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Battery Mineral Resources Corp
Symbol BMR
Shares Issued 170,872,279
Close 2021-11-24 C$ 0.45
Recent Sedar Documents

Battery Mineral's Punitaqui to resume production

2021-11-24 21:17 ET - News Release

Mr. Martin Kostuik reports

BATTERY MINERAL RESOURCES PROVIDES CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

Battery Mineral Resources Corp. has provided an update regarding business activities and has outlined steps toward potential near-term cash generation. The recently acquired Punitaqui mine in Chile is slated for resumption of copper production in mid- to late 2022.

Battery is an investor-focused company with high-quality assets, providing shareholder exposure to the global megatrend of electrification through its assets and the commodities they represent -- namely cobalt, graphite, lithium and copper. Battery Mineral is determined to provide value growth through cash flow, exploration and acquisitions in top mining jurisdictions.

Punitaqui copper mine

Punitaqui is a former-producing copper mine located in the Coquimbo region of Chile with an eight-plus-year operating history within which it produced up to 25 million pounds of copper in concentrate annually. Punitaqui was recently acquired by Battery Mineral through a private placement equity financing announced on July 13, 2021. Battery Mineral began developing the project immediately by initiating a drilling program and operating, as well as conducting environmental permit modifications and engineering studies.

Exploration and infill drill program:

  • Currently, four drills are operating at Punitaqui: one at San Andres, two at Dalmacia and one at Cinabrio Norte.
  • San Andres and Dalmacia, along with Cinabrio, which was the primary feed to the mill over the eight-plus years of operating history, have existing underground workings and are being developed for coming resource updates and potential sources of copper mineralized feed to the mill. Cinabrio Norte is a new target to be developed in the nearby future.
  • A total of 6,484 metres of diamond core drilling in 31 drill holes have been completed at San Andres.

Sample assay results, reported herein, are from the first 13 drill holes completed at San Andres. These results are only partial, and additional significant intervals may be reported from these same holes when complete results are received.

Environmental and social permitting activity:

  • Consolidation of several operating and exploration permits to a lesser number of permits;
  • Modifications to allow for higher extraction rate than previously permitted;
  • Modification of tailings deposition permit to allow for the use of tailings filters and a transition from thickened to dry-stack tailings in the future to secure long-term deposition of tailings;
  • Update of social baseline study to identify enhancements for continuation of positive and mutually beneficial community relationships;
  • Continuing interaction with local and national authorities regarding Battery Mineral developments.

Engineering studies:

  • Trade-off studies for mine operations regarding owner versus contractor;
  • Trade-off studies for mineral processing and tailings storage regarding thickened versus dry-stack tailings deposition;
  • Metallurgical testing to determine opportunity for higher recovery of certain finely disseminated copper ores through finer grinding prior to flotation;
  • Updated mine designs and optimized development and production schedules for up to four mine production areas.

Northern Ontario cobalt

Battery Mineral is continuing its efforts to build on its prior success of outlining a new high-grade cobalt resource at its McAra property near the town of Cobalt, Ont. This resource was announced on April 22, 2021, and defines a National Instrument 43-101-compliant measured and indicated resource of 1,124,000 pounds cobalt equivalent that include 1,102,000 pounds of cobalt. On the heels of two successful flow-through financings, which raised aggregate gross proceeds of $2,306,800, Battery Mineral is initiating a winter drilling program designed to follow up on three prior successful cobalt drilling campaigns. In addition to the recent achievements at McAra, Battery has designed drill programs intended to build on prior successes at the Fabre property with drill intercept values such as 1.3 metres of 1.6 per cent cobalt and at Bald Rock with values such as 3.0 metres of 0.6 per cent cobalt. Drilling has commenced at Fabre and will follow with Bald Rock and McAra in the coming months, with results expected in first quarter 2022.

Financing

To support continuing development efforts in Chile and Ontario, Battery Mineral also announces that it has, through ESI Energy Services Inc. -- a Battery Mineral subsidiary company -- entered into a loan agreement with USMT 18 LLC for a secured loan in the amount of $1.2-million (U.S.). The loan is repayable one year from closing with an option to extend for an additional one year and bears interest at a rate of 8.5 per cent per annum, with interest payable monthly. In addition, a 1.5-per-cent origination fee and a 2-per-cent exit fee are payable in connection with the loan. In the event the loan is repaid prior to June 30, 2022, yield maintenance will be payable by the borrower through June 30, 2022. The loan will be secured by certain real property owned by two subsidiaries of Battery, including the borrower.

On the heels of some very positive drill results at the Punitaqui mine site, this non-dilutive financing allows Battery Mineral to keep up the pace and activity to move this project to full production as soon as possible in 2022.

Battery chief executive officer Martin Kostuik stated: "There are very few companies around the world that have the opportunity to transition from development into potential resumption of copper in the second half of 2022, and we are thrilled to be one of them. Our recent acquisition of the former-producing Punitaqui copper mine in Chile will give our investors an opportunity to participate in a potentially significant rerating in BMR's valuation as we transition from development to operations and positive cash flowing. The development of Punitaqui towards a restart is progressing well on all fronts such as drilling, engineering and permit modifications, and we look forward to presenting the restart plan for the mine in Q1 2022. We look forward to providing further exciting updates as we progress towards a potential near-term resumption of operations and cash flow at Punitaqui."

Note: All intercepts are reported as downhole core intervals.

Qualified persons

Michael Schuler, Battery Mineral's Chile exploration manager, supervised the preparation of and approved the scientific and technical information in this press release pertaining to the Punitaqui exploration drill program. Mr. Schuler is a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 (Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects).

Technical reports filed by the company under the company's profile at SEDAR: "Technical Report on Cobalt Exploration Assets in Canada" dated as of May 26, 2020, with an effective date of March 31, 2020, prepared by SRK Consulting -- G. Cole, PGeo (APGO No. 1416).

Restricted share unit grant

The company announces it has granted an aggregate of 6.25 million restricted share units to its directors, officers, employees and consultants, pursuant to the RSU plan. The RSU will vest over the next one to three years. The company's RSU and stock-based option plans are aimed to compensate and reward its directors, officers and employees for working toward the company's long-term objectives and in alignment with the shareholders' best interest.

About ESI Energy Services Inc.

ESI is a pipeline equipment rental and sales company with principal operations in Leduc, Alta., and Phoenix, Ariz. The company currently operates in most provinces in Western Canada, as well as in the United States and Australia. The company, through its operating divisions, Ozzie's Pipeline Padder (Canada), Ozzie's Pipeline Padder (United States) and Ozzie's Pipeline Padder (Australia), supplies (rentals and sales), and backfill separation machines (utility padding machines) with customers including contractors for mainline pipeline and utilities, oil field pipeline and construction, wind and solar farm construction, and communications. Battery Mineral wholly owns ESI and related subsidiaries. ESI has generated positive EBITDA historically and is forecasted to generate $4-million to $5-million in EBITDA for the 2021 fiscal year.

About Battery Mineral Resources Corp.

A battery mineral company with high-quality assets providing shareholders exposure to the global megatrend of electrification and focused on growth through cash flow, exploration and acquisitions in the world's top mining jurisdictions. Battery is currently developing the Punitaqui mining complex and pursuing the potential near-term resumption of operations for second half of 2022 at the prior-producing Punitaqui copper-gold mine. The Punitaqui copper-gold mine most recently produced approximately 21,000 tonnes of copper concentrate in 2019 and is located in the Coquimbo region of Chile.

Battery is engaged in the discovery, acquisition and development of battery metals (cobalt, lithium, graphite, nickel and copper) in North and South America, and South Korea with the intention of becoming a premier and sustainable supplier of battery minerals to the electrification marketplace. Battery is the largest mineral claim holder in the historic Gowganda cobalt-silver camp, Canada, and continues to pursue a focused program to build on the recently announced, one-million-pound high-grade cobalt resource at McAra by testing over 50 high-grade primary cobalt and silver-nickel-copper targets. In addition, Battery owns 100 per cent of ESI Energy Services, also known as Ozzie's, a pipeline and utility equipment rental and sales company with operations in Leduc, Alta., and Phoenix, Ariz.

We seek Safe Harbor.

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