Thu, 22 May 2014 19:05:00 +0200
Interim Report January – March 2014
Significant events during the first quarter of 2014
- The published evaluation of the prospecting results for Blötberget showed an increase in mineral resources, at 38 million tonnes in the categories of measured and indicated and 22 million tonnes in the category inferred.
- Sigrun Hjelmquist was elected as a regular member of the Board of Directors at an Extraordinary Meeting of Shareholders held on 13 March.
- An application for an environmental permit was granted by the Land and Environment Court on 20 March.
First quarter, 1 January – 31 March 2014
- Income amounted to SEK 0 million (0).
- Earnings after tax totalled SEK -5.8 million (-4.8).
- Investments during the January - March period amounted to SEK 3.3 million (4.9).
- Earnings per share before dilution amounted to SEK -0.50 (-0.41).
- Cash and cash equivalents on 31 March 2014 amounted to SEK 0.8 million (6.6).
Significant events after the end of the period
- An appeal against the Land and Environment Court’s decision was filed by a number of owners of properties in the vicinity of the planned processing plant.
So, finally, we received the important permit from the Land and Environmental Court to enable us to re-start mining operations at Blötberget and Håksberg. This means that the Company has all the major permits needed to begin construction work. Through the permit, we have also acquired a “leave of execution”, which in practice enables us to start work on the installation operations. A major project such as the mines at Ludvika also, of course, affects the environment in many respects, but the conditions stipulated in the environmental permit ensure that our operations will not harm the environment. However, some of our neighbours in the area around the industrial and mining sites have expressed their concern about the impact on their residential environment, and negotiations have taken place in a constructive spirit between the Company and the property owners in order to mitigate their worries. Nevertheless, a group of property owners have elected to appeal against the environmental ruling at the Land and Environmental Court of Appeal and are currently seeking leave to appeal. My hope, however, is that before the summer we can arrive at a resolution that is satisfactory to all parties.
Work on the feasibility study for Blötberget is in full swing. The first important process tests recently completed in Finland are providing us with valuable knowledge for deciding on the optimal process design and embarking on serious discussions with customers.
The tests indicate that there are excellent prospects for producing top-quality ore and we will in all likelihood be in a position to deliver products that are comfortably on a par with LKAB’s best dressed-ore products.
The project is thus moving forward, but last year’s tough capital market conditions for commodity projects continued during the period under review. Against that background, it is very gratifying that the government has now decided to allocate SEK 450 million for improvements to the Bergslagen Line to improve the conditions for ore shipments. The decision further reduces the element of risk in the project and will facilitate the capital procurement process currently under way. I anticipate being able to announce positive news on this front shortly.
Christer Lindqvist, CEO Nordic Iron Ore AB
Significant events during the period
A new estimate of the Company's mineral resources at Blötberget was published in February. The new figures, based on the development work performed in 2013, show that measured and indicated mineral resources at Blötberget now total 11 million tonnes with 35 percent iron and 27 million tonnes with 45 percent iron, while inferred resources total 22 million tonnes with 33 percent iron. This corresponds to an increase of around 50 percent in the total tonnage at Blötberget, and 31 percent more iron content than previously estimated.
Work on preparations for a supplementary drilling programme at Blötberget continued during the period. The aim of the programme is partly to survey the area between the Hugget/Betsta mines and the Kalv/Fly mines, and partly to upgrade parts of the mineralisations at Hugget/Betsta from inferred to measured resources.
During the period, the Company began the important process tests on ore samples from Blötberget, at GTK in Finland. The work is being conducted under the supervision of Tata Consulting, the Company’s process technology advisors. The results of the tests confirm findings from our earlier mining operations at Blötberget, regarding the processability of the Blötberget ores. The tests at GTK indicate that using modern processing methods it is possible to produce high-quality dressed magnetite ore with an iron content of around 70 percent and dressed haemetite ore with an iron content of around 68 percent.
During the period, the government adopted a national plan for Sweden’s transport system. The provisions of the plan included funding of approximately SEK 450 million for investments in the Bergslagen Line to support ore shipments from Ludvika.
Work on project planning for the rail terminal at Skeppmora, under the supervision of the Swedish Transport Administration, continued during the period and is expected to be finished during the third quarter.
The main negotiations on the Company’s permit application for Blötberget and Håksberg were completed in February following two extra days of negotiations. The Land and Environment Court then delivered its ruling on 20 March. Under the ruling, the Company is awarded a permit to re-start mining operations at the Blötberget and Håkberg mines, and to establish a new processing plant and tailings dam near Blötberget. The Company also acquired a leave of execution, which in practice enables us to commence operations even if an appeal process is taking place.
In parallel with the consideration of the Company’s application to the Land and Environment Court, the process of drawing up detailed plans for the industrial areas continued. It is anticipated that these plans will be completed in the second half of 2014.
Events after the end of the period
A number of owners of properties in Torsbovallen and Jansbo have appealed against the ruling at the Land and Environment Court of Appeal and are currently seeking leave to appeal.
SRK has been engaged as impartial mining consultant for the current feasibility study.
Share and ownership structure
At the end of the period, the share capital amounted to SEK 1,993,110, represented by 11,492,738 shares, with a quota value of SEK 0.17 per share. The number of shareholders at the end of the period was 1,756.
On the balance sheet date, the Group had cash and cash equivalents totaling SEK 823 th. The equity/assets ratio was 63.84 percent. The Group's equity amounted to SEK 49,342 th., corresponding to SEK 4.29 per share.
The Company intends in the second quarter of 2014 to raise additional capital to finance completion of the definitive “DFS Study” regarding the Blötberg mine and associated processing plant. A decision will then be taken on investments in the processing plant and mining equipment, which will require further major capital injections.
During the period January - June 2014, investments amounted to SEK 3.3 million, of which SEK 3.3 million pertains to prospecting resources and investigation work on the planned start of mining operations. The investigations primarily refer to preparations for drilling campaigns in Blötberget and the Väsman field, including assays. Investments in equipment amounted to SEK 0 million.
Seven (four) people were employed in the Company during the period.
Interim report, January – June 2014: 22 August 2014
Interim report, January – September 2014: 21 November 2014
Year-end report, January – December 2014 – February 2015
Risks and uncertainties
In addition to the risks associated with future global market prices for iron ore products that affect the profitability of the project, as well as the technical risks, the possibility of starting up operations depends on the requisite permits from authorities being obtained and the extensive capital requirements being met.
There have been no significant changes to alter this description.
Annual report and financial reports
The Company’s press releases and financial reports are distributed via Cisionwire and are available at www.nordicironore.se
Stockholm, 22 May 2014
Board of Directors of Nordic Iron Ore AB (publ) reg. nr 556756-0940
Göran Ekdahl Anders Bengtsson Jonas Bengtsson
Sigrun Hjelmquist Johnas Jansson Lars-Göran Ohlsson
Tomas Olofsson Per Storm Christer Lindqvist
This report has not been reviewed by the auditors.
Technical source material has been reviewed by the Company’s independent qualified person, mining engineer Thomas Lindholm, GeoVista AB, Luleå. Lindholm is a Competent Person as defined in the internationally recognized JORC code, based on his training and experience in prospecting, mining and assessment of mineral resources for iron, base metals and precious metals.
For further information, please contact:
Telephone: +46 (0)70 591 0483
interim Q1 2014