Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 6018I
Ironveld PLC
28 March 2024
 

This announcement contains inside information

 

28 March 2024

 

IRONVELD PLC

("Ironveld" or the "Company")

 

Interim Results for the Six Months ended 31 December 2023

 

Ironveld plc, the owner of a High Purity Iron ("HPI"), Vanadium and Titanium project located on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex in Limpopo Province, South Africa (the "Project") is pleased to announce its Interim Results for the six months ended 31 December 2023 (the "Period").

 

Highlights

 

·      First sales of metal products including high purity iron and titanium slag from its Rustenburg smelter to local buyers, however, operational challenges and modifications delayed anticipated ramp up for the remainder of 2023

·      Directors provided working capital support for the Company with a facility of up to £500,000 to maintain flexibility of funding

·      Continued refurbishment of Rustenburg smelters and commencement of mining activities

·      Removal of rented electrical generators and planned installation of similar capacity with significantly lower cost

·      Smelter has been placed on care and maintenance to minimise costs and conserve cash until all new generators are installed

·      Positive discussions with potential iron powder customers progressed

·      Largest shareholder, Tracarta, agreed to cornerstone a cash subscription of £450,000 at a premium to the share price, in addition to a further £550,000 from existing shareholders, to assist with ongoing working capital requirements

·      Dr John Wardle assumed the role of Executive Chairman of the Company and commenced a full review of strategy, overhead costs and priorities, with Giles Clarke remaining as a Non-Executive Director

 

Post Period and Outlook

 

·      Entered into working capital loan facility agreements with Tracarta, which allowed the Company to draw down up to £375,000 to strengthen Ironveld's working capital position as discussions for direct institutional funding progressed. That facility is currently fully drawn.

·      Receipt of a non-binding term sheet from a South African based financial institution regarding the asset level financing of mining and smelting activities, including the transition to production. The transaction is subject to further due diligence

·      Martin Eales stepped down from the Board, with Executive Chairman, Dr. John Wardle, taking over his CEO duties on an interim basis

·      Ironveld is assessing current funding requirements until a transaction can be completed

·      The Company currently has cash of circa £25,000 (as of 27 March 2024)

 

 

John Wardle, Executive Chairman, said: "The Period saw Ironveld undergo significant changes at Board and Management level. These changes were necessary to continue to develop the Group operations towards unlocking the significant value in our assets. The receipt of a Term Sheet from a South African based financial institution in order to support the financing of mining and smelting activities at the Project is an important step in that direction. However the confirmation, quantum and timing of that potential funding is not yet certain.

 

"Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to sharing more positive news flow."



 

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Ironveld plc

John Wardle, Executive Chairman

c/o BlytheRay

020 7138 3204

 

 

Cavendish Capital Markets Limited (Nomad and Broker)

Derrick Lee / Adam Rae

 

Turner Pope (Joint Broker)

Andy Thacker/James Pope

 

 

020 7220 0500

 

 

020 3657 0050

 

 

BlytheRay

Megan Ray/Tim Blythe

020 7138 3204

 

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Ironveld (IRON.LN) is the owner of Mining Rights over approximately 28 kilometres of outcropping Bushveld magnetite with a SAMREC compliant ore resource of some 56 million tons of ore grading 1,12% V2O5, 68,6% Fe2O3 and 14,7% TiO2.

 

In 2022 Ironveld agreed to acquire and refurbish a smelter facility in Rustenburg, South Africa, in which it can process its magnetite ore into the marketable products of high purity iron, titanium slag and vanadium slag. This transaction became unconditional in March 2023.

 

Ironveld is an AIM traded company. For further information on Ironveld please refer to www.ironveld.com.

 

 

Chairman's Statement:

 

I took over as Chairman from Giles Clarke towards the end of the Period, and as one of my first points of action, I was tasked with undertaking a full Group wide review of everything Ironveld related, including strategy, overhead costs and priorities. Some months later, and having completed this comprehensive review, I see many areas for improvement within the Company which must be resolved before sustainable, profitable production can be achieved.

The Period was one of necessary change, given the failures in delivery we have experienced over the last year or more. However, it also saw the Company begin to show the initial signs of positive things to come, as it took its first steps from developer to producer. This was best demonstrated in late June when the Company announced first sales of metal products from the Rustenburg smelter.

Operations were affected by a number of teething and system problems at the Smelter after achieving first sales, including the need to repair the granulator and the requirement for additional generator power, which would delay what we anticipated to be a significant ramp up in production and sales for the remainder of the year. To combat this, additional rented diesel generation capacity was installed and the granulator refurbished to a level where it was performing significantly above expectations.

As part of my comprehensive review of the Company, and with cost saving in mind, we decided to suspend operations at the Rustenburg smelter until all of the currently installed electrical generation units could be replaced by LNG/Diesel dual-fuel units, since the cost of conventional diesel generation rendered any production uneconomic. Dual-fuel units are inherently more economical under current conditions in South Africa, however they are still expensive and the issue around power for the smelting operations has a crucial impact upon viability.

The Period saw the Company develop its operations in a number of other areas. A test project to process third party ferro-silicon slag metal was completed and demonstrated the flexibility of the smelter equipment and potential for further revenue streams. In addition, during September we formed "IPace", a DMS Magnetite joint venture with Pace SA, which secured capital funding from Sable Exploration and Mining for the development of a business to crush, mill and magnetically separate directly from the Company's mining operations for direct sale to end users. Pace, which was initially responsible for the funding of the project, failed to comply with the terms of the agreement and will be exiting the joint venture. Ironveld and Sable are currently negotiating the terms of a further investment to complete the DMS plant.

During the Period, the Company completed fundraisings totalling £1.5 million, in which I participated significantly.

 

Ensuring we do things responsibly, with the interests of our stakeholders and local communities at the heart of every decision we make, is of upmost importance to Ironveld. To this end we endeavour to prioritise employment of local community members and give preference to local community companies in terms of work or business opportunities. In terms of our Social Labour Program we have commitments to support local municipalities in our project area in the development of water supply schemes, electrification upgrades and roads and stormwater. In addition, we are establishing schemes to provide student support, training and bursaries to members of the various host communities.

 

 

 

Financial

 

The Group recorded a loss before tax of £385,000 (H1 2022: loss of £522,000) in the period. The Company does not plan to pay a dividend for the six months ended 31 December 2023.

Post Period End Events

 

In February 2024, it was announced that we entered into working capital loan facility agreements with Tracarta, the Company's largest shareholder, which allowed the Company to draw down up to £375,000. This consisted of a £250,000 facility through a 12-month extension of the existing agreement and a new £125,000 facility. Those funds are now fully drawn.

 

Later in the same month, the Company was able to announce that it received a non-binding term sheet from a South African based financial institution regarding the asset level financing of mining and smelting activities at the project. Through this, we would be able to invest in all Group operations, including the transition to production of high purity iron powders. This is a wide-ranging proposal which aims to provide full financing to all planned activities through to sustained production. However, the provision, quantum and timing of that potential funding is not yet confirmed, since the transaction is subject to further due diligence and other internal approvals, and there is therefore no certainty that a transaction will be concluded. I believe that this process may well take several more months to complete, and in the meantime the Company has both current liabilities to service and requires capital to continue development of projects outside the asset level institutional funding described above. Accordingly, the Board is assessing the Company's current funding requirements which will likely require the Company to raise additional capital, potentially through the issue of new equity.   

 

Outlook


The remainder of the year looks to be one which will see Ironveld transition fully to producer status with some key catalysts currently at play. From a market perspective, strong demand from customers for all three of our products of water-atomised high purity iron powder, vanadium slag and titanium slag continue.

It remains the Board's belief that should economic operations be achievable, which is mainly dependent upon the sourcing and installation of a more economical power system, the Rustenburg smelter facility represents the greatest opportunity for Ironveld to maximise value for the magnetite ore, as it allows for the processing of the ore into higher value metal products, such as water-atomised high purity iron powder, vanadium slag and titanium slag. According to market surveys, it appears that the production of higher value iron powders is required to maximise margins in the business. Such production requires significant investment and technical skills. The technical skills we are beginning to develop. The potential funding from a South African based financial institution has the potential to be transformational, so long as that commercial scale water-atomised high purity iron powder production can be achieved.

We would like to thank all our shareholders for their continued support for both the Company and the Project and we look forward to providing further updates in the near future.

 

John Wardle

Executive Chairman

28 March 2024

 

 


 


 

IRONVELD PLC

 

CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT

 

FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2023

 

                                        

6 Months


6 Months

 

12 Months


ended


ended

 

ended


31.12.23


31.12.22

 

30.06.23


£'000


£'000


£'000







Revenue

440


-


103

Cost of sales

(154)


-


(29)

Gross profit

286


-


74







Administrative expenses

(649)


(581)


(1,310)

Operating loss

(363)


(581)


(1,236)







Other gains and losses

-


47


47

Investment revenues

5


23


34

Finance costs

(27)


(11)


(15)

Loss before taxation

(385)


(522)


(1,170)







Taxation

(129)


-


711

Loss for the period

(514)


(522)


(459)







Attributable to owners of the company

(539)


(520)


(435)

Non-controlling interests

25


(2)


(24)


(514)


(522)


(459)







Loss per share (pence)












Basic

(0.01p)


(0.02p)


(0.02p)

Diluted

n/a


n/a


n/a













The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.


 

 

 



IRONVELD PLC

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

 

FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2023

 

                                                                                                                                                

 

6 Months


6 Months


12 Months


ended


Ended


ended


31.12.23


31.12.22


30.06.23


£'000


£'000


£'000







Loss for the period

(514)


(522)


(459)







Exchange differences on the translation of foreign operations

 

675


(576)


(4,387)

Total comprehensive profit/(loss) for the period

161


(1,098)


(4,846)








 

Attributable to:






Owners of the company

52


(1,015)


(4,250)

Non-controlling interest

109


(83)


(596)


161


(1,098)


(4,846)







The accompanying notes for an integral part of these financial statements.

 



IRONVELD PLC

 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET

 

AS AT 31 DECEMBER 2023

 


As at



As at


31.12.23



30.06.23


£'000



£'000

Non-current assets





Exploration and evaluation

27,676



24,061

Property, plant and equipment

7,138



6,938

Other receivables

5



130


34,819



31,129

Current assets





Inventories

42



45

Trade and other receivables

342



307

Cash and bank balances

32



19


416



371






Total assets

35,235



31,500

 





Current liabilities





Trade and other payables

(3,818)



(1,862)

Lease liabilities

(11)



(10)

Borrowings

(261)



-


(4,090)



(1,872)

Non-current liabilities





Trade and other payables

(4,290)



(4,162)

Lease liabilities

(27)



(27)

Deferred tax liabilities

(3,515)



(3,284)


(7,832)



(7,473)






Total liabilities

(11,922)



(9,345)

 





Net assets

23,313



22,155

 





Equity





Share capital

13,054



12,694

Share premium

25,925



25,324

Other reserve

94



94

Retained earnings reserve

(9,348)



(8,845)

Foreign currency translation reserve

(9,269)



(9,860)






Equity attributable to owners of the company

20,456



19,407

Non-controlling interests

2,857



2,748

 





Total equity

23,313



22,155






The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.


IRONVELD PLC

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY

 

FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2023







 

 


Share capital


Share premium


Retained earnings

 

 

Foreign currency translation reserve


Other reserve

 

Attributable to the owners of the company


Non-controlling interests

 

Total equity

 

 


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000

 

£'000


£'000

 

£'000

 

 

 

 

















 

 

Balance at 1 July 2022

10,453


21,379


(8,421)


(6,045)


12


17,378


3,344


20,722


 

 

Loss for the year

-


-


(435)


-


-


(435)


(24)


(459)


 

 

Exchange differences on translation of foreign operations

-


-


-


(3,815)


-


(3,815)


(572)


(4,387)


 

 

Issue of shares

2,241


3,945


-


-


-


6,186


-


6,186


 

 

Issue of share warrants

-


-


-


-


82


82


-


82


 

 

Share based payments

-


-


11


-


-


11


-


11


 

 


















 

 

Balance at 30 June 2023

12,694


25,324


(8,845)


(9,860)


94


19,407


2,748


22,155


 

 


















 

 

Profit /(loss) for the period

-


-


(539)


-


-


(539)


25


(514)


 

 

Exchange differences on translation or foreign operations

-


-


-


 

591


-


591


84


675


 

 

Issue of shares

360


601


-


-


-


961


-


961


 

 

Share based payments

-


-


36


-


-


36


-


36


 

 


















 

 

Balance at 31 December 2023

13,054


25,925


(9,348)


(9,269)


94


20,456


2,857


23,313


 




























 

 

IRONVELD PLC

CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOW STATEMENT

FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2023

 


6 Months


6 Months


12 Months


Ended  


Ended 


Ended 


31.12.23


31.12.22


30.06.23


£'000


£'000


£'000

 






Cash generated by/(used in) operating activities

1,608


(799)


(672)

Interest paid

(11)


-


(3)

Net cash generated by/(used in) operating activities

1,597


(799)


(675)







Investing activities






Interest received

5


23


34

Purchase of property, plant and equipment

-


(1,172)


(2,337)

Purchase of exploration and evaluation assets

(2,861)


(917)


(2,513)

Loans to joint venture

-


-


(141)

Loans received from joint venture

68


-


24

Net cash used in investing activities

(2,788)


(2,066)


(4,933)

 






Financing activities






Proceeds on issue of equity (net of costs)

961


4,031


5,755

Proceeds from new loans

244


-


-

Repayment of loans

-


(403)


(140)

Payment of lease liabilities

(1)


-


(4)

Net cash generated by financing activities

1,204


3,628


5,611

 






Net increase in cash and cash equivalents

13


763


3

 






Cash and cash equivalents at start of period

19


17


17

Effect of foreign exchange rates

-


(1)


(1)

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

32


779


19

 






Note to the cash flow statement






Operating loss

(363)


(581)


(1,236)

Depreciation on property, plant and equipment

13


6


17

Foreign exchange differences

(21)


(50)


(117)

Share based payments

36


60


11

Operating cash flows before movements in working capital

(335)


(565)


(1,325)

Movement in inventories

5


-


(51)

Movement in receivables

57


(316)


(203)

Movement in payables

1,881


82


907

Cash generated by/(used in) operating activities

1,608


(799)


(672)







The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.



IRONVELD PLC

 

NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2023

 

 

1       Basis of preparation and accounting policies

 

The results for the six months to 31 December 2023 have been prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the EU and International Accounting Standards Board.

 

The accounting policies are consistent with those of the annual financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2023, as described in those financial statements.

 

The financial information does not constitute statutory accounts as defined by section 435 of the Companies Act 2006. Full accounts of the company for the year ended 30 June 2023 on which the Auditors gave an unqualified report, have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies.

 

 

2       Loss per share

 

The calculation of basic and diluted loss per share is based upon the loss for the period and the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the period.

                                                                                            

6 Months


6 Months



12 Months


to 31.12.23


to 31.12.22

 

 

to 30.06.23


'000


'000



'000








Weighted average number of shares

3,666,374


2,628,958



2,963,582

Options/warrants - dilution

-


-



-


3,666,374


2,628,958



2,963,582









Pence 

 

Pence 

 

 

Pence 








Basic loss per share - continuing

(0.01)


(0.02)



(0.02)

Diluted earnings per share

n/a


n/a



n/a

 

 

Where the Group reports a loss for any period, then in accordance with IAS 33, the share options and warrants in issue are not considered dilutive.

 

 

3       Registered office and copies of the report

 

The registered office is Ironveld plc, Unit D De Clare House Sir Alfred Owen Way, Pontygwindy Industrial Estate, Caerphilly, Wales, CF83 3HU and copies of this report are available from the registered office.



 

 

 

 

IRONVELD PLC

 

OFFICERS, ADVISORS AND AGENTS

 

 

Directors:                      John Wardle                   (Executive Chairman)

                                       Giles Clarke                   (Non-Executive Director)                                  
                                       Nick Harrison                 (Non-Executive Director)

                                       Peter Cox                      (Technical Director)

                                       Malebo Ratlhagane         (Executive Director and Deputy Group CFO)

 

Secretary:                       Brian James                                                                                         

 

Company Number:        04095614 (England and Wales)

 

Registered Office:         Ironveld Plc

                                       Unit D De Clare House Sir Alfred Owen Way

                                       Pontygwindy Industrial Estate

                                       Caerphilly Wales CF83 3HU

 

Nominated Advisor       Cavendish Capital Markets Limited

                                       One Bartholomew Close

                                       London EC1A 7BL

 

Broker                            Cavendish Capital Markets Limited

                                       One Bartholomew Close

                                       London EC1A 7BL

 

Joint Broker                  Turner Pope
                                       8 Frederick's Place

                                       London EC2R 8AB

 

Solicitors:                      Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

                                       3 St Marys Parsonage

                                       Manchester M3 2RD

 

Auditors:                       Crowe U.K. LLP
                                       55 Ludgate Hill
                                       London EC4M 7JW

 

Bankers:                        HSBC

                                       97 Bute Street

                                       Cardiff CF10 5NA

 

Registrar:                       Link Asset Services

                                       10th Floor Central Square

                                       29 Wellington Street

                                       Leeds LS1 4DL

 

Financial PR                  BlytheRay

                                       4 - 5 Castle Court

                                       London EC3V 9DL

                                                                                         

 

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