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To Anglesey Shareholders
The improvement in base metal prices, which began in 2016, continued in 2017 and into 2018. The zinc price increased from US$1.00 per pound in January 2017 to a 10-year high of US$1.63 per pound in February 2018. From January 2016, the zinc price more than doubled making it one of the better performing metals over the two-year period. Expectations of an increase in the supply of zinc concentrates towards the end of 2018 have led to the recent decline in the zinc price to the $1.15 per pound range.
The price of copper increased substantially in the second half of 2017 and ended the year at US$3.25 per pound, a 30% increase from the end of 2016. Lead also performed well in 2017, rising from US$0.92 per pound in January 2017 to US$1.22 per pound in January 2018. Although all metal prices softened in mid -summer 2018 in response to global geopolitical uncertainty, there is a strong expectation of a continued positive outlook for base metals, particularly for zinc and copper.
Parys Mountain – 2017 Scoping Study
In July 2017 a new Scoping Study on the Parys Mountain copper-lead-zinc project in North Wales, was prepared by Micon International Limited (Micon) and Fairport Engineering Ltd. The Scoping Study envisages a mining rate of 1,000 tonnes per day, to produce an average annual output of 14,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate at 57% Zn, 7,200 tonnes of lead concentrate at 52% Pb and 4,000 tonnes of copper concentrate at 25% Cu, over an initial mine life of eight years.
The Scoping Study demonstrates a viable mine development and a healthy financial rate of return. For example, using assumptions of longer term metal price projections of $1.35 per pound for zinc and $3.00 per pound for copper, and using an 8% discount rate, to reflect the relatively low political risk in the UK, the indicated NPV would be $52 million or £42 million, with an IRR of 30%.
Path towards Production
Following completion of the positive 2017 Scoping Study, Anglesey has been working to progress the Parys Mountain project towards production. We have previously described four key steps in the development of the project which are: the conversion of the Scoping Study to a Definitive Feasibility Study, the commencement of an Environmental Impact Assessment, the recruitment of key corporate staff and securing project finance. Whilst a Definitive Feasibility Study to develop the project to a suitable status for bank debt financing might be the ideal course, the Parys Mountain project is not yet at the stage to undertake a Definitive Feasibility Study.
A Definitive Feasibility Study can be defined as a comprehensive technical and economic study to demonstrate that development of a mine is reasonably justified. The results of the study may serve as the basis for a decision by a financial institution to finance the development of the project. However, a Preliminary Feasibility Study is an intermediate step in the engineering process to evaluate the technical and economic viability of a mining project, occurring between a Scoping Study and a DFS.
The 2017 Scoping Study recommended further work as interim steps towards undertaking a PFS, including more detailed mine planning and design, more engineering studies, additional metallurgical test work and a review of tailings management and environmental and planning permissions, all of which will require new and further financing. During the year the Scoping Study has been subject to detailed examination and review with the aim of enhancing the economics of the project to attract the capital financing necessary to achieve our target of getting the Parys Mountain Mine into production at the earliest date possible.
The 2017 Scoping Study was based on mining only the 2.1 million tonnes of indicated resources reported by Micon in 2012. Micon had reported a further 4.1 million tonnes of inferred resources which were not incorporated into the Scoping Study. Of the inferred resources currently estimated, the Engine Zone, which lies at depths up to 600m, is of higher grade in most areas.
Development of even half of these inferred resources, which were not included in the Scoping Study, would significantly increase the projected life of the Parys Mountain mine from the initial eight years to perhaps double the projected mine-life to 15 or 18 years with potential positive outcomes on the project economics.
Anglesey is working on a revised mine model with the objective of incorporating some of the inferred resources, including part of the higher-grade Engine Zone inferred resources, into the earlier years of the mine plan and thereby increasing the project life of the mine to at least 10 years. In parallel, the cut-off grade used to determine the resources included in the Scoping Study can be tested to determine if this cut-off grade can be lowered to increase the mineable tonnage and thereby further extend the projected mine life.
The Scoping Study also recommended further metallurgical investigation to improve recoveries and minimise metal losses from the DMS plant, particularly for gold and silver via the gravity concentration circuit. The proposed metallurgical work would help to confirm the design and selection of key process items such as the grinding circuit and the flotation cells and finalise the process flow sheet and mass balance before carrying out any detailed engineering works. A preliminary proposal for additional laboratory test work, with an estimated cost of £100,000, has been obtained which requires representative samples of the ore which currently may not be available. The recommended metallurgical review will be carried out to the extent possible using existing data and technical information.
Completion of a feasibility study requires an evaluation of the planning and environmental aspects of the proposed development. An external review of the planning permissions and associated licence requirements has confirmed that the planning permissions previously granted remain valid and in force and that development and operation of the Parys Mountain Mine will require various environmental assessments and permits granted by Natural Resources Wales. It is proposed that some further environmental baseline and investigative work be carried out to bring the database up to date and to comply with the current level of requirements.
Financing and Marketing
Based on the positive results of the Scoping Study, we have commenced discussions with potential financiers for the development of the Parys Mountain project. It is expected that this development will occur in stepped progressions, to be followed by sequential financings to move towards mine construction.
The Parys Mountain Mine will produce three separate marketable concentrates for each of the base metals to be mined: zinc, lead and copper. In addition, a small quantity of gravity concentrate containing silver and gold will be produced. The concentrates are likely be sold to one or more of the smelting and refining operations in Europe. Anglesey has also commenced preliminary discussions with potential end-purchasers of the concentrates with a view to entering long-term supply contracts provided these can be linked to investment or other funding or commercial arrangements as part of the financing for the development of the project.
The group’s investments in Grangesberg Iron and in Labrador Iron are heavily dependent on the future price of iron ore. In 2017 the price of 62% Fe iron ore ranged from US$55 to US$97, while averaging US$71 per tonne, and during the first six months of 2018 ranged from US$65 to US$80 per tonne. Over the past two years there has been a substantial shift in the iron ore market favouring higher grade quality (+65% Fe) product, with premiums paid for 65% Fe exceeding 30% of the 62% Fe spot price. As a result, high grade iron ore products are currently commanding high premiums to this spot price while sub-commodity grades (<60% Fe) with high impurities are suffering increasing penalties, resulting in a widening divergence in actual market sale prices. These market conditions and the resultant strong premium for ~65% Fe products are expected to continue in the medium term based on the current global project pipeline, to the potential benefit of our projects.
Anglesey continues to manage the Grangesberg iron ore project in Sweden. The high-quality product expected to be produced from Grangesberg, together with the potential for sales within Sweden’s domestic markets, make Grangesberg more attractive than many other undeveloped iron ore projects. Although Grangesberg will benefit from extensive existing infrastructure the project will still require high levels of capital expenditure. Together with the other shareholders and stakeholders in Grangesberg we continue to evaluate all options to develop a viable way forward for the project.
The group holds a 12% interest in Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Limited (LIM) which owns extensive iron ore resources and facilities in its Schefferville Projects in Labrador and Quebec, Canada. LIM has not undertaken mining operations since 2013, primarily due to the low iron ore price environment, but maintains its iron ore assets on a stand-by care and maintenance basis and, subject to securing financing, is positioned to resume mining operations as soon as economic conditions warrant.
The 2017 Scoping Study demonstrated a viable mine development at Parys Mountain with a healthy financial rate of return. The outlook for metal prices, particularly zinc, copper and lead, which form the basis of the Parys Mountain revenue, remains very positive.
Our objective is to phase the development and financing of Parys Mountain in logical, sequential and parallel steps by undertaking the various optimisations studies and programmes, completing a prefeasibility or feasibility study and progressing Parys Mountain towards production as quickly as the necessary financing and technical timelines allow.
As well as maintaining a watching brief on the iron ore projects in Canada and Sweden, Anglesey also plans to pursue new opportunities for mineral exploration and development projects, in the context of the current resource cycle, with a focus on advanced copper exploration or development projects. We plan to enhance our board and small management team by recruiting experienced executives to help execute our plans and deliver our objectives.
We believe that given the world’s continuing demand for metals and the shortage of attractive advanced projects, the strong technical base and political stability associated with all of Anglesey’s projects, particularly Parys Mountain, finance for project development will become available.
Once again, I would like to thank all our shareholders for their patience and continuing support.
John F. Kearney
31 July 2018
Strategic report – Operations
Principal activities and business review
Anglesey Mining is engaged primarily in the evaluating and developing its wholly owned Parys Mountain zinc, lead, copper project in North Wales. In 2017 a new Scoping Study demonstrated a viable mine development and a healthy financial rate of return. Site activities during the year have continued to be limited to care and maintenance, though the Scoping Study has been subject to detailed examination and review with the aim of further optimising the development of the Parys Mountain project.
In addition, under various agreements the group participates in the management of the Grangesberg iron ore property in Sweden in which it has a 6% holding and a right of first refusal to acquire a further 51% ownership interest. The group also has a 12% holding in the Labrador Iron Mines in eastern Canada, currently in care and maintenance.
The group’s objective is to phase the development and financing of the Parys Mountain project by undertaking various optimisation programmes, completing a prefeasibility or feasibility study and progressing the Parys Mountain Mine towards production.
The Parys Mountain property hosts a significant polymetallic zinc, copper, lead, silver and gold deposit. The site has a head frame, a 300m deep production shaft and planning permission for operations. The group has freehold ownership of the minerals and surface land. Infrastructure is good, political risk is low and the project enjoys the support of local people and government.
An independent JORC resource estimate completed in 2012 by Micon International Limited reported a resource of 2.1 million tonnes at 6.9% combined base metals in the indicated category and 4.1 million tonnes at 5.0% combined base metals in the inferred category, with substantial exploration potential.
In July 2017 a new Scoping Study using the 2012 resource estimate was prepared by Micon and Fairport Engineering Ltd. The Scoping Study demonstrates a viable development mining 1,000 tpd to produce lead, zinc and copper concentrates and yielding a healthy financial rate of return.
During the period 2006-2010 Anglesey Mining carried out a detailed drilling programme on the White Rock Zone which lies adjacent to the existing 300m deep Morris Shaft and largely overlies the deeper Engine Zone deposits, but which extends to surface. As a result of this drilling the 2012 resource estimate by Micon included both the White Rock Zone and the Engine Zone.
A new mining plan based on a surface decline to access the White Rock zone was prepared. It proposed that a decline would be developed by mining contractors and would be used as the initial means of access to the resource for development and mining. During the initial production phase from the White Rock zone the decline would continue to be driven to reach the current bottom of the Morris Shaft and beyond. The shaft would then be dewatered and deepened by approximately 150 metres and recommissioned as a hoisting shaft for the remnant White Rock ore and for the deeper and more valuable Engine Zone ore. Mining would be carried out initially from the main decline using rubber-tyred equipment including drill jumbos, load-haul-dump machines and trucks to remove development waste to surface and production ore to the planned adjacent processing plant. The existing hoist and headframe would be refurbished and used to bring ore to the surface for delivery to the processing plant through the deepened shaft.
The 2017 Scoping Study concluded that the preferred development option for Parys Mountain is a 1,000 tpd mine and plant with a Dense Media Separation (DMS) section and that after an initial ramp-up period, the higher production level can be maintained. This would result in a mine life of approximately eight years based only on the indicated resources.
The proposed processing plant will consist of crushing and grinding followed by conventional three stage flotation to produce copper, zinc and lead concentrates to be shipped to smelters in Europe. Metallurgical performance and recovery is based on the large volume of information available from test work on Parys Mountain ores over the years. Total base metal recovery to each of the three copper, zinc and lead concentrates is forecast to be 89.8% and taking into account the DMS losses overall recovery will be approximately 85.7%. Significant amounts of silver and gold will report to each of the concentrates. Some free gold will be recovered by gravity methods and will be sold as Welsh gold.
Smelter payment terms and penalties have been based on indicative treatment charges currently prevailing from European smelters.
On average 14,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate at 57% Zn, 7,200 tonnes of lead concentrate at 52% Pb and 4,000 tonnes of copper concentrate at 25% Cu, will be produced annually. These figures will vary somewhat during the life of the mine as mine feed varies depending upon the particular ore bodies being mined at any time. Life of mine average annual metal production into concentrates is forecast at 17.6 million pounds of zinc, 8.3 million pounds of lead and 2.2 million pounds of copper.
Using estimated shipping costs, smelter terms and penalties, the overall NSR for the three concentrates, including the precious metals, is expected to total in excess of $270 million at the metal prices used for the base case. This would represent net smelter revenue of approximately 72% of the metal value in concentrates delivered to the smelters.
Project Financial Results
The pre-production capital cost of the base case including mining, DMS, concentrator and infrastructure is estimated at $56 million, including a $4 million contingency. The initial capital cost for mine development is estimated to be $16 million, the concentrator $29.5 million including $3 million for the DMS plant, and infrastructure $10 million. Operating costs were developed by Micon and Fairport based on current knowledge and experience which at the higher levels of production are forecast at around $47 per tonne of ore treated.
The base case yields a pre-tax net present value of $33 million, or £26 million, at a conservative 10 per cent discount rate, using metal prices of $1.25 per pound for zinc, $1.00 per pound for lead, $2.50 per pound for copper, $17.50 per ounce for silver and $1,275 per ounce for gold and at an exchange rate of £1.00 = $US1.25. With an estimated pre-production capital cost of $56 million, or £45 million, this results in an indicated internal rate of return (IRR) of 26%.
At an 8% discount rate, used to reflect the relatively low risks of the project given its advanced level of development and low political risk in the UK, the NPV8 would be enhanced to $40 million, or £32 million, for the base case metal price scenario. The project is sensitive to metal prices and exchange rates. Using metal price projections of $1.35 per pound for zinc and $3.00 per pound for copper the NPV10 would be $43 million, or £35 million and the NPV8 $52 million, or £42 million, with an IRR of 30%.
The pre-tax net present values, at 10% and 8% discount rates, and internal rates of return, are illustrated in the table below, all at a sterling:US dollar exchange rate of £1.00 = $US1.25.
|Metal Prices||Pre-Tax Cash Flows|
Mineral Resources and Exploration Potential
The 2017 Scoping Study utilises the Micon 2012 JORC Code compliant resource estimate of 2.1 million tonnes at 6.9% combined base metals in the indicated category. Micon had also reported a further 4.1 million tonnes at 5.0% combined base metals in the inferred category. These inferred mineral resources are not included in the Scoping Study but if utilised would significantly extend the projected operating life of the mine with a consequential increase in the resultant estimated valuation.
While the inclusion of inferred resources does not meet the strict criteria for feasibility studies used by banks for loan evaluation, given the detailed geological knowledge of Parys Mountain now available it would be acceptable to utilise some of this inferred resource for comparative financial modelling. To evaluate potential optimisation of the project some additional mine planning and scheduling will be carried out on the inferred resource and the results input to the financial model.
As reported in 2012, the resource estimate was made using a gross metal product value cut-off of $80 per tonne. The 2017 Scoping Study estimated the cash operating cost, prior to royalties and taxes, at $47 per tonne. Use of a lower cut-off grade would increase the tonnes in the indicated category, but with some reduction in grade, and increase the projected mine life. Further optimisation studies are required to determine the optimum cut-off grade that would provide the maximum increased return. These studies are being carried out initially on the base financial model, i.e. using the indicated resources only, and this will be followed by the extended resources using some of the inferred resources as detailed previously. These optimisation studies are of necessity an on-going process. As more detailed mine costings are developed, and as the increased tonnage potentially changes not just mine life but also the grade of ore processed, a series of iterations will be required to reach that optimum forecast result.
In addition to the indicated and inferred resources reported by Micon, the Parys Mountain area, over which the group holds the mineral rights, contains numerous indications of mineralisation across several kilometres many of which have been disclosed in earlier releases and reports. As most of these indications have been encountered in drilling at some depth, further exploration would be more effective from underground locations once mining operations commence.
Further work on Parys Mountain
The Scoping Study recommended further work to optimise and enhance the project as the next step ahead of mine development, including more detailed mine and stope design, underground geotechnical studies, additional infill drilling, more detailed engineering studies, additional metallurgical test work including work to improve recovery of specific metals to their own concentrate, and review of tailings management and paste fill processes. Several opportunities for cost reduction or productivity improvement have been identified.
Fairport has recommended that additional metallurgical testwork be carried out to increase confidence in a number of key areas including the performance of the DMS plant, regrind work in the lead circuit to improve concentrate quality, in the paste backfill section to confirm geotechnical characteristics, and in improving the overall water balance to reduce operating costs and discharge requirements. There is insufficient ore of a representative nature currently available to carry out all of this programme.
A conditional planning permission was issued by Gwynedd County Council in 1988 for ‘the development of a mining and milling complex for the extraction and processing of metalliferous ores and disposal of waste rock and slurry at Parys Mountain, Amlwch, Gwynedd. In 1991 a second planning permission was granted to develop a ‘Mine portal and spiral decline to access upper levels of the ore body to provide a second means of egress’. Both these planning permissions remain in force.
In the United Kingdom, industrial and other development proposals, including mineral development projects, are subject to two different processes: a) a planning process through which a planning authority grants permission for a specific development and, b) the environmental permitting process through which permission is granted (in this case by Natural Resources Wales) for the operation of an installation or activity that could have an environmental impact.
For planning purposes Parys Mountain is currently considered a dormant site which cannot commence permitted activity until the mineral planning authority has agreed conditions. An application may need to be accompanied by an environmental statement under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations. The regulations specify what type of developments should be subject to EIA. Underground mineral workings require an EIA only if the development is likely to have significant effects on the environment. The planning authority may require an EIA as part of the review process and has the responsibility for deciding if an EIA is required.
Several environmental studies have been undertaken within the Parys Mountain area, dating back prior to 1988, when the first planning permission for a new mine was obtained by Anglesey. Baseline monitoring of environmental conditions was carried out at various times in the 1980s and 1990s. There has also been an extensive monitoring programme for water quality carried out by the Environment Agency to assess the impacts of historic mining activities in the area.
It is now proposed that some further environmental baseline and investigative work be carried out to bring the database up to date and to comply with the now current level of regulations. During the year a report was prepared on the details of the work that will be needed to meet these requirements and planning for commencement of this work is advanced. It is stressed that the original planning permissions that have been in place for a number of years remain intact.
Grangesberg Iron AB
The Grangesberg iron ore mine is situated in the mineral-rich Bergslagen district of central Sweden about 200 kilometres north-west of Stockholm. Until its closure in 1989 due to prevailing market conditions, Grangesberg had mined in excess of 150 million tonnes of iron ore.
The group holds a direct 6% interest in Grangesberg Iron AB (GIAB) and, until June 2021, a right of first refusal over 51% of the share capital of GIAB. This right has been granted in exchange for the group continuing to co-manage GIAB on a cost recovery basis. The group also has shareholder and cooperation agreements such that it holds operatorship of GIAB subject to certain conditions and appoints three out of five directors to the board of GIAB.
GIAB is a private Swedish company founded in 2007 which in 2014 completed (with assistance from the group) a financial and capital restructuring of the mine. GIAB holds a 25-year exploitation permit covering the previously mined Grangesberg underground mining operations granted by the Swedish Mining Inspectorate in May 2013.
In September 2014 an NI 43-101 Technical Report was prepared by Roscoe Postle Associates Inc showing a compliant resource estimate for the Grangesberg Mine of 115.2 million tonnes at 40.2% Fe in the indicated category and 33.1 million tonnes at 45.2% Fe in the inferred category. RPA concluded that the Grängesberg iron ore deposit hosts a significant iron resource that has excellent potential for expansion at depth.
Over the past two years there has been a substantial shift in the iron ore market favouring higher grade quality (+65% Fe) product, with premiums paid for 65% Fe exceeding 30% of the reported 62% reported spot price. The high-quality product expected to be produced from Grangesberg would attract such premium pricing and, together with the potential for sales within Sweden’s domestic markets, make Grangesberg more attractive than many other undeveloped iron ore projects. Although Grangesberg benefits from extensive existing infrastructure, development of the project will still require high levels of capital expenditure.
The group has an investment holding of 12% (2017 – 12%) in Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Limited. LIM owns extensive iron ore resources and facilities in its exploration properties in Labrador and in Quebec, Canada, one of the major iron ore producing regions in the world.
In the three-year period of 2011 to 2013 LIM produced a total of 3.6 million dry metric tonnes of iron ore, all of which was sold in 23 cape-size shipments into the China spot market. LIM has not undertaken mining operations since 2013, primarily due to the low iron ore price environment, but maintains its properties on a stand-by care and maintenance basis and, subject to securing financing, is positioned to resume mining operations as soon as economic conditions warrant.
The directors continue to seek out new properties suitable for development within a relatively short time frame and within the financing capability likely to be available to the group. The directors have identified copper projects as the most potentially attractive and the group is currently evaluating a number of early stage opportunities.
The directors expect to be judged by results of project development and/or exploration and by their success in creating long term value for shareholders. The group holds shares in mineral companies and has interests in exploration and evaluation properties and, until economically recoverable reserves can be identified, there are no standardised performance indicators which can usefully be employed to gauge the performance of the group, other than the market price of the company’s shares.
The chief external factors affecting the ability of the group to move forward are primarily the demand for metals and minerals, levels of metal prices and exchange rates; these and other factors are dealt with in the risks and uncertainties section below.
Financial results and position
The group has no revenues from the operation of its properties. The loss for the year ended 31 March 2018 after tax was £278,189 compared to a loss of £307,968 in the 2017 fiscal year. The administrative and other costs excluding investment income and finance charges were £109,677 compared to £141,022 in the previous year.
During the year there were no additions to fixed assets (2017 – nil) and £100,319 (2017 – £84,196) was capitalised in respect of the Parys Mountain property as mineral property exploration and evaluation.
At 31 March 2018 the group held mineral property exploration and evaluation assets with a carrying value of £15.0 million. These carrying values are supported by the results of the 2017 Scoping Study may not reflect the realizable value of the properties if they were offered for sale at this time.
The group’s cash balance at 31 March 2018 was £137,113 (2017 – £392,293) the reduction being due to ongoing operating and capital expenses. The foreign exchange loss of £42 (2017 – gain £178) shown in the income statement arises on cash balances held in Swedish Krona (in 2017 there was also a Canadian dollar balance).
At 31 March 2018 the company had 177,608,051 ordinary shares in issue, unchanged from the previous year.
The group’s use of financial instruments is described in note 24.
Employment, community and donations
The group is an equal opportunity employer in all respects and aims for high standards from and for its employees. At 31 March 2018 the company had five male directors; there were no female directors or employees. It also aims to be a valued and responsible member of the communities which it operates in or affects. There are no social, community or human rights issues which require the provision of further information in this report.
The group currently has no operations and consequently its effect on the environment is very slight, being limited to the operation of two small offices, where recycling and energy usage minimisation are encouraged. It is not practical or useful to quantify the effects of these measures.
Risks and uncertainties
The directors have carried out a robust assessment of the principal risks facing the group, including those that would threaten its business model, future performance, solvency or liquidity. In conducting its business the group faces a number of risks and uncertainties some of which have been described above in regard to particular projects. The board believes the principal risks facing the group are adequately disclosed in these financial statements and that there are no other risks of comparable magnitude which need to be disclosed. In reviewing the risks facing the group, the board considers it is sufficiently close to the group’s operations and aware of its activities to be able to adequately monitor risk without the establishment of any formal process. The group may become subject to risks against which it cannot insure or against which it may elect not to insure because of high premium costs or other reasons. However, there are also risks and uncertainties of a nature common to all mineral projects and these are summarised below.
General mining risks
Actual results relating to, amongst other things, mineral reserves, mineral resources, results of exploration, capital costs, mining production costs and reclamation and post closure costs, could differ materially from those currently anticipated by reason of factors such as changes in general economic conditions and conditions in the financial markets, changes in demand and prices for minerals that the group expects to produce, legislative, environmental and other judicial, regulatory, political and competitive developments in areas in which the group operates, technological and operational difficulties encountered in connection with the group’s activities, labour relations, costs and changing foreign exchange rates and other matters.
The mining industry is competitive in all of its phases. There is competition within the mining industry for the discovery and acquisition of properties considered to have commercial potential. The group faces competition from other mining companies in connection with the acquisition and retention of properties, mineral claims, leases and other mineral interests as well as for the recruitment and retention of qualified employees and other personnel.
Development and liquidity risk
At March 31, 2018, the group had limited working capital and had not achieved profitable operations and will need to generate additional financial resources to fund its planned optimization and development programmes at Parys Mountain. The group has relied primarily on equity financings to fund its working capital requirements and on previous occasions has also relied on its largest shareholder, Juno Limited, for financial support and may be required to do so in the future to ensure the group will have adequate funds for its current activities. There is a risk that additional funding may not be available on a timely basis or on acceptable terms. Development of the Parys Mountain project will be dependent on raising further funds from various sources.
Exploration and development risk
Exploration for minerals and development of mining operations involve risks, many of which are outside the group’s control. Current operations are in politically stable environments and hence unlikely to be subject to expropriation but exploration by its nature is subject to uncertainties and unforeseen or unwanted results are always possible.
Metal price risks
The prices of metals fluctuate widely and are affected by many factors outside the group’s control. The relative prices of metals and future expectations for such prices have a significant impact on the market sentiment for investment in mining and mineral exploration companies. Metal price fluctuations may be either exacerbated or mitigated by currency fluctuations which affect the amount which might be received in sterling.
Foreign exchange risk
LIM is a Canadian company; Angmag AB and GIAB are Swedish companies. Accordingly, the value of the holdings in these companies is affected by exchange rate risks. Operations at Parys Mountain are in the UK and exchange rate risks are minor. Most of the cash balance at the year end was held in sterling – see notes 17 and 24.
Permitting, environment and social risk
The group holds planning permissions for the development of the Parys Mountain property but further consents will be required to carry out proposed activities and these may be subject to various operational conditions and reclamation requirements.
Employee and personnel risk
The group is dependent on the services of a small number of key executives specifically the chairman, chief executive and finance director. The loss of these persons or the group’s inability to attract and retain additional highly skilled and experienced employees for any areas in which the group might engage may adversely affect its business or future operations.
This report was approved by the board of directors on 31 July 2018 and signed on its behalf by:
Chief executive officer