Berkeley Energia Limited (“Berkeley”) (ASX/AIM: BKY) is developing Europe’s largest uranium project, delivering sustainable jobs and fuelling Europe’s clean energy future. The project was transformed by the discovery of the shallow, high grade Zona 7 deposit which, when integrated into the overall development plan, makes the project one of the lowest cost producers globally.
The project benefits from a rare combination of low upfront capital costs of U$81.4m and very low operating costs of US$15.60 per pound of uranium produced during steady state operations. After an initial ramp up, production averages 4.3 million pounds per year during the first nine years of steady state operations.
Having received all the European Union, National, Regional and Provincial level approvals required, full construction of the Salamanca project commenced in early 2017.
Prairie Mining Limited (“Prairie”) (ASX/LSE/WSE: PDZ) is focused on the restart of the large scale Debiensko Premium Hard Coking Coal (HCC) Mine purchased in 2016 and also the development of the Jan Karski Mine, which is located in Lublin, south eastern Poland.
Since the principals of Apollo Group become involved with Prairie in 2011, the company’s market capitalisation has increased from $8 million to over $100+ million. This increase has been the result of key strategic decisions / actions taken by the company, including:
- Acquisition of the Debiensko Premium Hard Coking Coal Mine, and following the completion of a Scoping Study in early 2017, is currently in discussions with potential funding and regional offtake parties, and has also commenced a full BFS
- The successful application and granting of the Jan Karski Mine, which is now in the final stages of a full BFS being completed as part of a Strategic Funding and Construction co-operation Agreement between Prairie and China Coal
- Progressive appointment of a dynamic and experienced executive corporate and operational team
- Ensuring the companies activities are well funded by securing funding from a cornerstone investor as well as a number of UK based institutional investors
- Undertaking extensive development activities on both projects
- The first mining company to apply international standards and a systematic quality control approach for all exploration and development activities in the Polish coal sector
Paringa Resources Limited (“Paringa”) (ASX: PNL) is an emerging U.S. based energy provider developing the high margin, low capex Buck Creek Mining Complex located in the Illinois Coal Basin, one of the largest and lowest cost coal producing regions in the U.S.
The fully permitted Buck Creek Mining Complex is one of the last remaining large-scale undeveloped blocks of high quality coal with direct barge access to the Ohio River system that is not controlled by a major U.S. coal producer. The Ohio River system feeds domestic coal-fired power plants and coastal export coal terminals in the Gulf of Mexico.
Paringa recently completed a Bankable Feasibility Study which confirmed that the Buck Creek Mining Complex will be a very low capex and a high margin coal mine producing +6 million tons per annum. With forward sale agreements and environmental permits already in place, Paringa recently finalised its funding requirements, and commenced construction in August 2017, with production to commence by mid-2018.
Apollo Minerals Limited (“AON”) (ASX: AON) recently acquired an 80% interest in the Couflens tungsten-copper-gold project (“Couflens Project”) in southern France.
The Couflens Project comprises an exploration licence that covers a 42km2 area in the Pyrenees region and includes the historic Salau mine, which was one of the world’s highest grade tungsten mines when it operated from 1971 to 1986.
Apollo Group became involved with AON in mid 2016, which included a recapitalisation of the company to raise to raise over $4.5 million and a restructuring of the company’s activities.
The strong cash position, combined with Apollo Group’s extensive new business contacts, resulted in the acquisition of the Couflens Project in mid 2017 and a fourfold increase in the company’s share price.
AON is currently undertaking an analysis of the project’s extensive historical database and has also commenced a work program focussed on defining an initial mineral resource, as well as further delineating the gold and copper potential within project area
Salt Lake Potash Limited (“Salt Lake”) (ASX/AIM: SO4) holds a number of salt lake brine projects across Australia, having potential for the large scale production of Sulphate of Potash (SOP), a premium agricultural commodity with very limited supply.
With the initial focus on the highly prospective Lake Wells project situated in Western Australia, the company has rapidly progressed development with numerous drilling programmes on top of salt lakes, extensive trenching, pump flow tests, Mineral Resource upgrades, as well as completion of a successful Scoping Study.
The company is currently finalising a technical study to build the first Pilot Plant in Australia for SOP production, with construction scheduled to commence during the second half of 2017.
Piedmont Lithium Limited (formerly WCP Resources Limited) (“Piedmont”) (ASX: PLL) is developing the 100%-owned Piedmont Lithium Project in North Carolina U.S., with the goal of becoming a strategic domestic supplier of lithium to rapidly growing electric vehicle and battery storage markets.
The project is located in one of the premier regions in the world for lithium exploration given its favourable geology and ideal location close to infrastructure, power, R&D centres for lithium and battery storage, major high tech population centres and with two downstream lithium processing facilities within 20km of the deposits.
Sovereign Metals Limited (“Sovereign”) (ASX: SVM) is focused on the development of the Malingunde Graphite Project located in Malawi, near the capital city Lilongwe.
The Malingunde Graphite Project has the potential to be a very low cost graphite operation, targeting best in class margins and very low CAPEX, enabling entry into traditional and developing graphite markets, including Lithium ion batteries.
The Malingunde project was discovered in 2015 by Sovereign’s in-country geological team using hand auger drilling techniques in an area of no outcrop. The deposit is located just 15km SW of Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital city, and has access to enviable infrastructure. It is 25km from operating rail, 20km from a major power sub-station and has plentiful fresh water sources nearby.
The Malingunde deposit is hosted within weathered, soft saprolite (clay) material. Saprolite-hosted flake graphite mining operations, similar to those in China and Madagascar, usually have significant cost and environmental advantages over hard rock mining operations due to:
- Low mining costs: Free-digging material with very low strip ratios
- Low processing costs: Simple processing, generally with no primary crushing and grinding circuit resulting in large capital and operating cost advantages
A recently completed scoping study confirmed Malingunde’s significant cost advantages, with OPEX and CAPEX both in the lowest quartile. Sovereign is progressing feasibility studies on the project and is in discussions with a number of potential off take parties