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Conic Releases Ramu Q1 2020 Operating Costs, Issues Audited Financial Statements and Announces Results of Annual Meeting

2020-06-24 13:18
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TORONTO--()--Conic Metals Corp. (“Conic” or the “Company”) (TSXV:NKL) is pleased to provide operating costs for the quarter ending March 31, 2020 of the Company’s largest asset, being the Ramu Nickel-Cobalt (“Ramu”) integrated operation in Papua New Guinea (“PNG”). Conic currently holds an 8.56% joint-venture interest in the Ramu operation. Ramu is operated by the Metallurgical Corporation of China (“MCC”) which, along with its partners, owns an 85.0% interest in Ramu.

“Ramu’s operating costs continue to consistently show that it is a low cost asset capable of delivering strong cash flow despite the downward pressure we have seen on nickel and cobalt prices during this global pandemic,” stated Justin Cochrane, President and CEO. “Our actual cash cost to produce a pound of nickel contained in MHP was well below $3.00 per pound which provides significant insulation against nickel price volatility,” added Mr. Cochrane. According to Wood Mackenzie, the lowest quartile of C1 Cash Cost of nickel production is forecast to be $3.35 per pound in 2020. C1 Cash Cost differs from actual production cost as it includes transportation and refining costs to produce Class I or Class II nickel. Ramu produces nickel in the form of mixed hydroxide product (“MHP”) which contains approximately 40% nickel and 3.5% cobalt. MHP is a desired raw material for the manufacture of lithium ion battery cathode materials such as NCA and NMC, which are being extensively adopted in the electrification of vehicles.

The table below presents the previously disclosed production update with the addition of actual cash cost.

 

2019

2020

 

 

Q1

 

Q2

 

Q3

 

Q4

 

Q1

Ore Processed (dry kt)  

800

 

959

 

911

 

886

 

920

MHP Produced (dry tonne)  

19,653

 

22,490

 

21,186

 

19,695

 

21,177

Contained Nickel (tonne)  

7,663

 

8,767

 

8,390

 

7,902

 

8,635

Contained Cobalt (tonne)  

704

 

793

 

740

 

674

 

720

Nickel Capacity Utilization (% of design1)  

94%

 

108%

 

103%

 

97%

 

106%

MHP Shipped (dry tonnne)  

17,219

 

24,607

 

37,605

 

24,460

 

17,408

Contained Nickel (tonne)  

6,588

 

9,457

 

14,531

 

9,685

 

6,108

Contained Cobalt (tonne)  

609

 

861

 

1,329

 

827

 

522

C1 Cash Cost  

$2.34

 

$3.14

 

$3.69

 

$4.05

 

$3.65

C1 Cash Cost for 25th Percentile  

$2.56

 

$3.48

 

$3.42

 

$4.05

 

$3.35

Cash Cost Actual2  

$2.44

 

$2.41

 

$2.75

 

$2.68

 

$2.12

 

Note 1 – Ramu design capacity of 32,600 tonnes/year contained nickel

 

Note 2 – Cash Cost Actual is net of byproduct credits and does not include transportation and refining charges by 3rd parties

 
  1. Conic has included certain performance measures in this press release that do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), including (i) C1 Cash Cost and (ii) Cash Cost Actual. C1 Cash Cost is a metric published independently by Wood Mackenzie. The C1 Cash Cost presented is annualized cash cost to produce one pound of finished nickel product based on Wood Mackenzie’s analysis of global refined nickel operations. The presentation of these non-IFRS measures is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. Other companies may calculate these non-IFRS measures differently. Note these figures have not been audited and are subject to change.

Audited Financial Statements

On June 15, 2020, the Company filed its initial Audited Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the period ended December 31, 2019. Mr. Cochrane commented on the filings, “Conic finished the year with over US$4.4 million in cash and US$13.0 million in net working capital and repaid US$17.2 million of its Ramu operating debt on January 1st, 2020. These are outstanding results for Ramu which we believe is one of the best nickel-cobalt operations in the World.”

Additionally, Conic expects to file quarterly financial statements for the period ended March 31, 2020 (and related management’s discussion and analysis thereon) (collectively, the “Q1 2020 Disclosure Documents”) at the earliest opportunity and currently expects to file them no later than July 14, 2020, as previously announced.

Annual General and Special Meeting Results

The Company also announced today the voting results for the election of its board of directors, which took place at the Company’s Annual General and Special Meeting held on June 19, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The number of directors was set at five and all of the nominees listed in the management proxy circular dated May 15, 2020 (the “Circular”) were elected as directors of Conic at the meeting. Detailed results of the votes are set out below:

Election of Directors

Outcome of the Vote

 

 

 

Votes for
(#)

Votes for
(%)

Votes
withheld
(#)

Votes
withheld
(%)

Justin Cochrane

Elected

25,176,436

98.832%

297,647

1.168%

Candace MacGibbon

Elected

25,393,032

99.682%

81,051

0.318%

Anthony Milewski

Elected

25,073,706

98.428%

400,377

1.572%

Maurice Swan

Elected

25,197,156

98.913%

276,927

1.087%

Philip Williams

Elected

25,200,106

98.924%

273,977

1.076%

 

At the Annual General and Special Meeting, the shareholders of the Company also approved: (i) the appointment of Baker Tilly WM LLP as auditor and authorized the directors to fix their remuneration; and (ii) on a disinterested basis, authorized the omnibus long-term incentive plan of the Company and ratified certain grants thereunder, all as more particularly described in the Circular. The voting results on each resolution are set out below:

Set Number of Directors at 5

Outcome of the Vote

 

 

Votes for

Votes withheld

Carried

25,333,295

140,788

 

99.447%

0.553%

 

Appointment of Auditor

Outcome of the Vote

 

 

Votes for

Votes withheld

Carried

31,820,074

294,510

 

99.083%

0.917%

 

Approval of Omnibus Long-Term Incentive Plan

Outcome of the Vote *

 

 

Votes for

Votes withheld

Carried

16,201,992

2,422,635

 

86.992%

13.008%

 

* Excluding an aggregate of 6,849,456 common shares beneficially owned by insiders of the Company in accordance with the rules of the TSX Venture Exchange.

About Conic

Conic Metals Corp. is a base metals company offering direct exposure to nickel and cobalt, both being critical elements of electric vehicles and energy storage systems. Conic holds an 8.56% joint-venture interest in the producing, long-life and world-class Ramu Nickel-Cobalt Operation located in Papua New Guinea which provides Conic with significant attributable nickel and cobalt production. In addition, Conic manages a portfolio of 11 nickel and cobalt royalties on development and exploration projects in Canada and Australia. Conic will continue to invest in a battery metals-focused portfolio of streams, royalties and direct interests in mineral properties containing battery metals.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains certain information which constitutes ‘forward-looking statements’ and ‘forward-looking information’ within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Any statements that are contained in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “potential”, “believe”, “intend” or the negative of these terms and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, but are not limited to: statements with respect to the business; and, assets of Conic and its strategy going forward; statements with respect to the operational and financial results of the Ramu project; statements with respect to the prospects of nickel and cobalt in the global electrification of vehicles; statements related to the impact of COVID-19 on the Company’s business, operations and prospects; statements with respect to the timing of the filing of the Q1 2020 Disclosure Documents; and statements with respect to the business and assets of Conic and its strategy going forward. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, most of which are beyond the Company’s control. Should one or more of the risks or uncertainties underlying these forward-looking statements materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results, performance or achievements could vary materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this release and, other than as required by applicable securities laws, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. The forward-looking statements contained in this release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.

Neither the 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. No securities regulatory authority has either approved or disapproved of the contents of this news release.

Contacts

Investors:
Justin Cochrane
647.846.7765
info@conicmetals.com