Vast Resources pushes towards production in Romania and Zimbabwe

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What it does

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) is an AIM-listed mining company with a portfolio of assets in Zimbabwe and Romania.

It has exposure to a diverse range of commodities including copper, gold, silver, lead and diamonds.

 

What it owns

In Zimbabwe, Vast has the Heritage concession in the Marange Diamond Fields.

In Romania, assets include the Blueberry gold project, the Magura Neagra polymetallic licence and the Manaila polymetallic mine, the Baita Plai polymetallic mine (BPPM), the Piciorul Zimbrului permit and the Carlibaba Manaila extension project.

How’s it doing in Romania?

Vast released a detailed cashflow forecast and production schedule after completion of confirmatory drilling at Baita Plai.

By the second quarter of 2021, the company plans to be producing over 2,000 tonnes of concentrate per quarter. By the third quarter, it will be generating net revenue of over US$5mln per quarter.

Vast already has 150 tonnes of prepared copper concentrate that will form part of the first sales to Mercuria, which is now expected to be delivered in October.

Work started in September on a new steel railway bridge between the mine and the flotation plant.

How’s it doing?

THe company began production at Romania’s Baita Plai polymetallic mine in October 2020. 

The company completed the installation of new equipment and the rehabilitation of existing mining infrastructure at the BPPM, resulting in commissioning of the plant and the starting of concentrate production in October, with first sales completed in November.

Underground drilling is now moving ahead to determine the further potential of the asset, after an initial mineral resource estimate in October pointed to a resource of 608,000 tonnes of copper and other metals and an exploration target that was increased to 3.2-5.8mln tonnes in November.

Chief executive Andrew Prelea noted in a results update issued late in January 2021 that the acceleration in demand for clean energy and electric vehicles during the pandemic and said Vast “is well placed to take advantage of these developments.” 

No revenue was generated in the six months to end-October 2020 as production and sales had not yet begun, but losses after tax were cut 70% to US$1.04mln, helped by a 15% decrease in administrative and overhead expenses.

During the half-year the company repaid US$0.5mln of principal of the first tranche of its Atlas debt facility, with almost 324mln shares issued to Atlas to cover repayment of another $0.5mln in the same tranche.

Away from the BPPM, Vast was also granted the Manaila Carlibaba extension exploitation license, also in northern Romania, which will allow it to re-examine the exploitation of the mineral resources within the larger 139-hectare Manaila Carlibaba license area, a 410% increase in surface area from the existing exploitation license at Manaila.

In October, the company also received a time extension of five years on the entire Manaila Carlibaba licence area and at the end of that month published a JORC 2012 compliant measured and indicated mineral resource for BPPM to cover the first four years of production.

Outside of Romania, discussions are said to be continuing over finalising the agreement with Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) for the company’s right to mine diamonds at the community diamond concession.

 

 

Video

 

What the CEO says: Andrew Prelea

“Batia Plai is expected to be one of the lowest cost per ton copper producers globally,” 

“The low operating costs will ensure Baita Plai remains a viable commercial operation regardless of the potential future commodity market fluctuations.”

Inflexion points

  • Long term finance secured for Romania assets
  • Agreement signed for Chiadzwa diamond fields
  • Details of Katanga JV structure
  • Production begins at either Chiadzwa or in Romania

 

 

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