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AIM:VAST

Vast Resources PLC

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Market:
AIM
Market Cap:
£22.69 m
Price
0.17 GBX
Change
-0.12%
52 weeks high
0.47
52 weeks low
0.11

Vast Resources has a long-standing presence on the ground in both Romania and in Zimbabwe. It is focussed on establishing a portfolio of productive assets in these two countries in the near term and moving its pipeline of brownfield and appraisal opportunities up the development curve. This is intended to give shareholders exposure to a diverse range of commodities including copper, gold, silver, zinc, lead and diamonds from several different mining operations in two highly prospective jurisdictions.

The Company’s priority is on the advancement of its two primary value drivers, the Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine in Romania, and the Chiadzwa Community Concession in Zimbabwe, into near term production.

The Company also has exposure to a pipeline of development and appraisal opportunities in Romania offering additional upside to Vast.

OPERATIONS

ZIMBABWE

CHIADZWA COMMUNITY CONCESSION, MARANGE

The Chiadzwa Diamond Fields located in Marange are widely regarded as the richest alluvial diamond deposits globally.

In September 2019, the Company announced it has signed a Joint Venture Agreement with Chiadzwa Mineral Resources (Pvt) Ltd (“CMR”), a company designated to represent the Chiadzwa Community interests in the Concession.  This resulted in the formation of Katanga Mining (Pvt) Ltd (”Katanga”). A further Joint Venture Agreement between Katanga and the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (Pvt) Ltd (“ZCDC”), a government entity which represents the Republic of Zimbabwe in the diamond mining sector, is set to be officially signed. Details of the Chiadzwa JV will be announced at the same time as the announcement of the ZCDC JV to which it is linked.

BLUEBERRY GOLD PROJECT

Vast holds a 29.41% interest in the Blueberry Project, a 7.285km² brownfield area of prospectivity in the Golden Quadrilateral located in the immediate vicinity of the now closed Baia de Aries mine.  The Golden Quadrilateral has significant areas of polymetallic prospectivity (copper, zinc and lead coupled with particularly high gold and silver) and has been estimated to have produced approximately 55 million ounces of gold in the past.  Also in the Golden Quadrilateral are Rosia Montana with a reported NI 43-101 Resource of 17.1 million ounces of gold and 81 million ounces of silver (SRK Consulting – October 2012) and Euro Sun Mining’s, Rovina Valley project with a reported 7.2 million ounces of gold and 1.4 billion pounds of copper (AGP Mining Consultants – NI 43-101 – July 2012).

Historic work across the perimeter area has demonstrated prospectivity for gold and polymetallic mineralisation with sample values of up to 22.4g/t of gold were obtained from historic soil sampling.  A drilling programme and assaying is underway, which is anticipated to deliver sufficient information to support an Inferred JORC Mineral Resource for gold and other polymetallic minerals including silver, copper, lead and zinc in one or more of several distinct breccia pipes.

Vast’s interest in Blueberry is held through Vast’s subsidiary company, EMA Resources Ltd, which is intended to develop into a standalone enterprise significant enough to justify an IPO.  It is intended that Vast will have management and control of the future mining operations at Blueberry, and also over the exploration programme and the IPO process in consideration of a fee equal to 10% of pre-IPO costs.

MAGURA NEAGRA POLYMETALLIC LICENCE

The 21km2Magura Neagra prospecting Permit is located in the Zagra-Telciu area in Bistrita-Nasaud County of Romania and lies adjacent to Vast’s Piciorul Zimbrului licence.  Following initial prospecting work Vast has undertaken a drilling programme targeting sets of polymetallic veins together with areas of disseminated sulphide mineralisation the results of which are awaited.  If these are as expected this will enable the Company to apply for a full exploration licence.

The mineralisation is associated with areas of intense silicification and is hosted within silicified sandstones spatially related to a quartz diorite.

Historical prospecting activities undertaken by the state exploration company IPEG Cluj during the period 1986-1993, identified five polymetallic veins ranging in widths from 0.30m-5.00m, together with an 800-metre-long zone of disseminated sulphide mineralisation which was intersected in an underground drive accessed by means of a surface adit (Gallery 47).  The underground drives are developed from elevations ranging between 972m amsl-1,340m amsl representing a vertical extent or exposure of 368m.

A spatial analysis of the vein system, areas of intense silicification and occurrences of disseminated mineralisation may indicate the possible presence of a porphyry copper type mineralising system together with mineralised veins containing gold, silver, molybdenum, lead and zinc.

MANAILA POLYMETALLIC MINE

Vast Resources owns a 100% interest in the Sinarom Mining Group SRL, which owns the Manaila Polymetallic Mine in Suceava County, northern Romania where economic mineralisation is primarily comprised of copper, lead and zinc. The mine is located 26km from the town of Iacobeni, where the project’s current metallurgical complex is located. Infrastructure at the complex consists of crushing, milling and flotation circuits.

Manaila historically produced a 13% copper concentrate and a 3g/t gold concentrate, with excessive zinc content that resulted in penalties and therefore low prices per tonne of concentrate.  Since taking operational control, Vast has successfully improved the quality of the copper concentrate in addition to commissioning a separate zinc concentrate line and a Knelson concentrator to produce a pyrite concentrate with gold and silver credits.

ROMANIA

BAITA PLAI POLYMETALLIC MINE

Baita Plai is located in the Apuseni Mountains, Transylvania, an area which hosts Romania’s largest polymetallic and uranium mines. The project is 50km north-west of Romania’s largest Au-Cu mine, Rosia Montana (>10Moz Au) and 52km north-west of Roșia Poieni, which contains over one billion tonnes of porphyry copper ore.

Due to lack of capital investment and modernisation the Baita Plai mine became uneconomic and was put on care and maintenance in 2013. The mine benefits from full infrastructure including underground, surface and processing equipment and an EU registered and operational tailings facility, which requires some rehabilitation.

Following the formal approval by ANRM on 10 October 2018 for the grant of an Association Licence to African Consolidated Resources srl (“AFCR”) the Company’s 80% subsidiary, AFCR and Baita SA, the holder of the head licence, signed a pre-agreed commercial contract on 16 October 2018 giving AFCR the right to mine at Baita Plai.

PICIORUL ZIMBRULUI POLYMETALLIC LICENCE

The 10km2Piciorul Zimbrului prospecting Permit is located in the Zagra-Telciu area in Bistrita-Nasaud County of Romania and lies adjacent to Vast’s Magura Neagra licence.  Following initial prospecting work Vast has undertaken a drilling programme focussing on six previously identified veins with associated copper and gold mineralisation along an underground drive developed for 820m at an elevation of 835m above main sea level.  If the results are as expected this will enable the Company to apply for a full exploration licence.

Previous exploration activities, conducted by IPEG Cluj, the former state exploration company, included 1,200m of underground development and underground diamond drilling, along with 862m surface diamond drilling and geological mapping over an area of 4.0km2.  Several trenches and pits totalling 238m and 3,484m3 were excavated on surface.

In addition to the six veins on which drilling has taken place, a further two veins with associated polymetallic mineralisation were investigated with an additional two veins exhibiting gold, silver, and antimony mineralisation, which were encountered in the underground development at an elevation of +950m amsl.

All the veins are hosted within Paleocene sandstones and the full extent of the veins has not been defined. Mention is made in literature of exploration activities undertaken in 1981 for disseminated porphyry copper in the silicified sandstones.

CARLIBABA EXTENSION PROJECT

In tandem with optimisation initiatives at the current operating Manaila open pit, Vast is currently advancing its strategy to establish a new, larger Manaila Metallurgical Complex (“MMC”) at Manaila or at the adjacent Carlibaba Manaila Extension, which is the site of an intended future open cast mine and new metallurgical processing facility.

Results were reported in November 2017 from 2,150m drilling programme designed to confirm Carlibaba’s suitability as a second open pit mine within the Manaila licence area.  Subject to an economic assessment, the drilling results supported the development of a second open pit operation at Manaila, in addition to a new metallurgical processing facility on site, which would reduce Manaila opex costs by up to 25%. It is anticipated that this would be funded using pre-payment finance from the Company’s intended offtake partner.

Andrew Prelea - Chief Executive Officer

Andrew has been involved with Vast since 2013 and has spearheaded the development of the Company’s Romanian portfolio. Beginning his career in the early 1990s as a bulk iron ore and steel trader in Romania, he then went on to develop his career in the property and earthmoving sector in Australia before returning to Romania in 2003, initially to focus on the development of properties for the Romanian Ministry of Defence and latterly, private sector developments. Throughout his 26 year career, Andrew has developed extensive investor and public relations experience and has advised the Romanian government on wide ranging high-level topics including social housing and economic policy. He has built a strong network of contacts across the mining and metals industries and Europe and southern Africa, in addition to policy makers and governmental authorities.

Brian Moritz - Chairman

Brian is a Chartered Accountant and former Senior Partner of Grant Thornton UK LLP, London; he formed Grant Thornton's Capital Markets Team which floated over 100 companies on AIM under his chairmanship. In December 2004, he retired from Grant Thornton UK LLP to concentrate on bringing new companies to the market. He specialises in natural resources companies, primarily in Africa, and was formerly chairman of Metal Bulletin plc, African Platinum plc and Chromex Mining plc as well as currently being chairman of several junior mining companies.

Roy Tucker - Finance Director

Roy is a Chartered Accountant with 43 years of high level and broad spectrum professional and business experience. He has been the founder of a London banking group, served on bank boards and had a position as a major shareholder of a substantial London commodity house. He is also the founder of Legend Golf and Safari Resort in South Africa. He has substantial investment in the Romanian property sector.

Craig Harvey - Chief Operating Officer

Craig began his career with Gold Fields of SA in 1988 as a bursary student in Economic Geology where he worked on various gold, platinum, coal and exploration projects. At Harmony Gold he managed the mineral resources on various operations and was involved in due diligence on acquisitions. He joined Simmer and Jack with a focus on shallow hydro-thermal gold deposits in the Eastern Transvaal and later moved into a corporate role managing and auditing the mineral resource process across all gold and uranium operations. Craig spent 3 years in a Principal Consultant role for Ravensgate based in Perth, Australia, where he conducted numerous resource estimations, valuations and technical reports mainly in gold, uranium, copper and iron ore. Craig joined Vast Resources as a consultant in 2013 and became Chief Operating Officer in March 2017. During his tenure with Vast Resources, he has been heavily involved in both Zimbabwe and Romania.

Nick Hatch  - Non-Executive Director

Nick has 35 years’ experience in mining investment banking, primarily as a mining analyst and in managing mining & metals research and equities teams. He was most recently Director of Mining Equity Research at Canaccord Genuity in London. Nick’s experience includes researching and advising on mining companies and projects across the globe and across the commodity spectrum and includes companies of all sizes. Nick left investment banking in 2017, and has recently set up his own company, Nick Hatch Mining Advisory Ltd, to provide mining research, business development and financing advice. He holds a degree in Mining Geology and is a Chartered Engineer.

Paul Fletcher - Chief Financial Officer

Paul has 25 years’ experience working in the commodity and financial services industries. He has held a variety of senior international finance and operational roles in trading, processing, and financial businesses in the US, Europe, and Asia, most recently with Bunge, the US agribusiness and food company, as Global CFO & Controller of Bunge Financial Services, a Bunge group business unit providing financing and risk management solutions, and as Treasury and Trading Product Line Controller. Prior to joining Bunge, Paul held various senior roles within Cargill’s energy business and internal audit, PepsiCo Snacks and KPMG.

Email : [email protected]

Tel : +44 (0) 207 846 0974

Joint Broker

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP
35 Maddox Street
London W1S 2PP

Joint Broker

SVS Securities Limited
4th Floor, Princes Court
7 Princes Street
London  EC2R 8AQ

Nominated and Financial Advisor

Beaumont Cornish Limited
2nd Floor, Bowman House
29 Wilson Street
London EC2M 2SJ

The identity and percentage holding of any significant shareholders as of 18th September 2020.

Nominated and Financial Advisor

Beaumont Cornish Limited
2nd Floor, Bowman House
29 Wilson Street
London EC2M 2SJ

Joint Broker

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP
35 Maddox Street
London W1S 2PP

Joint Broker

SVS Securities Limited
4th Floor, Princes Court
7 Princes Street
London  EC2R 8AQ

Auditors to the Company and Reporting Accountants

Crowe Clark Whitehill
St. Bride’s House
10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8EH

Registrar

Link Asset Services
The Registry
34 Beckenham Road
Beckenham
Kent BR3 4TU

Bankers

Barclays Bank PLC
1 Churchill Place
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HP

Bankers

Standard Bank Isle of Man Limited
Standard Bank House
1 Circular Road Douglas
Isle of Man 1M1 1SB

Financial Public Relations & Investor Relations

Blytheweigh
4-5 Castle Court
London  EC3V 9DL