Minco (MIO)

 

LSE:MIO: Annual General Meeting of Shareholders

Minco

01 Dec 2015 08:56:56

Minco PLC

RNS Number : 5277H
Minco PLC
01 December 2015
 

 

Minco Plc

MINCO ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

●Financial Results for Interim Period September 30, 2015

●Resignation of Director

                                                         

Dublin, 01 December 2015 - Minco Plc (AIM - "MIO") reports that at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders held yesterday in Dublin all the Resolutions proposed were duly passed with greater than 99% of the votes cast by proxy in favour of each Resolution.  Details are reported below.

 

At the Annual Meeting Minco's Chairman, John Kearney, provided shareholders with an update on the Company's activities.

 

BUCHANS BASE METAL PROJECTS  -  Newfoundland Canada

During spring of 2015, Minco completed a drilling programme at Lucky Strike South at Buchans in central Newfoundland, less than 250 m south of the former Lucky Strike mine where previous operator Asarco, mined 5.6 million tonnes averaging 18.4% Zn, 8.6% Pb, 1.6% Cu, 112 g/t Ag & 1.7 g/t Au before closing the Buchans mine in 1984. 

Minco's 2015 programme was undertaken to follow up of favourable results from drilling in 2014 and tested several mineralized stratigraphic horizons to explore for new high-grade massive sulphide deposits to depths of 300 metres. 

Highlights included the intersection of widespread ore clast mineralization comprised of massive sulphide fragments hosted by volcanic breccias within a deeper stratigraphic horizon known as the "Ore Clast" horizon. 

All eight holes designed to test the Ore Clast horizon intersected mineralized felsic volcanic breccia ranging from 1 to 23 metres in thickness, and containing massive sulphide and sulphide-rich clasts measuring up to 15 centimetres in diameter.  Intercepts include 0.5 metres averaging 13.32% combined base metals (i.e., Cu%+Pb%+Zn%)  in hole H-15-3493, as well as 1.0 metre averaging 6.16% combined base metals in hole H-15-3497.

In light of these positive results, Minco expanded its programme of re-logging historic drill holes to assess potential for new high-grade discoveries within the Ore Clast horizon, below depths of previous mining. During 2015, Minco re-logged 156 historic surface and underground drill holes (13,418 m) southwest of the former Lucky Strike mine. 

This re-logging work focused in on a small high-grade massive sulphide deposit, known as the West Orebody deposit, with reported base metal grades similar to Lucky Strike. 

The West Orebody deposit was discovered by Asarco in 1940 at a depth of 300 m and consisted of a cluster of small but high-grade massive sulphide lenses. The small deposit and was partially mined during the mid-1940's with an approximate aggregate tonnage of less than 100,000 tonnes.

While production records and other details are scanty, the West Orebody deposit has not been a focus of exploration since the 1940s when the deposit was tested by only short underground holes and a few widely-spaced surface holes.  Previous underground drilling tended not to test the lateral extents of the ore horizon more than 50 metres beyond the developed orebody. 

Re-logging and reinterpretation of archived drill cores by Minco now suggests this mineralization is located near the intersection of the Lucky Strike Horizon and the stratigraphically deeper, Ore Clast Horizon.  It is further interpreted that the Ore Clast horizon is in part a structural feature or rift fault, active during formation of the Lucky Strike and West Orebodies deposits, and may have acted as a control structure for the generation of high-grade massive sulphides.

Minco is planning to drill 2,000 metres in 5 holes in its 2016 programme to further explore the West Orebody deposit and a 400 m section of the inferred mineralized trend.

MINERAL EXPLORATION AT NORTHERN PENNINES, ENGLAND

Minco's exploration project in the northern Pennines is centered on a 3.5 by 2.5 kilometre area in the vicinity of the village of Nenthead, the most prolific area of past production within the Pennines Orefield which covers a total area of approximately 350 square miles.

Over the period from late 2012 until the first quarter of 2015, Minco drilled a total of 7,555 metres in 31 holes, of which 17 intersected mineralisation. Twenty five holes were sited to explore the Great Limestone and six holes tested the deeper basal succession.

Minco's 2012-2015 drill programme has established a significant stratiform component to the mineralisation within the Great Limestone which had not been previously recognised.  Intersections within the Great Limestone have demonstrated the potential for significant stratiform mineralisation adjacent to historic workings.  The extent of the stratiform mineralisation discovered by Minco in the Great Limestone to date is encouraging.  Similar mineralisation within the thicker basal succession would be economically significant.

The intersections of reasonable widths of lead and zinc mineralization at three different levels in two holes drilled on the Whitewood-Barneycraig-Williams fault/vein structure in Northumberland in early 2015, are considered to represent very positive results that indicate the mineral potential of this large Whitewood-Barneycraig-Williams fault/vein structure which was previously demonstrated by historic mining to be mineralized over a strike length of 3.5 kilometres.

A second phase of drilling is planned for 2016, subject to conclusion of land access agreements, to further explore the potential within both the Great Limestone and basal succession with the primary target for both being the Barneycraig-Whitewood fault complex. 

LEAD-ZINC EXPLORATION, MOATE, COUNTY WESTMEATH, IRELAND

In November 2015, Minco was granted three new Prospecting Licences in Ireland by the Minister of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.  The new licences, PLs 1228, 1229 and 3981, at Moate in County Westmeath, Ireland, are centered on a specific geological target identified by Minco, with potential for zinc-lead mineralization of Tynagh Mine type.

Minco's new Moate licences are located along the northwestern margin of the Irish Midland Orefield on the "Tynagh-Ballinalack Trend". All but one of the major Irish zinc-lead deposits of the Irish Midland Orefield lie along the margins of the Orefield.  The Moate target lies mid-way between the former Tynagh Mine, located 50 kilometres to the southwest, and the similar styled Ballinalack deposit, situated 35 kilometres to the northeast.

The Tynagh Mine operated successfully from 1965 to 1981 producing 9,000,000 tonnes of ore, from both open pit and underground, at average grades of approximately 7% lead, 5.5% zinc, 0.5% copper and 2.6 ounces of silver per tonne.

Minco's studies of previous drilling have outlined a geological setting that Minco believes mirrors that at the former Tynagh Mine, where zinc-lead mineralization was hosted by breccias developed at the margin between the reef and off-reef limestone facies. The geology at Moate is also comparable to that at the smaller Ballinalack deposit.

The Moate area has seen intermittent exploration over the past fifty years following discovery in 1968 of the Moyvoughly deposit (125,000 tonnes averaging 8% zinc plus lead) located immediately to the east of Minco's new licenses. Exploration at Moate in the past, which includes nine kilometres of diamond drilling, has focused almost exclusively on the potential for Navan-type mineralization within the Moyvoughly Beds, initially at shallow depths in the footwall of the major (300 metre throw) Moyvoughly Fault and later to depths of 600 metres below surface in the hanging wall.  The potential for reef hosted zinc-lead mineralization of "Tynagh-type" at Moate has never been explored.

Minco has planned an initial exploration programme consisting of six inclined drill holes for a total of 1400 metres of drilling. 

METAL PRICES

Metal prices, and zinc and lead prices, in particular, play a very significant part in the affairs of Minco.

During the third quarter of 2015, zinc prices fell 18% from a high of US$0.92/lb. to approximately US$0.75/lb. by the end of the quarter and subsequently declining below US$0.70/lb. while LME and SHFE zinc warehouse stock levels rose 17% from near 686,000 tonnes to approximately 803,000 tonnes. Lead prices followed a similar, but less dramatic, pattern falling from US$0.84/lb. to US$0.76/lb. in the third quarter while LME lead warehouse stock levels fell from 220,000 tonnes to 165,000 tonnes.

According to recent research by analysts at Macquarie Commodities Research, the current situation of rising inventories and dropping prices is explained by a number of factors. The first is that the world GDP growth is slowing - recent figures show the world GDP is at its slowest rate of growth since 2013. The second factor is that industrial production, which is the key economic driver of commodity demand, barely grew at all during the second quarter of 2015. A rally in the US dollar has enabled continuing profitable production from marginal operations from emerging markets and China which, in part, led to increasing warehouse inventories for zinc.

Macquarie sees a number of positives for zinc. They state that a major chunk of the hidden stocks are now visible and the future threat level of additional stocks has been diminished. Furthermore, with the imminent closures of the Lisheen mine in Ireland and Century mine in Australia.

In November it was announced that China's top zinc smelters plan to cut refined metal output by 500,000 metric tons next year, according to a joint statement from 10 producers posted on the website of Shanghai-based consultancy SMM.  The Chinese smelters statement called for strict control over new capacity and said that current market prices don't reflect fundamentals and create operational difficulties.

A similar picture appears for lead as there are only relatively low warehouse stock levels and output from Chinese mines has fallen resulting from more stringent environmental controls and the enforcement of many mine closures.

Despite the poor current circumstances, Macquarie suggests that China's  push to support growth could lead to upside demand and notwithstanding the current weakness and volatility in most commodity prices, Minco believes that the long term outlook for the prices of both zinc and lead remains very favorable.

WOODSTOCK MANGANESE PROJECT

In July 2014 Minco completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") of its wholly owned Woodstock electrolytic manganese metal ("EMM") project, located 5 km west of the town of Woodstock and the junction of the Trans Canada and I-95 Highways in west-central New Brunswick, Canada.

Given the large capital investment required to build an EMM plant at Woodstock, Minco focused its efforts on attracting a development partner from one of the existing EMM producers in China. However, the global economic crisis has forced EMM producers, principally in China, to confront a host of difficulties that include a significant decrease in EMM prices, production over-capacity and rising costs of raw materials, electricity and labor.

These strained economic conditions have reportedly resulted in the closure of a significant number of Chinese EMM plants, dropping from 184 plants in 2011 down to only 23 plants in May of 2015. Despite the closure in a significant number of EMM plants, the industry is still faced with excess production capacity that is anticipated to continue exerting downward pressure on the EMM price until a balance is reached between production capacity and market demand.

In the meantime, Minco has initiated an internal screening level study to assess potentially reducing the capital investment required for the project by processing lower tonnages. In addition, Minco is investigating possible alternative measures to improve the project at lower processing rates that include:

·   The use of sulphur dioxide for leaching of the pre-concentrate material as a means of potentially reducing the capital investment for a fully-integrated sulphuric acid plant;

·   Production of electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) as an alternative to EMM;

·   Co-production of iron oxide pigment with EMM and;

·   Assessment of process equipment purchase cost saving that could potentially be realized by procuring the majority of the process equipment from Chinese equipment suppliers.

Among the many positive attributes of Minco's Woodstock EMM project, the key competitive advantages are that Woodstock is anticipated to have a project life of 40 years, excellent potential to increase the resource and extend the project life further, proximity to and ability to enter the U.S. market without being subject to the 14% import duty applicable to all other EMM producers in the world, and, most importantly, a projected operating cost that is anticipated to be amongst the lowest in the industry averaging  US$0.68/lb EMM over the life of the  Woodstock project.

FINANCIAL RESULTS

For the nine month period ended September 30, 2015, Minco recorded a loss of $146,000 compared to a loss of $352,000 for the same period ended September 30, 2014.   The loss for the nine month period ended September 30, 2015 included a foreign exchange gain of $503,000, compared to a foreign exchange gain of $568,000 during the same period in 2014.

For the three month period ended September 30, 2015, Minco recorded a loss of $225,000 compared to a profit of $135,000 for the same period ended September 30, 2014.   The loss for the three month period ended September 30, 2015 included a foreign exchange loss of $47,000, compared to a foreign exchange gain of $503,000 during the same period in 2014.

Administrative expenses excluding foreign exchange for the nine month period ended September 30, 2015 amounted to $680,000 compared to $919,000 in 2014.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2015 Minco invested $870,000 on exploration of its mineral properties, of which the largest amounts  were expended on the Buchans zinc lead project in central Newfoundland and on the Pennines zinc exploration project in northern England. 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING VOTING RESULTS

Details of the proxy votes for each Resolution voted at the AGM are set out below:









Resolution

Vote type

Voted

Voted %

Resolution 1

Report and Accounts

For

Against

Votes Withheld

 

34,690,2220

0

 

100.00%

0.00%

0.00%

 

Resolution 2

Re-elect

Patrick Downey

For

Against

Votes Withheld

 

34,689,2220

1,000

 

99.9%

0.01%

0.00%

Resolution 3

Re-elect

Warren MacLeod

For

Against

Votes Withheld

 

34,690,2220

 

99.9%

0. 00.00%

 

Resolution 4

Re-elect

Danesh Varma

For

Against

Votes Withheld

 

34,,689,2220

1,000

0

99.99%

0.01%

0.00%

 

Resolution 5

Re-appoint Auditors

For

Against

Votes Withheld

 

34,690,2220

0

 

100.00%

0.00%

0.00%

 

Resolution 6

Fix Auditors Remuneration

For

Against

Votes Withheld

 

34,690,2220

0

0

100.00%

0.00%

0.00%

 

Resolution 7

Authorise Directors to issue  securities

For

Against

Votes Withheld

 

34,690,2220

1,000

0

100.00%

0.01%

0.00%

 

Resolution 8

Disapply Section 1022 (1) of Companies Act 2014

For

Against

Votes Withheld

 

34,689,2220

1,000

0

99.990%

0.01%

0.00%

 

Resolution 9

Amendment to the Articles of Association

For

Against

Votes Withheld

 

34,689,222

1,000

0

99.99%

0.01%

0.00%

 

 

Proxies giving discretion to the Chairman have been included in the totals of votes in favour of each Resolution.

The full text of each Resolution was included in the Notice of the Meeting and Form of Proxy circulated to shareholders.

RESIGNATION OF DIRECTOR

Minco Plc reports that Rowan Maule has retired as a director of the Company, effective as of the close of the Annual General Meeting held today. Rowan had been a member of board since 2012 and the Board of Directors acknowledges and appreciates his contribution to the Company during his term on the Board.

ABOUT MINCO PLC

Minco Plc, incorporated in the Republic of Ireland and listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange ("MIO"), is an exploration and development company currently engaged in zinc-lead exploration in Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and is also evaluating its Woodstock manganese project in New Brunswick, Canada. 

Minco also holds an approximate 26% shareholding in Xtierra Inc., (TSXV- "XAG"), which holds mineral properties in Mexico, and a 2% NSR royalty on the Curraghinalt gold property in Northern Ireland, currently being explored by Dalradian Resources Inc. (TSX-"DNA"). 

Danesh Varma: CFO & Company Secretary


+44 (0) 8452 606 034

Peter McParland: Director - Ireland


+353 (0) 46 907 3709

Peter Tyler:  Chief Geologist - Ireland and UK


+44 (0) 78 5432 3056

Warren MacLeod: Director, President Buchans Minerals


+1 709 725 0555

John Frain: Davy (NOMAD)


+353 (0)1 6796363

Saif Janjua: (Corporate Advisor) (Broker, Beaufort Securities)


+44 (0) 20 7382 8415

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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