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Vast Resources plc / Ticker: VAST / Index: AIM / Sector: Mining
3 May 2022
Vast Resources plc
(‘Vast’ or the ‘Company’)
Corporate & Operational Update
Vast Resources plc, the AIM-listed mining company, is pleased to announce a group level income statement for Q1 2022 as well as provide an update on its producing Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine (‘Baita Plai’) in Romania.
Group revenue increase of 236% in Q1 2022 compared to the previous quarter including contribution from Tajikistan
Increase quarter on quarter in tonnes milled of 24.2% and of Dry Metric Tonne production of 16.8%.
Mechanisation expected to substantially increase production of copper concentrate, commencing in June 2022
Increased production faces as the Antonio Skarn widens from 4 metres to in excess of 32 metres.
Additonal revenue streams planned from other metal sales such as Molybdenum.
Q1 2022 Group Revenue
The Company reports group level revenue for the period covering January 2022 – March 2022 outlined in Figure 1 below. It should be noted that the timing of sales is matched to sales schedules, and not directly to production.
BAITA CONC GROSS REVENUES
OTHER PROJECT REVENUES
TOTAL GROSS REVENUES
The Company would like to note that, like other AIM listed junior mining companies at a similar stage in the mining life cycle, it operates with limited financial resources however the Company is currently in the process of refinancing the Atlas bond facility (as announced on 26th April 2022) as it continues to arrange concentrate sales from Baita Plai. The Company is also looking to bring additional pipeline revenue opportunities to bear. The Company remains confident in its ability to keep the business adequately funded.
Q1 2022 Production Report
Baita Plai Mine has focussed on copper production in Q1 2022, and the production figures for the quarter are shown below in Figure 2. As can be seen, these show an increase quarter on quarter in tonnes milled of 24.2% and of Dry Metric Tonne production of 16.8%. It should be noted that the timing of sales is matched to sales schedules, and not directly to production.
Dry Metric Tonne
Wet Metric Tonne
Milled (Ore Feed)
Cu Conc Produced
Cu Conc sold
Mining during the quarter was to a significant extent in low grade ore as development of the ramp down to sub level 3 under level 18 continued, and which has now just intersected the Antonio skarn. As mining progresses from west to east on the Antonio skarn on sub level 2, the skarn widens from 4.0 metres to in excess of 32.0 metres. As the skarn widens, it allows for additional working faces to developed spaced 9.0 metres apart and a second drive has now begun in this wider portion.
Q2 2022 Production Outlook
The Q1 period preceded the progressive changes that were outlined in the Baita Plai Update announced on 31 January 2022 and, as indicated in that announcement, Q2 is planned to see a fundamental change in the way the underground mine operates. As per the initial start-up plan of the mine, a move to mechanised drilling and cleaning will take place. Mining activities are epxcted to see a significant tranformation with the implementation of two Mantis CMR4 Jumbo Drilling rigs and the Aramine miniLoader L130D with remote control capability.
The first Mantis is to be deployed on 17 level where initial mining in the start-up phase of the mine was abandoned due to safety concerns for mining personnel from in stope pillar failures. The Mantis will drill long holes (circa 15 - 25 metres) from above the orebody and be offset in the hanging wall. Progressive rings will be drilled and blasted allowing the ore to collapse into the stope below. Loading of the blasted ore will be conducted with a Aramine L130D fitted with a remote-control unit. This allows for the operator to be sited in safe, stable ground, alleviating the safety concerns raised initially.
The first Long Hole stopes on 17 level are expected to produce ore during June 2022. The area identified for the Long Hole stoping has been identified through sampling records from the main 17 level development, and historical sampling from the sub 17 level stopes. Higher grade zones have been identified from the sampling records which should translate into an improved feed grade to the plant.
The second Mantis will be deployed to advance the main belt incline to 19 level and ultimately 21 level. The increased rate of advance will allow for improved access to the Antonio skarn and simplify a number of mining related issues such as water reticulation, power infrastructure and ventilation. In addition, the development of the belt incline will provide the necessary drilling platform to enable to drill the Antonio skarn from below the 2020 resource drilling programme (18 level - 35 metres) down to 21 level.
With the two new Mantis drills and the transition to mechanise mining together with the implementation of long hole stope mining, significantly increased production output should be achieved, and then the focus will turn to the plant to increase its capacity in order to process more tonnes.
All the basic infrastructure for the mine is now in place and the Board believes that with the increase in production the mine will become a profitable asset, with many additional surrounding skarn deposits waiting to be exploited.
Furthermore, the presence of bismuth and molybdenum highlight the mine’s strategic value. The processing plant has undergone modifications with the introduction of a molybdenum flotation circuit. Final commissioning of the molybdenum circuit is expected to take place during Q2 2022.
The changes outlined above are forecast to result in substantially increased production of copper concentrate, commencing in June 2022, and are expected to be reflected in results from Q3 2022 onwards.
Resource drilling on the Antonio skarn will commence when the belt decline has advanced sufficiently to provide a drilling platform. The drilling will comprise 28 underground drillholes totalling 2,240 metres of drilling. The drilling will seek to delineate mineral resources on the Antonio skarn to a depth equivalent to a 21 level and will serve to corroborate historical drillholes on the skarn to this level.
The initial target for resource drilling is the Antonio North skarn on 18 level, which historically has had elevated molybdenum values. The Antonio North drilling programme comprises 29 underground drillholes totalling 1,149 metres of drilling. The area is immediately accessible for mining production pending the confirmation and delineation of suitable ore grades of predominantly copper and molybdenum.
The forward-looking technical views made in this announcement is based on information interpreted by Mr Craig Harvey, the Group Geologist for Vast and a full-time employee of the company. Mr Harvey is a Competent Person who is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and of the Geological Society of South Africa, a Recognised Professional Organisation included in a list that is posted on the ASX website from time to time.
Mr Harvey has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'.
This announcement contains 'forward-looking statements' concerning the Company that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Generally, the words 'will', 'may', 'should', 'continue', 'believes', 'targets', 'plans', 'expects', 'aims', 'intends', 'anticipates' or similar expressions or negatives thereof identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond the Company's ability to control or estimate precisely. The Company cannot give any assurance that such forward-looking statements will prove to have been correct. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this announcement. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise publicly any of the forward-looking statements set out herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent legally required.
For further information, visit www.vastplc.com or please contact:
Vast Resources plc
Beaumont Cornish – Financial & Nominated Advisor
Shore Capital Stockbrokers Limited – Joint Broker
Axis Capital Markets Limited – Joint Broker
St Brides Partners Limited
ABOUT VAST RESOURCES PLC
Vast Resources plc is a United Kingdom AIM listed mining company with mines and projects in Romania and Zimbabwe.
In Romania, the Company is focused on the rapid advancement of high-quality projects by recommencing production at previously producing mines.
The Company's Romanian portfolio includes 100% interest in the producing Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine, located in the Apuseni Mountains, Transylvania, an area which hosts Romania's largest polymetallic mines. The mine has a JORC compliant Reserve & Resource Report which underpins the initial mine production life of approximately 3-4 years with an in-situ total mineral resource of 15,695 tonnes copper equivalent with a further 1.8M-3M tonnes exploration target. The Company is now working on confirming an enlarged exploration target of up to 5.8M tonnes.
The Company also owns the Manaila Polymetallic Mine in Romania, which was commissioned in 2015, currently on care and maintenance. The Company has been granted the Manaila Carlibaba Extended Exploitation Licence that will allow the Company to re-examine the exploitation of the mineral resources within the larger Manaila Carlibaba licence area.
In Zimbabwe, the Company is focused on the commencement of the joint venture mining agreement on the Community Diamond Concession, Chiadzwa, in the Marange Diamond Fields.
Dry Metric Tonnes
Refers to the tonnage minus humidity to determine sales price
The relative quantity or percentage of ore mineral content in an orebody.
The naturally occurring material from which a mineral(s) can be extracted at a reasonable profit.
A continuous well-defined mass of material to sufficient ore content to make extraction economically feasible.
Lime-bearing siliceous rock produced by the metamorphic alteration of limestone or dolomite
Wet Metric Tonnes
Usually quoted in terms of production for shipping terms