Cadence Minerals obtains bank credit committee approval for Amapa Project settlement agreement

Cadence Minerals plc (LON:KDNC) has announced that it has received confirmation from the secured bank creditors that they have obtained approval from their credit committees with respect to the proposed terms of the settlement agreement.

Highlights:

·      Bank credit committee approval for secured bank creditors assits in paving the way for Cadence to vest initial 20% in the Amapa Iron Ore Project

·      On the effective date of the settlement agreement Cadence’s and Indo Sino’s joint venture company will own 99.9% of the Amapa Project

·      The Amapa Iron Ore Project consists of an integrated mine, processing plant, railway, and privately owned port. It was previously owned by Anglo American and produced 6.1 million tonnes of iron ore per annum, and was valued at US$ 660 million.

·      The current Mineral Resource of the Amapa Project consists of  176.7 million tonnes grading 39.7% Fe in the Indicated category and 8.7Mt at 36.9% Fe in the Inferred catergory

The Approval is subject to the completion of KYC (know your client) and the finalisation of the documentation reflecting the agreement in principle as announced on the 2 September 2020). The Approval assists in paving the way for Cadence to vest its initial 20% indirect interest in Amapa Iron Project (“The Amapa Project”). The Amapa Project consists of an integrated mine, processing plant, railway, and privately owned port. It was previously owned by Anglo American and produced 6.1 million tonnes of iron ore[1] per annum, and was valued by Anglo American at US$ 660 million[2].

While awaiting credit committee approval, the drafting of the final settlement documents have continued to progress. On the effective date of the  Settlement Agreement and under the Judicial Restructuring Plan (“JRP”) Cadence and Indo Sino Trade Pte Ltd (Indo Sino), via their joint venture company, will own 99.9% of DEV Mineração S.A., the owner of the Amapa Project.

Cadence Non-Executive Chairman, Andrew Suckling, commented; “As I have said previously, in my time working with commodity projects around the world, I have rarely if ever seen a lapsed mining project with this sort of potential. Today’s announcement is a landmark for Amapa, both in terms of certainty for DEV employees, the wider Amapa community and for Cadence shareholders. I know how hard the team on the ground there have worked to make this happen, and on behalf of our board I would like to express our thanks and gratitude to DEV, the Government of Amapa, the team of local Government officers and bank committees and administrators for contributing to this momentous step in our history.”

“In its previous life, Amapá’s output contributed significantly to the regional economy. Once again it is set to create new opportunities for the community, and will help to improve prospects in employment, health and education for this region in Brazil as the world emerges from the COVID crisis.”

Cadence CEO, Kiran Morzaria, commented: “After a long and protracted process, I am delighted to be able to announce to you that we have now received Credit Committee Approval for the secured bank creditors to execute the Settlement Agreement. Cadence can then vest its initial 20% and eventually a further 7%, which in practical terms means we have a clear path and process to get Amapá recommissioned, licensed and back into production.”

“On my arrival at Amapá last week, I was deeply impressed by the rapid progress made by the DEV team, with reconstruction of some of the administrative and community infrastructure already well advanced. We look forward to working alongside both DEV and Indo Sino to continue to develop this asset , creating further opportunity and prosperity for the Amapa region, and of course delivering ongoing value for all stakeholders.” 

About the Amapa Project

The Amapa Project commenced operations in December 2007 with the first production of iron ore concentrate product of 712 kt in 2008.  In 2008 Anglo American (70%) and Cliffs (30%) acquired the Amapa Project in 2008 as part of a larger package of mining assets in Brazil.

Cadence updated the Mineral Resource Estimate on 2 November 2020. Increasing the MRE by 21%. The current MRE contains an Mineral Resource 176.7 million tonnes grading 39.7% Fe in the Indicated category and Mineral Resource of 8.7Mt at 36.9% in the Inferred category, both reported within an optimised pit shell and using a cut-off grade of 25% Fe.

Production steadily increased to 4.8 Mt and 6.1 Mt of iron ore concentrate product in 2011 and 2012.  During this period, Anglo American reported operating profits from their 70% ownership in the Amapa Project of USD 120 million (100% USD 171 million) and USD 54 million (100% USD 77 million).

Before its sale in 2012, Anglo American valued its 70% stake in Amapa Project at USD 866 million (100% 1.2 billion). It impaired the asset in its 2012 Annual Accounts to USD 462 million (100% USD 660 million.

DEV filed for judicial protection in August 2015 in Brazil, and mining ceased at the Amapa Project. A judicial order in early 2019 offered investors and creditors the opportunity to file a revised JRP. Cadence and Indo Sino filed a conditional JRP, which creditors approved in August 2019. Cadence, Indo Sino and DEV have continued to develop the Amapa Project and satisfy the conditions of the JRP.

Details of the Joint Venture Agreement

The agreement with our joint venture partner, Indo Sino, is to invest in and acquire up to a 27% of a joint venture company Pedra Branca Alliance Pte. Ltd. On Completion and registration of the Settlement Agreement the  equity of DEV Mineração S.A. will be transferred to the JV Co, at which point it will own 99.9% of the Amapa Project. Should Indo Sino seek further investors or an investment in the JV Co the agreement also provides Cadence with a first right of refusal to increase its stake to 49% in the JV Co.

To acquire its 27% interest Cadence will invest US$ 6 million over two stages in JV Co. The first stage is for 20% of the JV Co the consideration for which is US$2.5 million. The second stage of investment is for a further 7% of JV Co for a consideration of US$3.5 million. If Cadence is unable to complete the second stage of the investment or not exercise its right of first refusal under the terms of the Agreement, Indo Sino will have a twelve-month option to buy the shares in JV Co held by Cadence for 1.5 (1 ½) times the price paid by Cadence for such shares.

Cadence’s investment is conditional on several material preconditions, which include the grant of key operating licences and the release of bank securities over the asset. On completion of Cadence’s investment (not including the first right of refusal), our joint venture partner Indo Sino will own 73% of JV Co. The Agreement also contains security and default clauses which if triggered causes an upwards adjustment mechanism to allow Cadence to either receive cash from JV Co or receive additional shares in JV Co. In the latter case, Cadence’s shareholding in the JV Co will not go above 49.9%.

On completion of the US$ 6 million investment, Cadence will have the right to appoint two members to a five-member board, with the remaining three comprising of one member jointly appointed by Cadence and Indo Sino and two appointed by Indo Sino.

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