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Edited Transcript of LGO.TO earnings conference call or presentation 13-May-20 2:00pm GMT

Q1 2020 Largo Resources Ltd Earnings Call

TORONTO Jun 27, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Largo Resources Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 2:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Alex Guthrie

Largo Resources Ltd. - Manager of IR & Communications

* Ernest M. Cleave

Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO

* Paul Vollant

Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading

* Paulo Guimarães Misk

Largo Resources Ltd. - President, CEO & Director

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Conference Call Participants

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* Carlos De Alba

Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Equity Analyst

* Heiko Felix Ihle

H.C. Wainwright & Co, LLC, Research Division - MD of Equity Research and Senior Metals & Mining Analyst

* James Young

West Family Investments, Inc. - VP & Investment Analyst

* Leon G. Cooperman

Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good day. My name is Joanna, and I will be your conference operator today. I would like to welcome everyone to the Largo Resources First Quarter 2020 Financial Results Conference Call. (Operator Instructions)

I'll now turn the conference over to Alex Guthrie. Please go ahead.

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Alex Guthrie, Largo Resources Ltd. - Manager of IR & Communications [2]

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Thank you, operator, and welcome, everyone, to the Largo Resources Q1 2020 Financial Results Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded, and a replay will be available starting tomorrow within the Investor Relations section of our website at largoresources.com. Our Q1 2020 results press release, MD&A and financial statements are also all available on the company's website and on SEDAR. Some of the information you will hear during today's discussion will consist of forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, those regarding future business outlook. In addition, non-IFRS financial measures, such as cash operating costs and cash operating costs excluding royalties, total cash costs, revenue adjustment payable, revenues per pound sold, vanadium sales per pound sold, revenue adjustment per pound sold and revenue adjustment payable at April 30 will also be discussed during today's conference call. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated and risk factors that could affect results are detailed in the company's AIS and other public filings, which are all available on SEDAR and the company's website.

Further information regarding Largo's use of non-IFRS measures is also available in our Q1 2020 results press release and in the company's latest MD&A. Financial amounts presented today will be in Canadian dollars, except as otherwise noted. Market and industry data contained and incorporated by reference during this call concerning economic and industry trends is based upon good faith estimates of our management or derived from information provided by industry sources. Largo believes that such market and industry data is accurate and the sources from which it has been obtained are reliable. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information, and we have not independently verified the assumptions upon which projections of future trends are based.

Speaking first, will be Largo's President and CEO, Paulo Misk, who will provide highlights from the company's Q1 2020 results, followed by Largo's CFO Mr. Ernest Cleave, who will then provide some additional detail on the company's Q1 2020 financial performance. Following Ernest, Largo's Director of Sales & Trading, Mr. Paul Vollant, will provide an update on the vanadium market.

Finally, we'll open the call to questions. I will now turn the call over to Paulo for opening remarks.

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Paulo Guimarães Misk, Largo Resources Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [3]

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Thank you, Alex, and welcome, everyone, to our quarterly update conference call. I will begin the call by highlighting some of the company's ongoing and preventive measures associated with the global COVID pandemic. We continue to measure the rapidly developing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to take all possible actions to help minimize the impact on the company, its people and on the community of Maracás. Our thoughts continue to be with those affected by this virus.

Operations at the Maracás Menchen Mine continued during Q1 2020, and the company maintains its 2020 production, sales and cost guidance on as business as usual basis. At this time, there has been no significant disruption to the company's ability to ship products from sites and the supply chain for its operation. And the level of critical consumers remain at normal levels.

Additionally, not a single employee or contractor has tested positive for the virus. And we believe that the risk to our operating team in Maracás continues to remain relatively low. To date, the restrictions imposed by the government in Brazil have not significantly impacted the company operations, but the potential future impact of these restrictions and other restrictions globally on the company's operations, sales efforts and logistics is unknown, but could be significant.

The federal government in Brazil has declared mining operations, including activities of mining or treatment, production, sales, transportation and the supply of mineral goods as essential to the country. These activities will continue despite local government restrictions on business activity and the circulation of people. The company has also implemented additional safety protocols, including travel restrictions, health screening, the increased hygiene measures in an effort to minimize the spread of the COVID-19.

The company continues to follow the recommendation provided by the house authorities and our corporate office personnel have been instructed to work from their homes where possible. The company has started critical functions at the mine site and has encouraged those on nonessential roles to work from home. In an effort to mitigate some of the facts relativity relating to the COVID-19 in our local communities, the company has provided 4 ventilators and purchased and donated COVID-19 test kits to local hospitals. In addition, we have donated PPE materials such as protective coveralls, safety boots, masks and safety glasses as well as 4,500 food baskets to families in the state of Bahia to further help with the impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We continue to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and help ease the effects caused by this virus.

Largo produced 2,831 tonnes of vanadium in Q1 2020, representing an increase of 35% over Q1 2019. This increase was largely due to the company expansion project that was completed in Q4 2019 and the kiln maintenance performed in Q1 2019. Production on Q1 2020 was however, 6% lower than Q4 2019 as a result of the hot spot in the cooler's shell, which required a number of stoppages for maintenance on the refractory. The company's Q1 2020 global V2O5 recovery was 29.9% was in line with both Q1 2019 and the budget with the strong recovery levels seen in both the crushing and milling areas of the plant.

The annual kiln and cooler shutdown to replace the refractory and the planned improvements to the kiln and cooler to increase capacity that was scheduled for April 2020, has been deferred to later in 2020 as a result of the cautionary measures taken by the company in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work is not expected to have an impact -- an impact on the company's production later this year. The company instead performed an enhanced preventive maintenance program in the chemical plants for approximately 15 days, and a result, production in April 2020 was 480 tonnes of V2O5.

The company performed well on a unit-based -- unit cost basis, achieving a cash operating cost, excluding royalties, of $2.79 per pound in Q1 2020, which represents a decrease of 18% Q1 over Q1 2019. For Q1 2020, total cash costs were $3.01 per pound of V2O5.

We are very pleased to report the company's achieved its commercial independence on April 3, 2020, following the expiration of its offtake agreement. We are over 85% committed on our annual sales guidance for 2020, and the company expects the balance will be sold in the spot market, and be used to build safety stocks in strategic regional hubs. The company expects Q2 2020 to be a transition quarter where sales will be lower and inventory may increase mainly due to the longer period of time between production and revenue recognition, as compared to the terms under our previous offtake agreement.

The company continues the necessary work required for the construction of its V2O3 processing plants, which is expected to commence in Q1 2021. The company's V2O3 processing plant at Maracás Menchen Mine is expected to increase sales in the high-purity aerospace market, chemical industry and vanadium electrolytes used in the vanadium redox flow batteries. The company expects the ramp-up and commissioning of the plant to conclude in Q3 2021. And total capital expenditure to be in the range of approximately USD 10 million to USD 11 million with USD 9 million being incurred in 2020.

The company is also evaluating the timing for the construction of its ferrovanadium conversion plants, including the deferral of planned 2020 capital expenditures in light of the COVID-19. This deferral will not impact the company's commercial strategy in 2020 as it will continue to utilize third-party converters around the globe.

In addition, precautionary measures regarding COVID-19 have caused delays in the start of the company's 2020 drilling program. And work will commence as soon as the drill contractor and the company are able to mobilize people and equipment to the mine site based on the government recommendations.

In summary, we believe the transition away from our previous offtake agreement will prove beneficial, both strategically and economically for the company, as we begin to sell our vanadium products internally. The Maracás Menchen Mine has a proven track record of premium product quality and operational stability, which allows Largo to provide its customers with reliable source of vanadium supplies for the global steel and premium yielding high-purity markets.

Largo is now an even more important player in the global vanadium industry. And we look to continue maximizing value for all of our shareholders of the industry as the industry's preferred producer and supplier of vanadium.

With that, let me turn the call to Ernest, who will provide highlights from our Q1 2020 financial performance.

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [4]

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Thanks to everyone for joining the call today. The company reported net income of $5.7 million in Q1 2020 compared to a net loss in Q1 2019 of $2.2 million. This is largely due to an increase in revenues, the decrease in finance cost and a decrease in the total tax expense. This was partially offset by an increase in operating cost and an increase in the foreign exchange loss. Revenues in Q1 2020 were $58.2 million after a positive re-measurement of trade receivables of $2.4 million, representing an increase of 31% over Q1 2019. Revenues per pound sold for USD 6.31 in Q1 2020 compared with USD 7.19 per pound in Q1 2019.

The company sold 3,170 tonnes of V2O5 in Q1 2020, representing an increase of 51% over Q1 2019 and which represents a new quarterly sales record. Vanadium sales from a contract with a customer was $55.8 million in Q1 2020 compared with $101.4 million in Q1 2019. Vanadium sales per pound sold in Q1 2020 was USD 6.05 compared to USD 16.46 per pound in Q1 2019. This decrease was largely due to a decrease in the V2O5 price with an average price per pound of V2O5 of approximately $6.07 for Q1 2020 compared with approximately USD 16.34 for Q1 2019.

As a consequence of the increase in the V2O5 prices in Q4 2019 and the positive revenue adjustment per pound realized in Q1 2020, the company's revenue adjustment payable was USD 64.8 million at March 31, 2020. The company's revenue adjustment payable at April 30, 2020, was largely unchanged at $64.4 million. And assuming fluctuations in the V2O5 price of $1 per pound after April 2020, the company expects the revenue adjustment payable to impact future periods, either positively or negatively by approximately $3.9 million.

Operating costs for Q1 2020 were $36.4 million compared to $29.1 million in Q1 2019 and include direct mine and mill costs of $24.3 million, this compares with $19.5 million in Q1 2019. The increase in direct mine and mill costs is mainly attributable to the increase in production and sales during the quarter. As Paulo mentioned, cash operating costs, excluding royalties of USD 2.79 per pound, were down 18% over Q1 2019 and total cash costs were USD 3.01 per pound V2O5.

In summary, the company's liquidity position remains strong following the expiration of our offtake agreement. The company's cash balance at April 30 was $204.6 million, and that is equivalent to USD 147.5 million, and the revenue adjustment payable was USD 64.4 million. We view the transition to commercial independence as an economic catalyst to the company and look forward to reaping the full benefits associated with the elimination of the re-measurement of our trade receivables or payables under the previous offtake agreement as well as receiving 100% of the price premiums associated with high-purity vanadium sales.

With that, I will now turn the call over to Paul Vollant, who will provide an update on the vanadium market. Following Paul's update, we will open the call to questions.

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [5]

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Thanks, Ernest, and thanks, everyone, for joining the call today. As Paulo previously mentioned, following the expiration of the company's offtake agreement, we continue to be fully dedicated to the promotion and sales of Largo's VPURE and VPURE+ products. We have assembled a very strong commercial team who has committed approximately 85% of the company's annual guided sales for 2020. We expect the balance will be sold in the spot market and used to build safety stocks.

Since our last conference call, the European V2O5 price increased 25% to $6.88 per pound of V2O5 between March 20 and today. This price increase is largely due to low availability and supply concerns because of the government enforced lockdown in South Africa, where about 10% of the global vanadium supply comes from.

On the demand side, we continue to see steel production in China returning to pre COVID-19 levels. Rebar production in China is up approximately 10% year-on-year, largely driven by the construction sector. China was a net importer of vanadium in March, which we see as a further positive sign for demand. In Europe, we are seeing an increase in activity, which hopefully means that the worst is now behind us.

On the supply side, South Africa has now began easing its lockdown and operation should gradually get back to normal. The European ferrovanadium price has remained relatively flat in April, with prices sitting at $25.88 per KGV, and continues to trade at a significant discount to V2O5. The master alloys market that mainly caters to the aerospace industry is experiencing greater impacts due to COVID-19. We expect a period of low demand for its high-purity vanadium requirements. As a result, our high-purity V2O5 sales should be lower than expected in 2020.

This, however, does not affect our total guided sales for 2020 as we remain confident to place our vanadium units in other markets. Overall, our view continues to remain positive in the medium and long term as large government stimuluses are supporting infrastructure spending in China and other emerging markets. With that, we will now open the call for questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) Your first question comes from Heiko Ihle from H.C. Wainwright.

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Heiko Felix Ihle, H.C. Wainwright & Co, LLC, Research Division - MD of Equity Research and Senior Metals & Mining Analyst [2]

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Earlier on this call, you mentioned that quote "the worse is now behind us," and I hope that you're right on this in a variety of different ways during these crazy and unprecedented times. Kicking it off, as per your MD&A on March 18, you got a loan in Brazil at an interest rate of 3.35%. A week after on March 24, you got another credit facility with a different bank in Brazil, fully drawn down at a rate of 6.29%, this is as per Page 8 of your MD&A.

A couple of questions on this. Why is the difference in interest rates so large? And also -- and this is probably a more complicated one, why you draw down all these funds, like literally a month before your agreement with a firm that I won't mention here ultimately expired.

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [3]

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Yes. Let me take those questions. And thanks for those, Heiko. Just in terms of the coupon on those 2 lines of credit, the candid reality was that the market was rapidly evolving due to COVID-19. And the cost of the second transaction increased from the early negotiations and discussions, but we still felt that it was at a level that was low enough from a coupon perspective to take on board. As to your second question, we see the money that we're drawing down on the credit lines as a buffer, as a safety to the company level operations. But these are not revolving lines. So to the extent that we don't draw down on them, they could be retracted or adjusted in the future. So we felt it was prudent to actually draw down on the money when it was available, so that we have it in hand. And that was the thinking behind actually taking that cash.

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Heiko Felix Ihle, H.C. Wainwright & Co, LLC, Research Division - MD of Equity Research and Senior Metals & Mining Analyst [4]

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So what you're essentially saying is the interest rate doubled in a week given that the world was falling off a cliff?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [5]

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Well, for that particular customer, but it wasn't across the board. But certainly, things have been rapidly evolving, and this was one instance where this was clearly evident.

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Heiko Felix Ihle, H.C. Wainwright & Co, LLC, Research Division - MD of Equity Research and Senior Metals & Mining Analyst [6]

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That's crazy. I figured that might be the answer, but it's crazy, and I am at a loss. Okay. Can you venture a guess on your G&A savings during Q2 given the -- I mean, travel’s essentially stopped; conference attendance, I mean, is all virtual now. How meaningful a number do you think that is and how sustainable throughout the rest of the year and going forward?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [7]

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I don't think it's going to be a number that moves the needle tremendously. If you look at our operating cash cost per pound and total cash cost, which has been a measure of all our costs, including our sales division, corporate divisions, et cetera, there's probably like a $0.21 difference. So yes, there will be some savings, but candidly, Heiko, they will be pretty minor. We have tried to be cost-conscious all the way along. So there isn't really that much to cut from the G&A side.

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Operator [8]

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The next question comes from Carlos de Alba from Morgan Stanley.

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Carlos De Alba, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Equity Analyst [9]

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Hopefully, you and your families are safe. I have a few questions. The first one, if I may, is related to how much volume do you consider that should go to build the safety stocks this year? And also, can you maybe refine a little bit more or give us some color as to how much of your sales could go now to the high-purity market in light of the comment that you made earlier that you see them below the guidance that you had previously provided?

And then regarding cost, is it fair to assume that the evolution of your cash cost will probably peak in terms of the level in the second quarter because of the maintenance that took place. Or if you do the kiln maintenance later in the year, that could impact the cost. And therefore, depending when that maintenance takes place, that will be the peak of your cash operating costs. Any colors on the evolution of costs throughout the year, that will be useful.

And then finally, if I can ask about the price outlook. I mean clearly there is a lot of uncertainty, but with South African supply restarting and demand, even if we saw the worst already likely staying below what we thought it was going to be at the beginning of the year, how do you see prices for the remainder of the year for vanadium?

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Paulo Guimarães Misk, Largo Resources Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [10]

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I just want to answer about the maintenance and the impact of the kiln. And then, Paul, I appreciate if you could give us your -- all the answers regarding commercial and price and market. The maintenance of the kiln that we are postponing in 2020 basically will not impact the production because we have already intermediate stockpile of the V2O5 in order to keep producing the -- our final products.

It means it's not going to have impact on the dilution of the indirect costs. And also all the production, all the costs related to this maintenance is considered as a CapEx, sustaining Capex. So it's not going to impact the OpEx anyhow. And we are very confident that everything that we have planned even though we have some restrictions with COVID-19, will be implemented, and we will follow in 2020 overall.

Paul, could you give the answers regarding the commercial end market, please?

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [11]

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Sure, Paulo. Carlos, with regards to your first question and the volume we intend to have as safety stocks. Our target today is to build safety stocks around the globe in various regional hubs that represent approximately 1 month worth of production. And that will be spread between the mine in Maracás and 2, 3 locations in Europe, U.S. and Asia.

With regards to your second question on the high-purity sales and the impact of the current crisis, as you understand, it's a very dynamic issue, and we are working very closely with our customers to see how we can support them in this situation and also build long-term win-win relationship with them. So so far, it's difficult to give a clear guidance, but we would expect that our sales for high-purity will still be above what we had in the previous years. So we're still confident that we can increase our sales of high-purity in 2020 compared to 2019.

With regards to the price forecast, again, it is difficult to say. We try not to give too much forecast. But if we look at the long-term historical average, it is still significantly higher to today's price. And we still expect that the price will continue to remain -- to become stronger in the near term.

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Carlos De Alba, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Equity Analyst [12]

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Great. And just, Paul, if may I just -- on the stocks, 1 month of production, are you guys starting from 0 or you're already halfway through? Or how close are you to the 1 month?

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [13]

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We have been starting from 0 following the end of our offtake agreement with Glencore, and we are building through it right now. So yes, we're building through it. It's not going to be fully in place before another few months.

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Carlos De Alba, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Equity Analyst [14]

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And if I may squeeze one more. I missed Paulo's -- the details of Paulo's comments on the revenue recognition. And the changes that you may have under the current commercial strategy versus what you had before. I wonder if you could repeat them, please.

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [15]

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That is for Paulo, correct?

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Carlos De Alba, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Equity Analyst [16]

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Yes. I think Paulo alluded to something -- some changes in revenue recognition under the current commercial strategy. I may be wrong, but I thought it was what he was talking about.

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [17]

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Paulo, do you mind if I just take that corporately?

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Paulo Guimarães Misk, Largo Resources Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [18]

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Yes. Please…

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [19]

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Yes. So I think the section that Paulo was talking about is in the past we've sold to Glencore directly from the mine gate and effectively, we get paid 20 days later. So it's a very simple process. What Paulo was alluding to is the fact that our sales cycle is now changing, where we're actually building up these intermediary inventories and stocks in various locations. And obviously, we have inventory in transit. So the nature of our operations has changed as of versus how it was under the previous offtake partner.

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Operator [20]

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The next question comes from Lee Cooperman from Omega Family Office.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [21]

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Let me first say I'm very happy to hear that everybody at the company is healthy. It's good news, keep it that way. You mentioned slightly 2 different numbers. You said 80% or 85% of our 2020 production was committed and 15% to 20% in the spot market. What was the committed price of the 80%, 85% and how does that compare with how you're selling -- what you're getting in the spot market?

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [22]

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Lee, this is Paul. Paulo, do you want to go with that?

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Paulo Guimarães Misk, Largo Resources Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [23]

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No, go ahead, Paul. Go ahead.

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [24]

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Yes. Our sales commitment on the guided annual sales forecast for 2020 is 85%. And the reminder, as we said before, will be going to the spot market and also to build our safety stocks. The committed sales are largely contracted on formula prices. So there are prices based on established price with either a discount or a premium to the market, depending on the quality of vanadium that our customers require. And so these prices will evolve as the time of delivery comes.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [25]

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So you're saying, while it is committed, it's not committed to as to price.

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [26]

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No. The volumes are committed, but the price will be finalized at the time of delivery.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [27]

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Would you expect that price to be higher or lower than the spot market currently?

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [28]

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The price would be based on the spot price at the time of delivery. So depending on where the prices are let's say, in June for the June deliveries, we will calculate the actual invoice price to the customer.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [29]

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I think there was a number $6.88, mentioned as the current price, is that correct?

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [30]

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Yes. That is the average price of the Metal Bulletin publications for the European V2O5, which is our main batch market.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [31]

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Second question, maybe directed to Ernest. Can you just take me through the fully diluted share count and how you get there? Because there was a very major increase year-over-year in diluted shares, almost 100 million. And I don't know if that's just due -- I don't think the stock went up that much, so that wouldn't be the result of that. Why such a large increase in diluted share count? And what is the fully -- is the 624 million an accurate portrayal of the fully diluted share count presently?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [32]

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Yes. So let's deal with the 624 million first, 624 million is based on the treasury stock method. So I'll give you the fully diluted, just on an absolute basis is 676 million, which breaks down to shares of 563 million. There's about 2.5 million RSUs options, just shy of 7 million in warrants, 104 million.

To my mind, the fully diluted it's only a function of what's happened in a particular quarter in terms of where we are, where we've been in the cycle. But in terms on an absolute basis, we're still pretty much where we've been since last year. So we added it all in. I think at 1 stage, we were sort of 650 million, but we're 676 million right now. So I think it's been relatively consistent.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [33]

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It's a rough idea. Do you have any recollection if, in fact, we got the 676 million shares, how much money the company would take in before the RSUs, the options, the warrants were all exercised? Rough idea.

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [34]

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Well, let's see. Yes, a rough one. So the -- yes, no, that's fine. The biggest portion is the warrants. The warrants right now are just shy of 104 million. And the exercise price is like $0.41 so about CAD 40 million for all of those, if you were to -- if you were to bring them all in.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [35]

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Okay. That's close enough. That's close enough. Okay. Then can you address the ForEx loss? Is that the result of a change in the U.S. dollar versus Canadian dollar or the Brazilian real? What is the currency that we should be watching?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [36]

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Yes. It's a great question. So interestingly, there are really 2 impacts. And you can -- if you look at, I believe it's Note 16 on a segmented disclosure in the financials, you can see we've had 2 different impacts. One was the impact in Brazil, which was negative. And the impact in Canada, which was positive, and I'll explain both.

The negative adjustment in Brazil was related to the revaluation of the Glencore obligation. So that the amount of money that we're paying in a few days, the $64.4 million actually gets revalued in the Brazilian accounts. And that gives rise to a loss if the Brazilian real is deteriorating.

Conversely, on the Canadian side, our U.S. dollar investments increase proportionately with the strengthening of the U.S. dollar. So the net of the 2 was still a loss, but that impact in Brazil is not going to go away as we pay down this obligation to Glencore in a couple of days, and you shouldn't see such large FX variances. They are really book variances as we revalue those debts.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [37]

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On the balance sheet, you had CAD 206 million of cash. The $54.4 million that you're paying out to Glencore, U.S. dollars or Canadian dollars?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [38]

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Yes. So that's -- so that's U.S. So what happens is we have $64.4 million owing to them. They owe us from April sales, USD 7 million, so that's a normal receivable to the company. So the net of $57 million.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [39]

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So USD 57 million. So roughly speaking, I just multiply it by 1.4. So the cash position of $206 million will be reduced by the cash payout, and then…

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [40]

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So after the Glencore payment, you'd be left with about USD 83 million.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [41]

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$82 million?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [42]

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$83 million. So and then if you deducted the debt of $25 million, leaves you with about $58 million net U.S. cash after the payment.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [43]

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Based upon your committed sales and current price levels and your cost of production. I assume you would expect to generate cash this year?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [44]

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Actually, we're going to be flat because of the impact of building the inventory over that 2-month period -- that May-June period. So for the remaining period of the year, the sort of 8 months May to December, we're going to be flat to slightly negative. So we're going to be ranging in this USD 50 million cash range. So $58 million will probably be a high. But we're going to be in and around the mid- to low $50 million cash over the remainder of the year.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [45]

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And that's after paying back the loans that you took out earlier this year, correct?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [46]

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No, that's net, so yes.

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Leon G. Cooperman, Omega Advisors, Inc. - President, CEO & Chairman [47]

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Right, right. But the $50 million would be after allowing for the repayment of those loans?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [48]

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Yes. So it's net. So it's cash less by $25 million.

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Operator [49]

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The next question comes from Jim Young from West Family Investments.

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James Young, West Family Investments, Inc. - VP & Investment Analyst [50]

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Just to clarify, the outlook for the cash flow from May to December, where you said you'd be basically flat to a little bit negative. What price assumption are you using for the posted price of V2O5 for that assumption, please?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [51]

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Jim, yes, we went with $6.45, $6.45 as our forecast on there.

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James Young, West Family Investments, Inc. - VP & Investment Analyst [52]

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So $6.45, so you're basically assuming that V2O5 prices will modestly decline between -- through the course of the end of the year on average?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [53]

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We just took the April average really and just extrapolated that over the remainder. I think. I think we're actually slightly more positive, but for forecasting purposes, we just did that.

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James Young, West Family Investments, Inc. - VP & Investment Analyst [54]

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Okay. Secondly, you mentioned that the closure in South Africa due to COVID did have a -- it had a positive impact, I guess, on the overall dynamics in the vanadium industry because I guess it's about 10% of the industry. But could you just share with us what are you hearing out of Russia? Because as I watched the Johns Hopkins COVID numbers, Russia is now the second largest country with the known COVID cases. And so given the situation with EVRAZ and the like, what -- any color that you can provide us on the status of production and any other disruptions that you're hearing about in Russia?

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Paulo Guimarães Misk, Largo Resources Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [55]

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Paul, do you want to have a go at that?

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Ernest M. Cleave, Largo Resources Ltd. - CFO [56]

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Paul, can you…

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [57]

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Sure. Yes, so the closure of the mining operations in South Africa, definitely had an impact and raised a lot of concerns in Europe. On the availability of V2O5, South Africa for this is about 10% of the global vanadium units. If you consider actually China consuming more or less 60% and producing 60% of the overall market, the effect of South Africa outside of China is actually much greater than that. It's more than 20% of the supply outside of China. The mines in South Africa seem to be reopening gradually in May. So I think that the situation will get back to a more normal situation by the end of this month.

In Russia, we have not had any stoppage of operation. And I think mining and industrial industries are very strategic for the country. So so far, they are continuing to operate. But I think we also share your concern in the sense that Russia's production is almost double the one from South Africa and there, it represents the vast majority of vanadium produced outside of China. So any impact in Russia would have a huge impact on the vanadium market. But so far, we don't know of any disruption of production in Russia for vanadium for instance.

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James Young, West Family Investments, Inc. - VP & Investment Analyst [58]

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Okay. You kind of broke up a little bit there, Paul. So are you saying that effectively that Russia -- South Africa is about 10% of the industry supply that Russia is like 20%?

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [59]

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Yes, roughly.

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James Young, West Family Investments, Inc. - VP & Investment Analyst [60]

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Okay. Good. Secondly, and the last question I had is regarding the Chinese imports, I believe, Paul, you had said that the -- that China had some -- was a net importer in the month of March. And as I recall that China historically has been a net supplier to the global industry. And the last time that China imported product into the country on a net basis that the prices had a significant positive impact on the prices, going forward.

So can you just give us a sense as to what -- have you heard anything, when will the April numbers be released? And any other context you can give us regarding the state of the Chinese market overall and the impact on the global vanadium market would be helpful.

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [61]

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Yes. I think it's definitely very positive news that China was a net importer of V2O5 in March. The COVID-19 situation has, I think, been dealt with earlier than in the rest of the world in China, and we're seeing very good steel demand and vanadium consumption in China at the moment. So yes, it can only be very positive for the market.

There are more stringent applications of the rebar standard in China currently, which definitely would help push vanadium utilization rate in the steel industry. You might know that ferroniobium prices are trading currently at a significant premium to vanadium in China. So that also creates a positive momentum for vanadium consumption and prices. So overall, I agree with you. It's a very good sign if China by far the largest consumer of vanadium, is importing V2O5 in March. And regarding the A4 numbers, we'll probably know in the next week or 2.

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James Young, West Family Investments, Inc. - VP & Investment Analyst [62]

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Okay. And the premium that the ferroniobium prices are trading at in China can you give us a sense as to what's the relative premium that they're trading at today?

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Paul Vollant, Largo Resources Ltd. - Director of Sales & Trading [63]

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Yes. It's approximately 25% to 30%.

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Operator [64]

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There are no further questions. I will now turn it over for closing comments.

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Alex Guthrie, Largo Resources Ltd. - Manager of IR & Communications [65]

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Thank you, operator, and thanks to everyone for joining us today. As we noted earlier, Largo's Q1 2020 results press release, financial statements and MD&A can be found within the Investor Relations section of our website at largoresources.com. That concludes our call. Thanks, everyone.

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Paulo Guimarães Misk, Largo Resources Ltd. - President, CEO & Director [66]

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Thank you, everyone.

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Operator [67]

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Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the conference call for today. We thank you for participating, and we ask that you please disconnect your lines at this time. Enjoy the rest of your day.