Minco Plc – Half-Year Report June 30, 2015
Dublin, 27 August, 2015 – Minco Plc (AIM-“MIO”) (“Minco” or the “Company”) announces its half year financial results and report on operations for the six months ended June 30, 2015 which have been published today.
Copies of these documents are available on the Company’s website www.mincoplc.com and will also be available on request free of charge, from the Company’s registered office at 27 Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
For the six month period ended June 30, 2015, the Company recorded a profit of $82,000, compared to a loss of $487,000 for the same period ended June 30, 2014. The profit for the six month period ended June 30, 2015 included a foreign exchange gain of $550,000, compared to a foreign exchange gain of $66,000 during the same period in 2014.
During the six months ended June 30, 2015 Minco invested almost $600,000 on exploration of its mineral properties, of which the largest amounts were expended on the Buchans zinc lead project in central Newfoundland and on the Pennines zinc exploration project in northern England.
Administrative expenses excluding foreign exchange for the six month period ended June 30, 2015 amounted to $493,000 compared to $535,000 in 2014. At June 30, 2015, Minco held $4,903,000 in cash and cash equivalents and had a working capital surplus of $4,446,000, compared to a working capital surplus of $5,497,000 as at December 31, 2014.
RETIREMENT OF DIRECTOR
Minco Plc reports that Donald (Dennis) MacLeod has retired as a director of the Company, effective August 26, 2015. Dennis had been a member of board since the acquisition of Buchans in 2013 and prior thereto served as a director of Buchans Minerals since 2011. In recognition of Dennis MacLeod’s service, John Kearney, Chairman, stated “Minco’s Board of Directors acknowledges and appreciates the leadership and guidance of Dennis MacLeod, both to Minco and previously to Buchans Minerals, over many years. We extend to Dennis our best wishes on his retirement as a director.”
BUCHANS BASE METAL PROJECTS
During spring of 2015, Minco completed a drilling programme at Lucky Strike South at Buchans in central Newfoundland. The programme was undertaken to follow up of favourable results from drilling in 2014 and tested several mineralized stratigraphic horizons to explore for new high-grade massive sulphide deposits to depths of 300 metres.
All holes were drilled immediately south of Minco’s undeveloped Lundberg deposit, approximately 250 m south of the former Lucky Strike mine where previous operators, Asarco, mined 5.6 million tonnes averaging 18.4% Zn, 8.6% Pb, 1.6% Cu, 112 g/t Ag & 1.7 g/t Au before closing the Buchans mine in 1984.
Drilling intersected widespread ore clast mineralization comprised of massive sulphide fragments hosted by volcanic breccias within a deeper stratigraphic horizon known as the ‘Ore Clast’ horizon. All eight holes designed to test the Ore Clast horizon intersected mineralized felsic volcanic breccia ranging from 1 to 23 metres in thickness, and hosting massive sulphides to sulphide-rich clasts measuring up to 15 centimetres in diameter. Intercepts include 0.5 metres averaging 13.32% combined base metals (i.e., Cu%+Pb%+Zn%) as 1.80% Cu, 5.20% Pb, 6.32% Zn, 53.3 g/t Ag, and 0.18 g/t Au in hole H-15-3493, as well as 1.0 metre averaging 6.16% combined base metals as 0.35% Cu, 1.72% Pb, 4.10% Zn, 63.4 g/t Ag, and 0.27 g/t Au in hole H-15-3497.
Other notable results from the spring 2015 drill programme include new intersections of higher grade mineralization extending the Lucky Strike deposit to the south, where Hole H-15-3496 intersected 5.05 m averaging 5.98% combined base metals as 0.20% Cu, 2.15% Pb, 3.63% Zn, 8.9 g/t Ag, and 0.05 g/t Au, including 2.70 m averaging 7.41% combined base metals as 0.23% Cu, 2.74% Pb, 4.44% Zn, 10.1 g/t Ag, 0.06 g/t Au.
Further south, additional holes testing the Lucky Strike horizon yielded mineralized intercepts, as hole H-15- 3495 intersected 0.94 m assaying 12.04% combined base metals as 0.44% Cu, 3.80% Pb, 7.80% Zn, 88.4 g/t Ag, and 1.62 g/t Au; while hole H-15-3497 intersected 0.5 m averaging 8.23% combined base metals as 0.20% Cu, 3.60% Pb, 4.43% Zn, 32.2 g/t Ag, and 0.29 g/t Au.
Two drill holes, H-15-3495 and 15-3496, were drilled to further test high-grade massive sulphide mineralization west and northwest of high-grade massive sulphides previously intersected in hole H-14-3488 (high grade assays announced in Minco’s Press Release dated October 28, 2014). Both holes intersected weak mineralization at the Engine House horizon, suggesting the zone may thin and decrease in grade to the west.
In light of these positive drilling results, Minco has further expanded its programme of re-logging historic drill holes to determine potential for new high-grade discoveries below depths of previous mining near the former Lucky Strike mine. Re-logging of historical drill core from this area is expected to assist in refined geological interpretations that will identify new priority targets for discovery of new high-grade orebodies. Re-logging resumed in June and is expected to continue into the fall and may also evaluate other undeveloped base metal prospects in the Buchans area.
Minco intends to use this information from the ongoing re-logging program to propose additional drilling at Buchans to be undertaken during the fourth quarter of 2015.
WOODSTOCK MANGANESE PROJECT
Minco has been seeking a qualified partner for the continued development of its wholly owned Woodstock electrolytic manganese metal (“EMM”) project, located 5 km west of the town of Woodstock and the junction of the Trans Canada and I-95 Highways in west-central New Brunswick, Canada. Minco has been able to attract the attention of one of China’s largest EMM producers which recognizes the advantages offered by the Woodstock project and has initiated a technical due diligence on the property.
The global economic crisis has forced EMM producers to confront a host of difficulties that include a significant decrease in EMM prices, production over-capacity and rising costs of raw materials, electricity and labor. The combination of low EMM prices and production over-capacity has resulted in a highly competitive environment that has reportedly resulted in the closure of a significant number of Chinese EMM plants.
Despite the closure of many EMM plants, and EMM demand finally increasing again in 2014, the EMM industry is still faced with excess production capacity that is anticipated to continue exerting downward pressure on the EMM price until more plants are closed and a balance is reached between production capacity and market demand.
Among the many positive attributes of Minco’s Woodstock EMM project, the key competitive advantages are that the project is anticipated to have a project life of 40 years, excellent potential to increase the resource and extend the project life further, proximity to and ability to enter the U.S. market without being subject to the 14% import duty applicable to all other EMM producers in the world, and, most importantly, a projected operating cost that is anticipated to be the lowest in the industry.
MINERAL EXPLORATION AT NORTHERN PENNINES, ENGLAND
Over the period from late 2012 until the first quarter of 2015, Minco drilled a total of 7555 metres in 31 holes in the northern Pennines, centered on a 3.5 by 2.5 kilometre area in the vicinity of the village of Nenthead. Twenty five holes were sited to explore the Great Limestone horizon and six holes tested the deeper basal succession.
Minco’s 2012-2015 drill programme has established a significant stratiform component to the mineralisation within the Great Limestone which had not been previously recognised. The presence of small “flats” (stratiform stopes) on historic mine plans has proven indicative of laterally extensive stratiform replacement within the Great Limestone adjacent to historic workings, with perhaps an estimated eighty percent remaining in place. Fifteen kilometres of mineralised structure have been outlined by previous mining with flats recorded adjacent to 5.5 kilometres, all of which has potential for stratiform mineralization.
Hole NW002, drilled in early 2015, to explore the Whitewood-Barneycraig-Williams fault/vein structure in Northumberland, intersected 8.95 metres of zinc lead mineralisation averaging 3.82% zinc and 1.57% lead, including 5.6m averaging 5.80% zinc plus 2.13% lead, within the Great Limestone. The Barneycraig Fault was intersected at a debt of 230 metres within shales which were mineralised over 1.65 metres with a grade of 9.43% zinc. Above the Great Limestone, the Firestone Sill, a massive sandstone unit, was mineralised over 8.05 metres with a combined zinc/lead grade of 3.41%.
Hole NW001, which was also drilled on the Whitewood-Barneycraig-Williams fault/vein structure in late 2014, intersected three separate mineral sections at relatively shallow depths within and above the Great Limestone horizon, including a narrow intersection of 0.3 metres averaging20.9 % zinc at a depth of 187 metres.
The intersection of reasonable widths of lead and zinc mineralization at three different levels in both of Holes NW001 and NW002 is considered a very positive result and indicates the mineral potential of this large Whitewood-Barneycraig-Williams fault/vein structure which was previously demonstrated by historic mining to be mineralized over a strike length of 3.5 kilometres.
The extent of the stratiform mineralisation discovered by Minco in the Great Limestone to date is encouraging. Similar mineralisation within the thicker basal succession would be economically very significant. Further exploration of both the Great limestone and basal succession is planned.
Paul Moore, M.Sc., P.Geo., (NL), Vice President of Exploration of Minco’s subsidiary, Buchans Minerals, a Qualified Person, supervised the 2015 drill programme at Buchans and has reviewed the technical contents of this release relating to the Buchans drilling program.
ABOUT MINCO PLC
Minco Plc, incorporated in the Republic of Ireland and listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange (“MIO”), is an exploration and development company currently engaged in zinc-lead exploration in Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and is also evaluating its Woodstock manganese project in New Brunswick, Canada. Minco also holds an approximate 26% shareholding in Xtierra Inc, (TSXV- “XAG”), which holds mineral properties in Mexico, and a 2% NSR royalty on the Curraghinalt gold property in Northern Ireland, currently being explored by Dalradian Resources Inc. (TSX-“DNA”).
|Warren MacLeod: Director, President Buchans Minerals
Danesh Varma: CFO & Company Secretary
Peter McParland: Director – Ireland
John Frain: Davy (NOMAD)
Saif Janjua: (Corporate Advisor) (Broker, Beaufort Securities)
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Copies of this announcement together with copies of the unaudited interim financial statements and related management’s discussion and analysis for the six month period ended June 30, 2015 will be posted on the Company’s website at www.mincoplc.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and will be available for inspection at the Company’s registered office at 27 Hatch Street Lower, Dublin 2, Ireland.
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