ENP Newswire -
Release date- 12062014 - DUBLIN &
HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE YEAR AND POST YEAR END
Significant advances in permitting for Barruecopardo, resulting in the receipt of the Project's Environmental permit.
Off-take agreement signed with
Award of the Barruecopardo Engineering Design Contract to
Tungsten prices forecast to remain strong over the coming years.
Further positive results from drilling on our gold projects in Salamanca.
In addition, Ormonde engaged
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2013 was an eventful year for your Company with very considerable initiatives taken and ongoing progress made at our flagship
These have to date resulted in the receipt of the Environmental Permit; the appointment of
This approach caused the Company to enter an 'offer period' under the Irish Takeover Rules, causing the activity of the Company to be curtailed to an extent during this period.
Our permitting and environmental submissions to the Salamanca Provincial Authorities of the Region of Castilla y Leon were presented in Q3 2012 and following successful completion of the public consultation process and internal reviews by the Provincial Authorities, our submission was forwarded, with a positive recommendation, to the
This was followed shortly thereafter by the issuing of the Environmental Impact Declaration ('EID') for the Project. The receipt of the EID represents a major milestone, in effect being the Project's environmental permit, and one of the final steps required to enable the Mining (Exploitation) Concession to be granted by the Director General for Energy and Mines.
It is understood that a review of the historic mining concessions (Barruecopardo was last operated in the 1980's) is now being completed as part of the finalisation of the documentation for the Mining Concession. We now await the issuance of the Mining Concession, anticipated shortly.
While the permitting process has been proceeding, and indeed prior to this during the feasibility study stage, Ormonde has developed appropriate contacts in the capital markets, particularly with lenders who have capability and experience in arranging or providing debt to resource projects.
In this regard, as progress was made in the permitting process, the Company decided to appoint Swedbank Norway (a subsidiary of
For minor metals such as tungsten, debt providers need sufficient comfort that there will be a buyer for the metal produced. To ensure that such comfort was available, Ormonde developed contacts with most tungsten concentrate offtakers and marketing agents over the last few years and the progress made during 2013 and early 2014 opened up the opportunity to finalise our tungsten offtake arrangements prior to committing to the capital funding arrangements.
This led, in April this year, to the Company entering into a binding offtake agreement with
Under the agreement, Noble will purchase 100% of the tungsten concentrate produced from the Barruecopardo open pit mine during its initial five years of operation. Thereafter, Noble and Ormonde will extend the offtake through negotiation or enter into an arrangement whereby Noble will provide marketing agency services to Ormonde for the tungsten concentrate produced.
With various aspects of the Project making significant advances, Ormonde was in a position to move forward on other fronts, the most critical from a timing perspective being engineering design works, essential to ensure that the orders of key equipment for the mine processing plant can be placed without further delay following completion of project financing. During 2013, discussions were held with appropriate engineering firms, possessing the relevant mineral processing experience, with a view to selection of a firm to carry out the detailed engineering design work for the development of a mine at Barruecopardo.
This lead to the signing of a contract with
In addition, the project team in
With permitting nearing completion, capital funding being progressed, engineering design work underway, offtake arrangements secured and onsite preparations well advanced, Ormonde has made considerable progress during the past 12-15 months having regard to its available resources.
Looking briefly at the tungsten market, the tungsten price averaged around
Projections by independent market research for annual global growth in demand range between 3% and 5%, and 3 to 5 year price forecasts are above
Drilling results reported from both the Peralonso and Cabeza de Caballo Prospects in the first half of the year in our gold joint venture with
At La Zarza, our efforts were concentrated on the conclusion of an arrangement that would see a potential divestment of the Company's interest in the Project. Discussions are on-going in this regard.
Corporate and Financials
I referred at the outset to the unsolicited approach made by another tungsten company. That approach, in
Although the resultant offer period arising under the Irish Takeover Rules did complicate certain activities, we remained focused throughout the offer period and following its termination at the end of January when Almonty failed to make an offer by the deadline imposed by the
The Company has reported a loss for the year of
In conclusion, I would like to thank shareholders for their patient support during the last year. I believe it has been worthwhile, with the substantial progress made, and I look forward to the period ahead as we take our Barruecopardo project into the development stage.
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