Bluejay Mining plc (LON:JAY), the AIM and FSE listed company with projects in Greenland and Finland, has today announced its final results for the year ended 31 December 2017. The Company also gives notice that its Annual General Meeting will be held on 28 June 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at The Washington Mayfair Hotel, 5 Curzon Street, London, W1J 5HE. Copies of the Notice of AGM, together with the Form of Proxy and Annual Report have been posted to shareholders and will be available to view on the Company’s website.
· Due to commence production at the world’s highest-grade ilmenite project in 2019
· Post-period-end delivered a 400% JORC resource increase for the Dundas Ilmenite Project (“Dundas” or the “Project”), defining 96 million tonnes at 6.9% ilmenite in-situ and a further exploration target of between 20-60 million tonnes at between 6% and 10% ilmenite
· Significant further upside remains – particularly at Iterlak, which was the surprise discovery of 2017 and has the potential to surpass deposit discoveries to-date
· Opportunity to upgrade the already high in-situ ilmenite grade by up to 30% via a simple oversize separation, further enhancing run of mine (ROM) grade and project economics
· Simple and streamlined processing means the Project is expected to be in the lowest quartile of ilmenite production costs globally
· Strategic Greenland location enables product to be sold to both European and North American markets
· Finalising offtake discussions with a bulk sample to be taken in coming 2018 field season to supply final product parcels to customers
· Preliminary Feasibility Study (“PFS”) due in the coming months, which will then feed into the final feasibility report that is due to be completed later this year
· Exploitation licence application is due for lodgement in the coming months, with final approval expected this year
· Strong government support – awarded “Prospector and Developer of the Year 2017” by the Government of Greenland in March 2018
· Significant further upside available from the Disko Nickel, Copper, Cobalt & Platinum Project in West Greenland, which has geological similarities to the world’s largest nickel/copper sulphide mine, Norilsk-Talnakh
· As a result of strong 2017 exploration results have significantly increased licence size and focus is now on refining drill targets
· Current cash position of >£15m – bolstered following a £17m placing in February 2018
Bluejay’s change of financial year end meant that this is my first opportunity to comment as Chairman and I am delighted to be able to present these results at such an exciting time in our development.
Bluejay is set to bring into production the world’s highest-grade ilmenite project in 2019, being the Dundas Ilmenite Project (‘Dundas’ or ‘the Project’) in north-west Greenland. Not only does this Project distinguish itself by grade, scale, legal jurisdiction; and strategic location It looks set to be in the lowest quartile for production costs, making it commercially very attractive. Having acquired an initial majority stake in the Project in December 2015, this has undoubtedly been a rapid rate of development, which is a testament to the commitment and skill set of our team along with the quality of our Project. With multiple value triggers due in the coming year, we remain committed to maintaining this pace of progress to realise production and deliver revenues for our shareholders in the near term.
We have strong confidence that, our product will be highly sought after thanks to a number of key attributes. First being the grade and size of the deposit. Post-period-end in April 2018 we delivered a 400% increase in the Project’s resource, defining 96 million tonnes at 6.9% ilmenite in-situ and a further exploration target of between 20-60 million tonnes at between 6% and 10% ilmenite. Of this, an Indicated Mineral Resource equal to 81 million tonnes at 6.1% ilmenite in-situ was defined at Moriusaq, which was the target area where the incumbent resource had been identified the year before, in April 2017. These results matched our internal expectations of size and grade for the Moriusaq target area, marking a great success. What we did not expect, from both the 2017 field work and the resultant resource upgrade, was the discovery of Iterlak. This deposit appears to host mineralisation of a similar size to Moriusaq but with much higher grades; initial sampling in 2017 of the active beaches here showed extensive areas of up to 80% ilmenite in-situ. This is incredibly significant, given that with Moriusaq alone we have already proven Dundas to be the world’s highest-grade ilmenite deposit; with Iterlak, we have the potential to surpass this record, and our own expectations, highlighting just how exceptional our Project is and the further upside opportunity.
The second defining factor that makes our Project attractive to end-users is the relatively simple and streamlined processing required. To refer to Dundas as a “mining” play is arguably not representative of the methods that will be employed to extract the high-grade ilmenite. Given that mineralisation is visible to the naked eye, only a very simple extraction and processing method will be required, which aside from the positive cost implications, ensures low environmental impact. Furthermore, the resource is chemically homogenous with low impurities, which means that wet gravity and dry magnetic circuits can produce two homogeneous and consistent grade ilmenite ores suitable for sulphate pigment as well as for sulphate and chloride slag, giving it multi-market application – something which we confirmed through the production of a bulk sample in 2017. We have also identified an opportunity to upgrade the already high in-situ ilmenite grade by up to 30% via a simple oversize separation step prior to processing, further enhancing run of mine (‘ROM’) grade and project economics. It is thanks to this simple processing method that we believe our Project will be in the lowest quartile of production costs, further adding to its commercial value and appeal.
Another aspect that will positively impact production costs is our location. Greenland is located such that it provides us with an ability to sell to both European and North American markets, both of which show strong demand for ilmenite. This accessible and strategic location means Bluejay’s ilmenite is set to be much cheaper to ship than the majority of current ilmenite producers which are based in Africa, giving us significant competitive advantage.
In support of securing an offtake partner, in September 2017 ROM, heavy mineral concentrates, standard ilmenite and premium ilmenite samples and specifications were shipped to prospective customers. Since then we have increased our resource size and grade even further and our focus is now on securing final commercial agreements. To this end, we are engaged in a number of positive discussions and another bulk sample will be taken from the active beaches at Moriusaq in 2018, where the current resource has been defined to supply final product parcels to customers.
The results of feasibility work currently underway will also be valuable in supporting these discussions as they will give a clearer indication of the Project’s economics. The results of the preliminary feasibility study are due in the coming months, which will then feed into the final feasibility report that is due to be completed later this year. We have appointed a number of leading mining consultants to undertake these studies for us, including SRK Consulting (‘SRK’), who will prepare the mining schedule and assess water management aspects as well as review the study as a whole; IHC Robbins who will complete the process plant engineering & design study; Royal IHC who will finalise a dredging study, and; Amec Foster Wheeler Americas Ltd who will undertake the infrastructure and services elements.
Aside from project economics, the final feasibility report will also form a part of the exploitation licence application that is due for lodgement with the Government of Greenland (‘Government’) in the coming months and which is expected to be approved this year. As part of this licencing application we have already successfully finalised the “Terms of Reference” for both the Environmental Impact Assessment (‘EIA’) and Social Impact Assessment (‘SIA’) and completed a White Paper, which encompasses the stakeholder consultation response period. I am pleased to report that we have had all documents accepted and approved by the Greenland Government and the relevant licencing bodies so far, along with a high degree of support from the local community. We enjoy a positive working relationship with and strong support from the Government of Greenland – as evidenced by our award of “Prospector and Developer of the Year 2017” by the Government of Greenland in March 2018 – and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them and all of the relevant national and local authorities as we finalise our licencing applications.
The Government has defined a new five year ‘Mineral and Oil Strategy 2018’, which feeds into a long-standing target of opening five large scale mines in the near term, with the first opening last year and now producing gemstones, and Bluejay vying to be the next off the block.
With additional bulk sampling for offtake as well as various civil and site works anticipated to be completed during 2018 we anticipate the completion of the various studies currently underway to allow for an exploitation licence to be lodged at the end of this field season. We continue to focus on the commencement of mining during 2019, which after just three years since the Project was acquired will be a fantastic achievement.
We intend to focus on the active and raised beach targets first, where we have defined the current resource and exploration target which alone has demonstrated ability to support a large and long-life mining operation. Further expansion potential exists both onshore and offshore, with an assessment of the shallow marine area due to be undertaken by SRK to evaluate the additional resources available in this environment. This will form part of our 2018 field work season commencing in July 2018. Much of this field work will focus on the Iterlak Delta and surrounding area, with drilling, resource definition, and marine bathymetric surveys to be undertaken to help build upon the area’s 20-60Mt exploration target. We are confident that significant potential exists here and believe that the Iterlak Delta, at 2.65 million sq m, is a primary sediment (and thus ilmenite) source for the broader licence area. The entire sediment package comprising the delta has been estimated at 78-145Mt.
Alongside Dundas, the Company is simultaneously advancing the Disko Nickel, Copper, Cobalt & Platinum Project in West Greenland (‘Disko’), which is of significant interest due to its geological similarities to Norilsk-Talnakh, the world’s largest nickel/copper sulphide mine in northern Russia (“Norilsk”). Both Disko and Norilsk contain nickel-copper-cobalt-platinum rich Magmatic Massive Sulphides (‘MMS’), with one 28-tonne boulder recovered from Disko being so significant that it is now displayed in the foyer of the Danish Geological Museum in Copenhagen. Exploration at this asset is still early stage, but results received from the 2017 field programme are overwhelmingly positive.
In Area 1 – The Kugg Project, located on the southern peninsular.
Surface sampling confirmed a working sulphide system with initial chemical assays in oxidised surface material returning 2.02% nickel, 0.8% copper and 0.2% cobalt. Alongside this, handheld XRF sampling on fresh, polished material returned values averaging between 4.6%-9.3% nickel and 1.5-2.8% copper, whilst a Moving Loop, High Powered Electro-Magnetic survey tested a number of low resistivity targets that had been identified by previous licensee holders.
In Area 2 – The Illug Project, located on the northern peninsular.
Data compilation and interpretation has identified numerous prospective targets and confirmed the presence of historically identified anomalies. These results are very encouraging and are being used to structure our 2018 work programme, which is focussed on developing drill targets. To support our exploration efforts, we have several parties interested in partnering with us and we will carefully evaluate these to determine the best way forward. Thankfully, due to the project’s relatively close proximity to Dundas, we are able to undertake work at both projects cost-effectively.
As a result of the strong results we have received to date and our understanding of Disko and its potential, in May 2018 we acquired an additional 1,616km2 to increase the project’s licence size to 2,586km2. To put this into perspective, this now means the Disko project area is approximately the same size as Luxembourg. We believe this asset’s scale and potential is yet to be reflected in our share price and accordingly believe Disko provides us with significant upside potential.
Looking at our wider portfolio, we continue to hold the Kangerluarsuk SedEx:
Lead-Zinc-Silver Project in Greenland (‘Kangerluarsuk’) and three high-grade, multi-element base metal deposits in southern Finland. We believe Kangerluarsuk offers a good development opportunity in the future. In Finland, our assets are cost sustainable for the long term whilst we assess the best ways in which to realise value. To help us best determine this, a low cost work programme has been put in place for the Outokumpu licence areas, which will include diamond drilling and ground geophysical surveys. The main objective of this work programme to target the “Kuusjärvi depression zone”, which is a ~6km long section of the Outokumpu belt. Work will be conducted in two stages, with the first consisting of approximately 1,800m of drilling and ground geophysical surveys that will last approximately 2-3 months, whilst stage 2 will consist of approximately 2,000m of drilling and DHEM surveys, again lasting 2-3 months.
The loss before taxation of the Group for the 18-month period ended 31 December 2017 amounted to £2,680,708 (12 months to 30 June 2016: £620,059).
The Group’s cash position at 31 December 2017 was £2,901,922 (30 June 2016: £425,046).
In February 2018 the group raised £17m by issuing 77,272,728 new ordinary shares of 0.01 pence at a price of 22 pence per share. The funds raised is to primarily support the rapid advancement of the Dundas project and fast track into production and commercialisation. This will include completing an Environmental Impact Assessment and Social Impact Assessment, commencing procurement of long lead items to support mine plant construction and supporting infrastructure, finalising the pre-feasibility study, completing the exploitation application and lodgement and facilitating the offtake as well as other general activities. Additionally, the raise will help fund the 2018 work programme at Disko and other interests in the wider project portfolio.
We have a world class asset with numerous advantages. We anticipate meaningful news flow as we get closer to exploitation licence approval and production at Dundas., Alongside this, our Disko project offers significant upside that could further transform the value of our Company. Indeed, I believe we are in an incredibly strong position to have not one but two incredible assets. Our focus is to commence mining at Dundas in 2019 and establish Bluejay as a highly profitable production company whilst unlocking the value potential of Disko.
To be in the position we are today, is the result of a great deal of hard work and skill shown, by all our employees, consultants and partners. Their experience and focus has and is contributing to Bluejay creating a world class portfolio which has positioned us for strong, long-term growth. I would like to thank our shareholders for their long-term support, we are lucky to have a strong and supportive base of investors and we hope that the coming months and years will continue to be value accretive for all our stakeholders.