01:34:25 EDT Fri 09 Jun 2023
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Ecora Resources PLC
Symbol ECOR
Shares Issued 257,896,157
Close 2023-03-28 C$ 2.47
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Ecora Resources' 2022 royalty revenue at $143.2M

2023-03-29 09:13 ET - News Release

Mr. Marc Lafleche reports


Ecora Resources PLC has released full-year results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2022. The company will publish its audited 2022 annual report and accounts later today, which will be available on the group's website and on SEDAR.

Financial highlights:

  • Record fiscal year 2022 (FY22) portfolio contribution of $143.2-million, up 67 per cent on FY21 ($85.6-million) as the portfolio benefited from stronger commodity prices for the majority of the year.
  • Adjusted earnings of $87.9-million, also representing a 67-per-cent increase on FY21 ($52.3-million), preserving profit margins despite inflationary backdrop.
  • Adjusted earnings per share up 49 per cent at 37.55 cents (2021: 25.18 cents).
  • Royalty and metal stream-related revenue of $141.9-million, up 66 per cent on FY21 ($85.3-million).
  • Profit before tax of $135.4-million, up 147 per cent on FY21 ($54.6-million).
  • Net debt as at Dec. 31, 2022, of $36-million (Dec. 31, 2021: $90-million), reflecting rapid deleveraging in 2022 as a result of strong cash generation.
  • Borrowing facility extended by 12 months to February, 2025.
  • Final dividend proposed of 1.75 pence per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to seven pence per share, as per guidance.
  • Future-facing commodities now represent 85 per cent of the group's royalty assets on balance sheet at year-end 2022 (YE21: 75 per cent).

Portfolio highlights:

  • Added medium-term growth through the acquisition of a portfolio of royalties over advanced-stage copper and nickel projects from South32, including royalties over the West Musgrave and Santo Domingo projects, for a fixed consideration of $185-million with further contingent consideration of up to $15-million (U.S.).
  • Construction commenced on the West Musgrave copper-nickel project with production forecast by OZ Minerals to start in H2 2025.
  • BHP reached an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the shares in OZ Minerals (subject to various conditions) in a transaction that will see BHP become operator of the West Musgrave development.
  • Capstone Copper published the Mantoverde-Santo Domingo district integration plan, detailing the path toward a world-class mining district in the Atacama region of Chile.
  • Brazilian Nickel announced first nickel production from the small-scale PNP1000 plant at the Piaui nickel and cobalt project in Brazil with the full-scale construction financing process now under way.
  • The Queensland government added new tiers to the statutory royalty regime, significantly increasing royalty revenue from the group's Kestrel royalty entitlement at prices above $175 (Australian)/tonne from July 1, 2022, increasing the weighted average royalty rate from 13 per cent in H1 2022 to 23 per cent in H2 2022.


  • Copper, steelmaking coal, uranium and iron ore pellet prices have started the year strongly.
  • Cobalt and nickel prices have weakened year to date, reflecting increased supply and, in the case of cobalt, a reduction in demand for consumer electronics. Class 1 nickel markets remain tight, and the medium- to long-term outlook for both commodities remains strong.
  • Kestrel saleable volumes produced within the group's private royalty area in 2023 are expected to be primarily weighted toward Q1 and Q4, with total saleable volumes from the group's area approximately half those during 2022.
  • Voisey's Bay stream expected to generate 13 to 15 deliveries of cobalt in 2023 (each delivery is 20 tonnes of which 70 per cent is attributable to Ecora), compared with 19 received in 2022, due to the transition from end-of-life open-pit operations to the underground mine life extension which is expected to ramp up from 2024.
  • Capstone Copper announced commercial production following the Mantos Blancos phase I expansion, and is now evaluating the potential to increase throughput of the Mantos Blancos sulphide concentrator plant from 7.3 million tonnes per year to 10 million tonnes per year. The Mantos Blancos phase II feasibility study is expected to be released in H2 2023.
  • Cameco has reversed an earlier decision to operate the Cigar Lake mine at 75 per cent of production capacity in 2024 and it is now planned to operate the mine at full licensed capacity of 18 million pounds.
  • Remain in discussions with the operator of EVBC following recent margin pressure, and it is likely that in the short term a portion of cash royalties, including H2 2022, will be deferred until a later date.
  • Production volumes at the group's other royalty assets for 2023 are expected to be broadly in line with 2022 levels.
  • Updated Santo Domingo feasibility study expected in H2 2023 as Capstone Copper plans to take advantage of the proximity synergies with the existing Mantoverde operation and infrastructure.
  • Retain a strong balance sheet from which to pursue future growth opportunities as Ecora continues to transition its portfolio toward future-facing metals.
  • Dividend to be rebased to U.S. dollars at 12-month average U.S. dollar:British pound exchange rate of 1.21. Seven-pence-per-share dividend to be converted and rounded up to 8.5 cents per share, resulting in quarterly payments of 2.125 cents per share, commencing from Q1 2023.

Marc Bishop Lafleche, chief executive officer of the company, commented:

"Two thousand twenty-two was an outstanding year for Ecora, achieving record portfolio contribution for the second year running. We completed the acquisition of a high-quality development-stage copper-nickel royalty portfolio from South32, further aligning our commodity exposure to the energy transition thematic, as well as recasting the company as a growth story. Our revenue derived from future-facing commodity royalties now has the potential to grow over the medium term from $33-million in 2022 to above $100-million.

"Looking ahead, there are a number of near-term development catalysts across the portfolio, as construction activities progress at West Musgrave and we look forward to an updated feasibility study for Santo Domingo this year. We remain well positioned for growth, with demand pressures on the sector increasing the investment opportunities to acquire accretive royalties."

Analyst and investor presentation

There will be an analyst and investor presentation webcast at 8:30 a.m. (BST) on March 29, 2023. The presentation will be hosted by Mr. Lafleche (CEO) and Kevinm Flynn (chief financial officer).

Please join the event five to 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.

Event title: Ecora Resources -- 2022 results presentation

Time zone: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

Start time/date: 8:30 a.m. BST, Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Duration: 60 minutes

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