PERTH, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwired - Jan 28, 2016) - Bannerman Resources Limited (BMN.AX)(BAN.TO)(BMN.AX) ("Bannerman") is pleased to announce highlights from its December 2015 Quarterly Activities Report released today. The full report is available on Bannerman's website at www.bannermanresources.com and on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).
Bannerman Resources Limited (BMN.AX)(BAN.TO)(BMN.AX) achieved numerous milestones during the December quarter and thereby significantly enhanced its early mover advantage in a rising uranium price environment.
Optimisation Study significantly reduced the Etango operating and capital costs and increased the first 5 full production years profile.
Eliminated the A$12 million convertible note debt.
Raised A$4 million new funding.
Achieved 100% Etango project ownership through acquiring 20% vendor interest.
Results from Phase 2 of the Heap Leach Demonstration Plant Program further highlights the robustness of the Etango DFS and Optimisation Study.
On 11 November 2015 Bannerman announced it had completed an Optimisation Study ("OS") on the geological modelling and mine planning aspects of the Etango Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS"). Key outcomes of the OS (at a life-of-mine price of US$75/lb U3O8):
Project net present value (NPV8%) of US$419M (previously US$69M).
Post-tax internal rate of return ("IRR") of 15% (previously 9%).
Average annual production of 7.2Mlbs U3O8 over an initial 15.7 year open pit mine life;
9.2Mlbs U3O8 per annum over the first five full production years (previously 7.9Mlbs).
Average life-of-mine cash operating costs of US$38/lb U3O8 (reduced 17%);
US$33/lb U3O8 over the first five full production years (reduced 20%).
Pre-production capital of US$793M including mining fleet (reduced 9%).
Rapid payback from first production (4.4 years) and initial mine life to payback ratio of 3.6 times.
Total operating cash flow of US$3.7B before capital and tax, and free cash flow of US$1.6B after capital and tax. From production commencement, average annual operating cash flow of US$236M and free cash flow of US$150M. Peak annual free cash flow of US$392M.
Potential upside from heap leach demonstration plant results and other identified opportunities still to be incorporated via additional optimisation work.
On 31 December 2015, the Company announced that it completed significant transactions with the Company's major shareholders, Resource Capital Fund IV L.P. and Resource Capital Fund VI L.P. ("RCF IV" and "RCF VI" respectively and "RCF" collectively), and with Mr Clive Jones, a director and shareholder of the Company, that deliver significant project ownership and balance sheet restructure.
The completed transactions entailed:
Acquisition of the minority interest (20%) in the Etango Project from the current owners (represented by Mr Clive Jones) for payment of approximately 123.4 million new Bannerman shares and A$1 million in cash;
Extinguishment of the A$12 million convertible notes through:
conversion of A$8 million of the convertible notes held by RCF into Bannerman shares at the given conversion price of A$0.075 per share;
sale of a 1.5% royalty over the Etango Project to RCF for A$6 million, comprising A$2 million in cash and extinguishment of the residual convertible notes held by RCF (comprising A$4 million); and
A$3 million capital raising through an equity placement of approximately 63.3 million new Bannerman shares to RCF VI at A$0.0474 per share.
Bannerman's Chief Executive Officer, Len Jubber, said:
"In the December quarter Bannerman made significant progress in advancing the bankability of the Etango project and creating a corporate structure to facilitate financing the project.
The culmination of an extensive review of the geology and mining aspects of the project in significantly lower operating and capital costs, together with increased production in the early years has resulted in materially repositioning the Etango project in the global cost curve of projects targeting development in a near term rising uranium price.
Further, the creation of a debt free well-funded company, owning 100% of a globally significant project capable of development in a near term rising uranium price creates a strong platform from which to engage with parties interested in participating in the development of the Etango project."
Chief Executive Officer
28 January 2016
About Bannerman - Bannerman Resources Limited is an ASX, TSX and NSX listed exploration and development company with uranium interests in Namibia, a southern African country which is a premier uranium mining jurisdiction. Bannerman's principal asset is its 100%-owned Etango Project situated near Rio Tinto's Rössing uranium mine, Paladin's Langer Heinrich uranium mine and CGNPC's Husab uranium mine currently under construction. A definitive feasibility study and an optimisation study has confirmed the technical, environmental and financial (at consensus long term uranium prices) viability of a large open pit and heap leach operation at one of the world's largest undeveloped uranium deposits. In 2016, Bannerman is continuing a large scale heap leach demonstration program to provide further assurance to financing parties, generate process information for the detailed engineering design phase and build and enhance internal capability. More information is available on Bannerman's website at www.bannermanresources.com.
Certain disclosures in this report, including management's assessment of Bannerman's plans and projects, constitute forward looking statements that are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to Bannerman's operation as a mineral development company that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Full descriptions of these risks can be found in Bannerman's various statutory reports, including its Annual Information Form available on the SEDAR website, sedar.com. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Bannerman expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Mineral Resources include Ore Reserves (Mineral Reserves)
Mineral Resources which are not Ore Reserves (Mineral Reserves) do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The information in this report relating to the Mineral Resources of the Etango Project is based on information by Mr Ian Glacken. Mr Glacken is a Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Glacken is a full-time employee of Optiro Pty Ltd. Mr Glacken has sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralisation and types of deposits under consideration and to the activity which is being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the "Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves", and a Qualified Person as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101. Mr Glacken consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
The information in this report relating to the Ore Reserves of the Etango Project is based on information by Mr Leon Fouché. Mr Fouché is a Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Fouché is a full-time employee of the Company. Mr Fouché has sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralisation and types of deposits under consideration and to the activity which is being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the "Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves", and a Qualified Person as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101. Mr Fouché consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
The information in this report pertaining to Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves for the Etango deposit is extracted from the report entitled "Etango Uranium Project Optimisation Study November 2015" and is available to view on www.bannermanresources.com.au. The company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcement and, in the case of estimates of Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves, which all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed. The company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person's findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.
All material assumptions detailed in this report and underpinning the production target and forecast financial information in the DFS Optimisation Study (as previously announced on 11 November 2015 in compliance with Listing Rule 5.16 and 5.17) continue to apply and have not materially changed.
ABN 34 113 017 128