SAGUENAY, QUEBEC – (May 26, 2017) – Arianne Phosphate (the “Company” or “Arianne”) (TSX VENTURE: DAN; OTC: DRRSF; FRANKFURT: JE9N), a development-stage phosphate mining company, advancing the Lac à Paul project in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, reported its financial results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2017. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless noted.
“The first quarter of 2017 saw significant progress for our Lac a Paul project,” stated Brian Ostroff, Arianne Phosphate’s CEO. “Over the past few months, we have successfully concluded on numerous MoU agreements with large global players that can help us advance our project through development. Additionally, many of these agreements also come with a commitment to assist us in securing financing so, it is no longer just Arianne pushing Lac a Paul towards development but, a consortium of large interested parties.”
Q1 2017 Financial and Operational Highlights
- In March 2017, Arianne signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) agreement with ABB Inc. to provide engineering, procurement and support services for integrated electrification and automated mining solutions. As part of this MoU, ABB has also committed to work with Arianne in helping to secure financing for this portion of the project and, to that end, has already introduced the project to SERV, the Swiss Export Credit Agency.
- In February 2017, the Company secured a favorable power agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. This agreement confirms that an additional power bloc of 14-MW from Hydro-Quebec will be made available for the Lac à Paul project’s ore processing facilities. This power bloc now totals 129-MW. With this additional power bloc, Arianne will be able to supply all its processing facilities with hydroelectric power, making it the apatite concentrate producer with the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the market. A significant portion of the whole power bloc of 129-MW, i.e. 42-MW, will be used for the electric dryer to dry the apatite concentrate. The innovative technology integrated into the dryer will prevent the equivalent of 86,000 metric tonnes per year of CO2 emissions. It will also have a positive economic impact on the Lac à Paul project.
- In February 2017, Arianne signed an MoU with Construction Proco Inc. The agreement covers structural and architectural engineering, steel fabrication and construction of the mill process and utilities buildings and, on-site stock pile storage.
- In January 2017, the Company signed a project agreement with Rio Tinto Alcan (“Rio Tinto”) to review potential sharing of maritime services. This project agreement provides for discussions focused on Arianne’s use of ships serving Rio Tinto to deliver phosphate concentrate to international markets and should provide both environmental and economic benefits.
Highlights Subsequent to Quarter-End
- In April, the Company signed a MoU agreement, with Groupe Alfred Boivin (“GAB”) for the trucking of the Company’s high purity phosphate concentrate between the Lac à Paul mine site and the marine terminal on the north shore of the Saguenay River. The services offered by GAB are perfectly aligned with Arianne’s transportation strategy and will allow for the final design specifications of our trucks and trailers, as well as logistics and road and fleet maintenance. This MoU provides for a research and development program for the final selection of the truck, and the creation of the trailer.
- In April, Arianne signed a MoU agreement with FLSmidth to provide all production equipment and engineering for the future plant, in collaboration with the various key suppliers involved in the Lac-à-Paul project development. FLSmidth is a leader in phosphate processing technologies covering the full flowsheet. FLSmidth comes with both strong technical ability as well as the ability to assist Arianne in sourcing the necessary financing solutions and, had already introduced the project into EKF, the Danish Export Credit Agency.
- In April 2017, the Company signed a MoU agreement with a joint venture between SNC-Lavalin (“SNC”) and Cegertec to act as project manager consultants and provide project management support, coordination and consulting for the Lac a Paul project. The joint venture will integrate all pieces into a fully functioning plan that should help us achieve engineering, cost and scheduling certainty.
Arianne is a development-stage company and, as such, did not generate revenue or positive cash flow in Q1 2017. In the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, the Company incurred a net losses of $0.8M for the three month period. This compares to a net loss of $0.8M for the three months in the comparable period of 2016.
At March 31, 2017, the Company had $0.5M cash on hand and $1.7 million remaining undrawn on its credits facilities. These funds will be allocated towards general working capital and advancing development of Lac a Paul in 2017. Based on current spending estimates for future project development, Arianne will need additional financing in 2017.
For 2017, Arianne will be focused on the ongoing advancement and development of its Lac a Paul project. Expected milestones include:
- Reduce cash operating production costs and capital expenses;
- Sign an “Impact and Benefit Agreement (IBA)” with the First Nations;
- Assist the Port of Saguenay in securing their environmental permitting from CEEA; and
- Secure financing for construction and development of the Lac a Paul project.
Arianne’s Management Discussion and Analysis and condensed consolidated interim financial statements for the three-month period ended March 31, 2017 are available on the Company’s website and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Jean-Sébastien David, P.Geo., Qualified Person by NI 43-101, has approved this release. Mr. David is also the Company’s Chief Operating Officer.