018, Arianne announced its second formal offtake agreement for the purchase and marketing of its high-purity phosphate concentrate. Under the terms of the agreement, the buyer has a commitment to purchase a specific annual quantity of phosphate concentrate and, has been granted an option to purchase additional amounts under certain terms and conditions.
Arianne is a development-stage company and, as such, did not generate revenue or positive cash flow in 2018. In the fourth quarter and full-year period ended December 31, 2018, the Company incurred respective net losses of $0.5M and $1.9M, compared to $1.0M and $3.4M in the comparable periods in 2017. The Company's net loss and cash burn are consistent with other development stage mining companies.
The decrease in net loss over the last 2 years is explained by internal work made toward the project finance and secure off-take agreements. During the past year the Company recorded a deferred income tax recovery of $0.08M compared to a deferred income tax recovery of $0.66M in 2017.
On December 31, 2018, the Company had $2.07M cash on hand. These funds will be allocated towards general working capital and advancing development of the Lac à Paul project in 2019. Based on current spending estimates for future project development, Arianne anticipates it will need additional financing before the end of 2019.
In 2019, Arianne will be focused on the ongoing advancement and development of its Lac à Paul project. Expected milestones include:
- Complete partnership and financing arrangements;
- Continue to enhance the value of the project through project optimization;
- Continue our ongoing dialogue with Stakeholders.
Arianne's Management Discussion and Analysis and Financial Statements for the three- and twelve-month period ended December 31, 2018, are available on the Company's website and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Jean-Sébastien David, P.Geo., Qualified Person by NI 43-101, has approved this release. Mr. David is also the Company's Chief Operating Officer.
About Arianne Phosphate
Arianne Phosphate ("Arianne Phosphate Inc.") (www.arianne-inc.com) is developing the Lac à Paul phosphate deposits located approximately 200 km north of the Saguenay/Lac St. Jean area of Quebec, Canada. These deposits will produce a high quality igneous apatite concentrate grading 39% P2O5 with little or no contaminants (Feasibility Study released in 2013). The Company has 105,803,943 million shares outstanding.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward Looking Information
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities regulations in Canada and the United States (collectively, "forward-looking information"). Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, anticipated quality and production of the apatite concentrate at the Lac à Paul project. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects, "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "believes", or the negatives thereof or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might", or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to be known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: volatile stock price; risks related to changes in commodity prices; sources and cost of power facilities; the estimation of initial and sustaining capital requirements; the estimation of labour and operating costs; the general global markets and economic conditions; the risk associated with exploration, development and operations of mineral deposits; the estimation of mineral reserves and resources; the risks associated with uninsurable risks arising during the course of exploration, development and production; risks associated with currency fluctuations; environmental risks; competition faced in securing experienced personnel; access to adequate infrastructure to support mining, processing, development and exploration activities; the risks associated with changes in the mining regulatory regime governing the Company; completion of the environmental assessment process; risks related to regulatory and permitting delays; risks related to potential conflicts of interest; the reliance on key personnel; financing, capitalization and liquidity risks including the risk that the financing necessary to fund continued exploration and development activities at Lac à Paul project may not be available on satisfactory terms, or at all; the risk of potential dilution through the issue of common shares; the risk of litigation. Forward-looking information is based on assumptions management believes to be reasonable at the time such statements are made, including but not limited to, continued exploration activities, no material adverse change in commodity prices, exploration and development plans proceeding in accordance with plans and such plans achieving their stated expected outcomes, receipt of required regulatory approval, and such other assumptions and factors as set out herein. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is made as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake to update such forward-looking information except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
SOURCE Arianne Phosphate Inc.