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Trading Symbol: ELR (TSX); EPS (JSE)
VANCOUVER, March 27, 2019 /CNW/ - Eastern Platinum Limited ("Eastplats" or the "Company") is pleased to report that it has filed its Audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the years ending December 31, 2018 and 2017 and the corresponding, Management's Discussion and Analysis and Annual Information Form. Below is a summary of the Company's financial results and highlights for the year ended December 31, 2018 (all amounts in USD):
- Capitalized $64.0 million in respect to the Retreatment Project (as defined below) during 2018;
- The Retreatment Project began producing revenue in late December 2018 – which is the first reported revenue of the Company since 2013;
- Cash and short-term investments of $5.6 million and net working capital (excluding non-cash deferred revenue) of $5.0 million as at December 31, 2018 available for 2019;
- Cash inflow of $7.1 million during 2018 – upfront payment and construction loan from Union Goal (as defined below) in accordance to the Framework Agreement (as defined below);
- Cash flows used during the year were $2.8 million compared with $7.8 million in 2017, a continued improvement since 2016;
- Net loss to equity shareholders of $21.8 million (loss of $0.24 per share) compared with $7.4 million (loss of $0.08 per share) in 2017 – the increase resulting from impairment (discussed below) and increased foreign exchange loss; and
- Impairment of the CRM (as defined below) underground property of $15.5 million based on the net present value of the updated financial model using updated costs, recoveries and long-term consensus metal prices at December 31, 2018.
Operations of the Retreatment Project
As previously disclosed, on March 1, 2018, the Company entered into an agreement (the "Framework Agreement") with Union Goal Offshore Solution Limited ("Union Goal") relating to the construction, re-mining and processing of the tailing resource and offtake of chrome concentrate from Barplats Mines (Pty) Limited tailings facility (the "Retreatment Project") located at the Company's Crocodile River Mine in South Africa ("CRM").
Commissioning occurred in December 2018 and shortly thereafter operational ramp-up began with the Company delivering feed from the re-mining of the tailings to the chrome plant to produce chrome concentrate.
A summary of production during the initial operation in late December 2018 to the end of February 2019:
Average grade Cr concentrate
Tons of Cr concentrate
The Company is focused on ramping-up throughput of tailings material. The Company has estimated its ramp-up to near full capacity during Q2 2019. The Retreatment Project at full capacity is forecasted to generate mine operating cashflows from the offtake of chrome concentrate of approximately $1 million per month for approximately 5 years.
During Q2 2019 Eastplats' will begin to test and assess the platinum group metals ("PGM") recovery opportunity available as part of the Retreatment Project.
In 2018, the Company focused on the construction of the Retreatment Project which is now generating revenue for the Company. As discussed above further developing this revenue generating operation is key for the Company.
The Company's other new opportunities were placed on hold in 2018 as Eastplats resources were allocated to achieve revenue-producing operations at the Retreatment Project. The Company's targets for 2019 include:
- Retreatment Project ramp-up to full production in Q2 2019;
- Assessment and decision regarding the PGM recoverability opportunities in relation to the tailings resource;
- Finalize the Retreatment Project Chrome Circuit purchase in accordance with the option under the Framework Agreement;
- Assessment and decision regarding Mareesburg project; and
- Assessment and discussions regarding the CRM Zandfontein underground operations;
The Company is actively looking at opportunities for its other assets and properties and exploring options to utilize or monetize these assets.
Diana Hu, CEO of Eastern Platinum commented, "Eastplats has made tremendous strides during 2018 to start the Retreatment Project operations, generate revenue and overall to revitalize the Company. Eastplats is targeting the creation of shareholder value and our 2019 goals will further this objective. The Eastplats team is driven to achieve further successes in 2019."
The Company has filed the following documents, under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com:
- Audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2018 and 2017;
- Management's discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2018 and 2017; and
- Annual Information Form at December 31, 2018.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" or "forward-looking information" (collectively referred to herein as "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, forecasts, estimates, expectations and objectives for future operations that are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words "will", "plan", "intends", "may", "will", "could", "expects", "anticipates" and similar expressions. Further disclosure of the risks and uncertainties facing the Company and other forward-looking statements are discussed in the Company's most recent Annual Information Form available under the Company's profile on www.sedar.com.
In particular, this press release contains forward-looking statements pertaining to: forecast of operational activity of the Retreatment Project and the Company's ability to achieve full-operational capacity at the Retreatment Project during Q2 2019 or at all; forecasted cashflows of the Retreatment Project; the Company's ability to test and assess PGM recovery opportunities in connection with the Retreatment Project; the Company's possible decision regarding the option exercise in relation to the Framework Agreement; or the Company's ability to assess and make decisions with respect to its other assets. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company. Although management considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect. By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements as a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the beliefs, plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, unanticipated problems that may arise in our production processes, commodity prices, lower than expected grades and quantities of resources, need for additional funding and availability of such additional funding on acceptable terms, economic conditions, currency fluctuations, competition and regulations, legal proceedings and risks related to operations in foreign countries.
All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, the "Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information" section contained in the Company's most recent Management's Discussion and Analysis available under the Company's profile on www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date they are given and, except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intention or obligation, and does not undertake, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.
SOURCE Eastern Platinum Limited
For further information: EASTERN PLATINUM LIMITED, Rowland Wallenius, Chief Financial Officer, [email protected] (email), (604) 800-8200 (phone)