Energizer Resources Provides Corporate Update
Energizer Resources Inc. (TSX: EGZ) (OTCQX: ENZR) (WKN: A1CXW3) (“Energizer” or the “Company”) announces update on its recent corporate developments and upcoming milestones.
Filing of Molo Project Feasibility Study Technical Report
Further to the Company’s news release of February 5, 2015, titled, Energizer Resources Inc. Announces Positive Results of its Feasibility Study, the full Molo Graphite Project NI 43-101 technical report relating to the Company’s Feasibility Study (“FS”) has been filed on SEDAR. The report is also accessible on Energizer’s website at www.energizerresources.com.
With the FS report available, the Company is now able to move forward on three key fronts.
- Mining Permit: The application for the environmental permit has been submitted and accepted by the Madagascar government, which is the catalyst for the application of the mining permit as the environmental and mining permit approval process run concurrently. The Company’s expectation is to have the mining permit in place by the fourth quarter of 2015.
- Off-take & Strategic Partners: Discussions with potential strategic partners concerning both project financing and off take agreements can now be significantly advanced, as several interested parties who have entered into Confidentially Agreements with Energizer have informed the Company that the delivery of the FS report is a mandatory requirement in their process of negotiating a binding agreement.
- The Company can now actively begin engaging both the debt and equity financing channels as part of the capital raise process for mine development. The delivery of the FS was also a mandatory requirement for the project “debt” providers to even consider a financing initiative.
To date, the Company has received only 100%-positive feedback from the companies evaluating the quality of the Molo graphite concentrate for anode use. This validates that the concentrate is of very high quality based upon independent end-user analyses. The pilot plant-produced samples analyzed to date have been of varying quantities and the Company believes it is an accurate representation of the graphite concentrate that would be produced at the Molo Graphite Project.
In February of this year, the Company had a large quantity of graphite concentrate upgraded to battery-grade purity of 99.975% carbon (C). This purified concentrate was then shipped to potential off-takers in Asia, North America and Europe who had requested purified samples as part of their on-going evaluation process for the use of Molo concentrate in battery applications. Many of these evaluating parties also spherically cut the purified Molo concentrate to meet their product specifications. On the heels of this latest round of advanced product testing, the Company plans to conduct follow up visits with several end users in the spring and looks forward to reporting test results as they become available.
FS Optimization Study Underway
The Company was pleased to report in its news release of February 5, 2015 the positive results of its FS, confirming that the Molo project is economically viable with a planned mine design that the Company believes is both conservative and realistic. The FS indicated robust project economics and in particular, an operating cost (ex-mine) of US$352/tonne, which positions Energizer in the lowest cost quartile of graphite producers.
Further, the Company believes that there may be opportunities to reduce both the operating expenditures (“OpEx”) and capital expenditures (“CapEx”) of the project. In an effort to quantify these potential reductions, the Company has initiated portions of a detailed engineering review to further optimize the FS.
Some of the key aspects of the optimization study will include the following:
i) The engagement of two engineering consultants to review the design and construction plan anticipated in the current FS model. As part of this review, the Company will consider other execution strategies such as constructing a large percentage of the mine processing facility off site, which would then be disassembled, shipped and reassembled on site in a “plug and play” type scenario. The Company believes that the potential benefits for this type of build plan could be lower CapEx costs, shorter construction timelines to production and improved management and quality of build process to help ensure the project would be remain on budget and on time.
ii) Issuing of requests for proposal regarding a possible renewable energy solution for the Molo site. Based on preliminary discussions and feedback from several energy storage system solution providers, this could provide an overall reduction in energy costs, which would then translate into further OpEx savings as compared to what has been modeled in the FS. An option being investigated is a 5 to 8 megawatt solar PV/diesel hybrid off-grid power facility that may be able to reduce project power costs, which are calculated on 100% diesel generation in the current FS. An international environmental agency is currently in Madagascar conducting a comprehensive analysis of the country’s wind and solar characteristics. The agency has begun mapping the entire island to record wind and solar data, with the Molo site being fast-tracked in the process and will be mapped over the next two weeks.
The climate and geographical location of the Molo Graphite Project provides an ideal setting for a renewable energy power solution and could minimize the effect of possible escalating costs of diesel in relation to ongoing power needs at site. A solar and/or wind powered option is very appealing to Energizer, whose corporate environmental goals are to operate as “clean and green” as possible and to minimize the carbon footprint of the project. This may also provide us with the opportunity to participate in the trade of international carbon credit units.
Upgrading of Main Arterial Roadway Close to Molo Project
Energizer has re-confirmed that the European Union (EU) has reinstated civil infrastructure development projects in Madagascar, beginning with the allocation of funds for the upgrading of the main arterial roadway, Route Nationale 13 (RN13). The road work is being completed by Sara SRL, a recognized Malagasy engineering construction company. Representatives from both Sara SRL and the EU have independently confirmed the allocation of tenders in Madagascar for the road rehabilitation work.
This roadway connects the capital city of Antananarivo to the state-of-the-art deep water port of Ehoala in Fort Dauphin, which is the port that Energizer plans to utilize for shipping its Molo graphite.
The Ehoala port was constructed for and being utilized by Rio Tinto/QMM’s ilmenite sands project in the south-eastern region of the country. The upgrade of the RN13 has begun with the portion closest to the Molo Project and will eventually end at the port, which currently has both excess capacity and power.
It is expected that this first portion of the road upgrade will be completed by the end of spring 2015, with the second portion of the works program expected to begin immediately after to extend the road to Ambavombe, where it will intersect with the EU’s 2016 program to rehabilitate the third section, which is the coastal road out to the ocean port at Fort Dauphin.
The upgrading of RN13 has the potential to positively impact the Company’s projected mine economics that were used in the FS report by reducing the transportation costs from the Molo site to the port, and subsequently the total transportation costs to customer destination resulting in lower overall operational costs.
The Company can now begin actively engaging both the debt and equity financing channels as part of the capital raise process for mine development. In February of this year, Energizer’s senior management attended Mining Indaba, Africa’s largest mining conference, and met with over 15 individual banks and private equity firms for discussions on arranging project debt and equity financing. Numerous debt providers are interested in assisting the Company, and are currently at various stages of their due diligence processes. Meetings also included those with international financial institutions specifically focused on investment in African projects.
All discussions regarding project financing with chartered banks, private equity groups and strategic partners are being conducted in parallel with those concerning off take agreements and the Company looks forward to providing regular updates as they become available.
In regards to the private placement previously announced on March 12, 2015, the Company is continuing to work with the agents in the marketing of the transaction and hopes to close the financing in the coming two weeks.
Craig Scherba, P.Geo., President and COO is the qualified person for the technical information provided in this release.
About Energizer Resources
Energizer Resources is a mineral exploration and mine development company based in Toronto, Canada, that is developing its 100%-owned, flagship Molo Graphite Project in southern Madagascar.
For further information contact:
Brent Nykoliation, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development: +1.416.364.4911
or Craig Scherba, President and COO: firstname.lastname@example.org
Safe Harbour: This press release contains statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation. These forward looking statements are often identified by the use of the words, “plans”, “believes”, “may”, “could”, “will”, “expects” and “shall” and other similar type words. Some of these forward looking statements relate to the Company’s expectations relating to discussions and results with evaluating companies in respect of the graphite from the Molo Graphite Project, receipt of a mining permit, discussions with off-take and strategic partners, potential reductions in Capex and Opex at the Molo Graphite Project, use of alternative energy, logistical savings, development of the roadways in Madagascar, savings of transportations costs, project financing and off take agreements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and assumptions that involve a number of risks, which could cause actual results to vary and in some instances to differ materially from those anticipated by the Company and described in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur or, if any of them do so, what benefits the Company will derive there from. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as at the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable securities laws. Investors should review risk factors in the Company’s 10K and management discussions and analysis regarding risks that may affect the Company’s expectations and forward looking statements.
The disclosure the Company’s disclosure record uses mineral resource classification terms that comply with reporting standards in Canada and are made in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101—Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”). NI 43-101 establishes standards for all public disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects. These standards differ significantly from the mineral reserve disclosure requirements of the SEC set forth in Industry Guide 7. Consequently, information regarding mineralization contained in the Company’s disclosure record not comparable to similar information that would generally be disclosed by U.S. companies in accordance with the rules of the SEC. Under SEC standards, mineralization may not be classified as a “reserve” unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve determination is made. Among other things, all necessary permits would be required to be in hand or issuance imminent in order to classify mineralized material as reserves under the SEC standards. The Company’s disclosure record uses the terms “measured mineral resources,” “indicated mineral resources” and “inferred mineral resources” to comply with the reporting standards in Canada. The SEC does not recognize mineral resources and U.S. companies are generally not permitted to disclose mineral resources of any category in documents they file with the SEC. Investors are specifically cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into mineral reserves as defined in NI 43-101 or Industry Guide 7. Further, “inferred mineral resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and as to whether they can be mined legally or economically. Therefore, investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an inferred resource exists. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of “measured mineral resources,” “indicated mineral resources,” or “inferred mineral resources” will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part of the reported “measured mineral resources,” “indicated mineral resources,” or “inferred mineral resources” in this press release are economically or legally mineable. For the above reasons, information contained in the Company’s disclosure record containing descriptions of our mineral resource estimates are not comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements of the SEC.
Investors are advised that Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimate and in keeping with “best practice principles”.