URU Metals Limited
16 October 2020
("URU Metals" or "the Company")
URU Metals makes progress on Environmental Impact Assessments for Mining Right Application
URU Metals is pleased to announce progress in its environmental impact assessment as part of the application for a Mining Right for the Zebediela Project to mine the NI43-101 compliant indicated and inferred resource of over 9 billion pounds of nickel, which was ranked in 2014 as one of the top ten Class 1 nickel sulphide resources globally (Mudd & Jowitt, (2014). A detailed assessment of global nickel resource trends and endowments. Economic Geology, 109(7), 1813-1841).
The Company submitted an application to convert its existing Prospecting Rights to a Mining Right to the South African Department of Mineral Resources (DMRE) as announced on the 30 August 2019. As part of the application, the Company is required to conduct an environmental impact assessment to understand the impact of an open pit operation to mine the nickel resource. The environmental impact assessment consists of various specialist studies which are currently underway.
Specialist studies include:
1. Ecological Impact Assessment
2. Wetland Impact Assessment
3. Soils, Agricultural Potential and Land Capability Assessment
4. Archaeological and Palaeontological Assessment
5. Socio-Economic Impact Assessment
6. Visual Impact Assessment
7. Geohydrological Impact Assessment including water supply options analysis, geochemical assessment, aquifer characterisation, which includes geophysics to identify potential aquifers, water borehole drilling and aquifer testing and analysis.
8. Mine Water Balance
9. Traffic Impact Assessment
10. Air Quality Impact Assessment
11. Noise Impact Assessment
12. Blasting & Vibration Assessment
13. Financial Closure Provision and Rehabilitation Plan
14. Stormwater Management Plan
15. Floodline Delineation
16. Social and Labour Plan
17. Geotechnical Risk Assessment
As part of the geohydrological assessment, a surface geophysical resistivity survey consisting of 6 lines totalling 6,500 m was completed using an ABEM LUND Resistivity Imaging System and seven drill targets were identified. Four of these targets will be drilled using a percussion drilling technique to assess the hydrogeological characteristics using a 212 mm / 81/2 diameter drill bit to final depth.
The drilling of these holes for the geohydrological assessment is currently underway and pump testing is expected to be completed by the end of October 2020.
20 geotechnical test pits to understand the surface geotechnical characteristics of the mining right area have also been completed. Each pit was geotechnically logged and soil samples taken for soil characterisation.
The rest of the specialist studies are scheduled for completion in December 2020, which should allow for the submission of the final EIA report 15 January 2021.
The site is about 7 km from the nearest town, Mokopane, and consists primarily of farmland and no village or town relocations will be required.
Should a mining right be granted, the Company will secure the rights to mine and explore for, for the next 30 years, the following commodities: nickel, chrome, cobalt, copper, gold, iron, vanadium, platinum, palladium, rhodium, osmium, ruthenium and iridium.
The area to the immediate east of the existing nickel resource was partly drilled in 2017, drill results contained nickel and platinum group elements (PGE's) at a higher grade than that found in the Company's existing NI43-101 compliant resource. The company believe this target area could be the up-dip extension of Ivanhoe Mines' 800 m deep Platreef project. Ivanhoe's Platreef Project is located immediately west and adjacent to URU's Zebediela Project.
John Zorbas, CEO of URU Metals, commented:
The Company believes that nickel demand will outstrip supply, and the timing is right for the Zebediela nickel project to come online to meet the increasing demand for sulphide nickel. The Company believe this resource can be mined using a safe, cost-effective, efficient and environmentally friendly open-pit mining method. The Company is currently investigating the potential use of technologies which could allow for the construction of a nickel mine with a much reduced environmental impact in comparison to operational peers. These technologies include renewable energy sources, hydrogen fuel cells and carbon sequestration. The Zebediela Project has the potential to supply high volumes of sulphide nickel and due to the proposed open pit mining method.
In addition to the low-cost mining method, we believe that the up-dip extension of the same ore body that is found on Ivanplats ground, our neighbours to the west of us, will yield us more shallow, high-grade nickel-PGE intersections. The Company believe that this geological horizon appears to be the same horizon as that mined at Anglo Platinum's flagship open pit Mogalakwena Mining Complex. Mogalakwena has a basket price of $208 / ton, and our drill results indicate a more favourable basket price of $233 / ton, due to our higher nickel grade. We believe this can only assist with enhancing the already favourable project economics.
Competent Person Statement
The information in this release has been compiled and reviewed by Richard Montjoie, the Exploration Manager for the Zebediela Project. Mr. Montjoie holds a M.Sc. in Economic Geology from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and is fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) and a registered member of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). He has over 17 years' experience in mineral project development globally. Richard has been involved in several exploration programs in South Africa and Northern Canada, including various Ni-PGE, diamond, coal, coal bed methane and gold exploration and mining projects. Richard provides sound geoscientific input in development planning to ensure effective data acquisition, management and project execution. Richard successfully acted as Project Manager for a 39 million ounce platinum feasibility study, advancing the project from exploration stage to a completed bankable feasibility study with proven and probable reserves, on time and under budget, managing all aspects of the programme, from exploration programme design to various licencing applications. Mr. Montjoie is a Qualified Person for the purposes of the AIM Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies.
Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure
Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.
For further information, please contact:
URU Metals Limited
(Chief Executive Officer)
+1 416 504 3978
SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP
(Nominated Adviser and Broker)
Ewan Leggat & Charlie Bouverat
+ 44 (0) 203 470 05470
SVS Securities Plc
+44 (0) 203 700 0093