Strategic Minerals Europe Corp. (NEO:SNTA, FRA:26K0) (“Strategic Minerals” or the “Company”), a company focused on the production, development and exploration of tin, tantalum and niobium, today announced the results for the three and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2021. Strategic Minerals’ fourth quarter 2021 financial statements and MD&A have been filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com). Unless otherwise indicated, all currency amounts are in U.S. dollars.
- $7.55 million of revenue in 2021 – the highest in the Company’s history, and almost three times the revenue achieved in 2020.
- 81% profit before expenses and other as a percentage of revenue achieved in 2021, compared to 62% in the prior year. The increase is the result of increased prices for tin and tantalum, offset by increased costs for raw materials and consumables
- In Q4 2021, maintenance and improvements were completed to the plant and main mill at the Penouta Project to ensure they are optimized to handle the specific material and larger volumes received from the open pit.
- In 2021, tin production increased by 27% from 2020, with further gains expected from the plant and mill improvements made in Q4 2021.
Operational and Financial Summary for the Quarter and year ended December 2021
|Q4 2021||Q4 2020||% Change||YE 2021||YE 2020||% Change|
|Total Concentrate Production||Tonnes||34||108||(68.5%)||330||278|
|Tin Concentrate Sold||Tonnes||42||70||(40.0%)||253||171|
|Tantalite Concentrate Sold||Tonnes||22||43||(48.8%)||92||98||(6.1%)|
|Profit before expenses & other||$’000||891||822||6,084||1,726|
|Net Loss Per Share||$||(0.02)||(0.01)||(91.5%)||(0.02)||(0.03)||(46.5%)|
1This is not a standardized financial measure and may not be comparable to similar financial measures of other issuers. See “Use of Non-IFRS Financial Measures” below for the composition and calculation of this financial measure.
“We are pleased with the results achieved in 2021, which reflect the efforts of the team to optimize and expand production and our ability to provide minerals to meet the increasing demands from the changing economy,” said Jaime Perez Branger, CEO of Strategic Minerals. “Looking into 2022, we expect to benefit from the upgrades completed in the fourth quarter with increasing production and quality.”
Operational and Financial Performance
Full-year 2021 revenue was $7.55 million, up 173% from 2020 revenue – a result of increased tin production, sales and sustained higher average price. In Q4 2021, revenue was $1.39 million, up 21% from Q4 2020 revenue, despite the Q4 2021 production halt for maintenance and improvement of the plant and main mill. The Q4 2021 growth in revenue was attributed to the increase in the grade of the minerals and market prices.Strategic Minerals’ tin production in 2021 was 247 tonnes, a 27% increase from 2020, with tin sales increasing by 48% to 253 tonnes. In Q4 2021, tin production was 25 tonnes, 67% lower than the same quarter in the previous year. Tin sales in Q4 2021 were 42 tonnes, a year-over-year decrease of 40%. The quarterly decline is due to production halts for maintenance and improvement of the plant and main mill at the Penouta Project to expand future production. Tantalum sales decreased on both an annual and quarterly basis, by 6% and 49%, respectively. The decrease in tantalite sales was due to challenges in the supply chain, leading to long delays in obtaining space for shipping.
On an annual and quarterly basis, the average grade of all minerals produced increased. Tin concentrate grade reached 66.1% in 2021, 10 percentual points above the grades achieved in 2020. Tantalum and niobium concentrate grades for 2021 increased 3.4 and 2.7 percentual points, respectively. In Q4 2021, tin concentrate grade was 68.2%, up 12.8 percentual points from Q4 2020. For Q4 2021, tantalum and niobium concentrate grades increased by 6.8 percentual points from the same period of 2020. Access to the high-grade feed area and greater plant availability favoured the production of higher quantities of mineral concentrates, which drove the increase in grades of commercial concentrates.
Adjusted EBITDA1 for the full-year 2021 was $1.2 million, an increase of 206% over the previous year, with Q4 2021 Adjusted EBITDA being ($1.0 million), a decrease of 340% from Q4 2020. The reduction in Q4 2021 was due to increased cost of electricity and the maintenance-driven production halt at our Penouta mining project.
At the end of the period, cash reached $2.24 million, up 787% from the previous year’s cash balance of $0.25 million, mainly as a result of the proceeds of a private placement.
Net cash provided by operating activities in 2021 was $1.36 million, compared to a cash requirement of $2.01 million in 2020. In 2021, positive cash flow from operations was achieved through the increase in revenue noted above. Total cash used in investing activities for 2021 was $4.26 million, the main use of funds was the investment in the Penouta Project to increase capacity. In 2021, proceeds from private placements added $5.75 million to financing activities, of which $0.75 million was utilized to repay existing loans.
Strategic Minerals focuses on increasing production, reducing unitary costs, reinvesting profits to achieve organic and sustainable growth, and looking for new external financing opportunities to expand production and improve recovery levels and initiate downstream projects. The most prevalent strategic project underway is the production expansion of the Penouta Project.
When the new crushing plant was operational in mid-January 2022, the Company began the testing and commissioning process of certain equipment to allow it to work with material from the open pit. This process enables the Company to increase production and the quality of the concentrate.
Research in the Penouta Project Section C is currently in the final phase, which will allow transferring the permit into a concession.
Given the volume of its resources, the Company is evaluating the need for additional financing to expand the plant’s capacity from 1.1 million tonnes to 3 million tonnes to increase concentrate production. Also, the Company intends to develop a pyrometallurgical plant, which will have a target production output of tin ingots at 99.95% purity and tantalum and niobium-rich slags.
The Company intends to set up a pilot plant to separate industrial minerals. The Company has held talks with potentially interested parties who are significant distributors of industrial minerals to seek an agreement that would allow these products to be distributed and help reduce costs and increase cash flow. Additionally, Strategic Minerals intends to undertake further exploration work in the Company’s Penouta Project permitted areas.
About Strategic Minerals Europe Corp.
Strategic Minerals’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Strategic Minerals Spain, S.L. (“SMS”), produces, identifies, explores, and develops mineral resource properties critical to the green economy, predominantly in Spain. SMS hold permits and a license for the Penouta Project, which allows the Company to produce and conduct exploration, and an investigation permit at the Alberta II Project, allowing it to conduct exploration work already underway. SMS is the largest producer of tin and tantalum in the European Union and has been recognized within the EU as an exemplary company of good practices in the circular economy. The Company is well-positioned as a major producer of sustainable and conflict-free tin, tantalum, and niobium and is exploring for lithium. Strategic Minerals is a “reporting issuer” under applicable securities legislation in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.
Additional information on Strategic Minerals can be found by reviewing its profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information:
This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as “expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “believes” or “intends” or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results “may” or “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Strategic Minerals to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements are described under the caption “Risks Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form dated march 30, 2022, which is available for view on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this press release and Strategic Minerals disclaims, other than as required by law, any obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, results, future events, circumstances, or if management’s estimates or opinions should change, or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Strategic Minerals’ operations could be significantly adversely affected by the effects of a widespread global outbreak of a contagious disease, including the recent outbreak of illness caused by COVID-19. It is not possible to accurately predict the impact COVID-19 will have on operations and the ability of others to meet their obligations, including uncertainties relating to the ultimate geographic spread of the virus, the severity of the disease, the duration of the outbreak, and the length of travel and quarantine restrictions imposed by governments of affected countries. In addition, a significant outbreak of contagious diseases in the human population could result in a widespread health crisis that could adversely affect the economies and financial markets of many countries, resulting in an economic downturn that could further affect operations and the ability to finance its operations.
USE OF NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES
This announcement refers to the following non-IFRS financial performance measures:
Adjusted EBITDA represents earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, and amortization (“EBITDA”), adjusted to exclude share-based payments and Transaction costs. Adjusted EBITDA provides insight into our overall business performance (a combination of cost management and growth) and is intended to provide additional information for the reader as we believe certain investors could use this information to evaluate the Company’s underlying performance of its core operations and its ability to generate cash flow and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. These measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to other issuers. Please also see the Company’s MD&A dated March 29, 2022 for a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2021 and corresponding prior periods to its most directly comparable financial measure contained in the Company’s financial statements.
For further information regarding Strategic Minerals, please contact:
Elena Terrón, Corporate Secretary
Strategic Minerals Europe Corp.