IMX Resources Limited
ASX : IXR
TSX : IXR
TSX : IXR.WT

IMX Resources Limited

April 30, 2014 04:00 ET

IMX Resources Limited: Report for the Quarter Ended 31 March 2014

PERTH, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwired - April 30, 2014) - IMX Resources Limited (ASX:IXR)(TSX:IXR)(TSX:IXR.WT) -

SUMMARY

Cairn Hill Iron Ore Operations

  • Phase 2 extension of the Cairn Hill Mine, with operations continuing through to June 2015
  • Negative cash flow from operations of $1.4 million1 due to receipt of provisional invoice for the final shipment for the Quarter on 4 April 2014 (December Quarter: positive cash flow of $8.1 million)
  • Distributions to joint venture partners of $4.3 million, IMX's share $2.2 million (December Quarter $11.9 million, IMX's share $6.1 million)
  • Iron ore price protection delivers average realised iron price of A$142 for the March Quarter exceeding the average 62% benchmark price of A$134 for the Quarter

Ntaka Hill Nickel Sulphide Project

  • Tanzanian regulatory approval of joint venture agreement with MMG Exploration Holdings Limited ("MMG")
  • Assay results from final phase of December Quarter drilling identify new zone of nickel mineralisation, 'Ntaka Kati'
  • Aggressive exploration program, involving a total of 14,775m of diamond drilling and 8,700m of reverse circulation drilling expected to commence in May 2014 (4 drill rigs currently on site)

Mt Woods Exploration and Development

  • Pilot hematite drilling program and occurrence of coarse specular hematite at Fyans Prospect confirms hematite prospectivity of Mt Woods
  • Search continues for a development partner for the Mt Woods Magnetite Project with roadshows undertaken in China and the Middle East
  • Several parties actively engaged in process to secure a joint venture partner to explore for copper-gold on the Mt Woods tenements

Corporate

  • Appointment of Gary Sutherland as Managing Director and Derek Fisher as Chairman, along with the relocation of the corporate office from Perth to Adelaide
  • IMX cash of $3.3 million, excluding cash invested in Cairn Hill joint venture

1 All Dollars in this report are Australian Dollars unless otherwise stated.

OPERATIONS

Cairn Hill Joint Venture (IMX - 51%)

Summary information on production and shipments for the March Quarter are shown in Table 1 below (figures represent the full (100%) results of the Cairn Hill Joint Venture (the "Cairn Hill JV").

Table 1. Cairn Hill JV: Production and shipment performance for the March Quarter 2014
March
Quarter 2014
December
Quarter 2013
Comparison with
Previous Quarter
Waste removed (BCM) 587,022 454,681 29.1 %
Waste and Ore (BCM) 689,482 554,770 24.3 %
Ore Mined (tonnes) 440,578 430,383 2.4 %
Ore Crushed (tonnes) 421,955 403,942 4.5 %
Road Haulage (tonnes) 411,337 422,691 (2.7 %)
Rail Haulage (tonnes) 431,592 418,871 3.0 %
Ore Shipped (tonnes) 450,344 381,735 18.0 %

Operations

While the Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate decreased to 13.49 (December Quarter: 19.1), one Recordable Injury occurred during the Quarter.

Mining continued in both Pit 1 and Pit 2 during the Quarter. Extra mining capacity was utilised to accelerate pre-stripping activities in Pit 2. This enabled ore to be accessed more quickly to partially compensate for the underperformance of the Pit 1 orebody at depth (ASX announcement 3 March 2014). Road and rail haulage volumes for the Quarter were adversely impacted by both reduced availability of ore for transport and heavy rainfalls which resulted in 61.5 hours of lost road access.

A total of 450,344 tonnes of ore were shipped in six shipments, which was in line with the Company's expectations. Six shipments are forecast for the June Quarter.

For the March Quarter, FOB costs averaged $84 per tonne shipped and $104 per tonne CIF (December Quarter: $94 and $111 respectively). The fall in costs per tonne was attributable to the six shipments in the March Quarter compared to five shipments for the December Quarter.

FOB costs per tonne shipped for the remainder of the 2014 financial year are forecast to average $84 per tonne shipped ($106 per tonne CIF). These costs are slightly higher than previously reported for the remainder of the 2014 financial year due to the June 2014 quarter expecting six shipments instead of the previously forecast seven shipments. The Company continues to operate with increased rail capacity in order to recover some of the capacity lost due to technical issues with locomotives and wet weather in 2013.

Operations Cash Flow

The Cairn Hill JV had negative cash flow from operations of $1.3 million (December Quarter: positive cash flow of $8.1 million). This is a timing issue only as the provisional invoice cash receipt of $8.6 million for the final shipment of the March Quarter which departed on 30 March 2014 was received on 3 April 2014. Had the cash for this shipment been received during the March Quarter, the cash flow would have been in line with the $6.8 million forecast in the December Quarter.

The iron ore price and AUD/USD exchange rate fell during the provisional pricing periods and the resulting provisional price received per tonne of magnetite-copper ore shipped during the March Quarter was $127 per tonne CIF (December Quarter $127 per tonne CIF). Hedges of the Platts 62% benchmark price resulted in a positive $0.9m impact on cash flow during the quarter.

During the March Quarter, the Cairn Hill JV made payments of $2.7 million for adjustments on final invoices, $1.2 million of which related to payments for shipments in the December Quarter. At spot prices and exchange rates on 31 March 2014, payments for adjustments on final invoices due for settlement in the June Quarter are estimated to be $7.3 million. This large settlement amount is due to a combination of falling iron prices and low copper grades of the final two shipments of the March quarter.

Stockpiles

At the end of the March Quarter, the book value of ore stockpiles, being the cost to deliver the stockpiles to their present location, was $9.9 million (31 December 2013: $12.9 million). The decrease in the book value of ore stockpiles was due to lower tonnes mined, which resulted in a drawdown of stockpile levels in order to achieve six shipments for the Quarter. The breakdown by stockpile location is shown in Table 2 below.

Table 2. Ore stockpiles at 31 March 2014
Pre-Crusher Post Crusher Rankin Dam Port Adelaide
Stockpile (tonnes) 110,659 67,878 38,668 44,860

Sales and Marketing

During the Quarter shipments were placed with existing, contracted customers.

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

1. Continuity of operations at Cairn Hill

Phase 2

During the Quarter, the Cairn Hill JV partners approved a Phase 2 extension of the Cairn Hill Mine that will see it continue operation through to mid-2015 (see ASX announcement 1 April 2014).

The Phase 2 extension will initially comprise the mining of two new open pits (Pits 3 and 4) located to the east of the current Pit 1, with production of over one million tonnes of product. There is potential to further extend the life of the Cairn Hill Mine with a cut-back to the existing Pit 2.

Based on Consensus Economics forecasts for the first half of 2015 of US$115.50 per tonne for the 62% Platts Iron Ore index and an AUD/USD exchange rate of 0.86, financial modelling indicates that together with Phase 1 operations, the Phase 2 extension is expected to generate post-tax, free cash flow of approximately $8.0 million for the Cairn Hill JV.

Owing to the especially coarse nature of Cairn Hill magnetite, existing customers have been able to produce very high-grade magnetite concentrates which are highly desirable as feed to the steel-making process. As a result, the intermediate product from Phase 2 is particularly attractive, with an existing customer having provided a letter of intent to purchase up to 100% of the Phase 2 product under an agreed pricing model based on the 62% Platts Iron Ore index.

Built on the current mining operation and infrastructure that is already in place, the Phase 2 extension is part of IMX's broader strategic vision to establish a minimum five year life at the Cairn Hill Mine.

Hematite exploration

Exploration for direct shipping ore ("DSO") hematite is an important element of the Company's efforts to maintain ongoing operations at Cairn Hill beyond 2015. Any discovery of economic DSO hematite at Mt Woods has the potential for near-term production utilising the road, rail and port infrastructure currently used by the Cairn Hill Mine.

Results of a pilot drilling program to test hematite at Mt Woods that was carried out in March 2014 returned wide intersections showing hematite derived from alteration of a magnetite iron formation (see ASX announcement 1 March 2014 and 21 March 2014). These results show that hematite-forming geological processes occur at Mt Woods and that the exploration methods applied in the pilot drilling program can detect it. Since announcing these exploration results on 1 March 2014 and 21 March 2014, IMX is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in that announcement.

Exploration for this style of hematite mineralisation was given added impetus by the identification of a significant occurrence of high-grade hematite from previous drilling at the Mt Woods Project. The intersection was identified in core drilled by former partner OZ Minerals Limited, who were exploring for copper (see ASX announcement 4 April 2014). Assaying of the hematite rich interval returned 8.4 metres @ 59.1% Fe from 406.7m (see Table 3).

Table 3: Hematite Fe% intercepts in hole DD112FYA002 - Fyans Prospect
Hole From To Width Fe % P % S % SiO2 % Main iron mineral
DD12FYA002 384.0 389.3 5.3 49.80 0.03 0.02 20.75 Magnetite
DD12FYA002 406.5 414.9 8.4 59.10 0.04 0.10 11.70 Hematite
Includes 411.0 414.9 3.9 61.30 0.04 0.14 8.42 Hematite

Since announcing these exploration results on 4 April 2014, IMX is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in that announcement.

This intersection at Fyans is too deep and narrow to be of direct economic significance, but clearly demonstrates that the geochemical processes that created Arrium's hematite mineralisation at Peculiar Knob were also active on the Mt Woods tenements.

The Fyans Prospect is located approximately 11km south-west of Peculiar Knob.

2. Mt Woods Magnetite Project, South Australia (IMX 100%)

Investigation into optimised product handling solutions, particularly around the port were completed during the Quarter, with concept designs developed for changes to infrastructure.

The spring flora and fauna baseline survey for the Snaefell site was also finalised, with the field work having been completed during the December Quarter. This survey was undertaken to ensure that environmental baseline studies did not impact on the critical path for project permitting.

The process to secure a partner for the evaluation and development of the Mt Woods Magnetite Project continued during the Quarter. Azure Capital continues to advise on the process, with a number of potential partners currently engaged at various stages of review.

EXPLORATION

1. Nachingwea Property, Ntaka Hill (IMX 100%)

Joint venture with MMG

Having entered into a five year, US$60 million joint venture agreement with MMG in September 2013, MMG immediately commenced funding and directing exploration at the Nachingwea Project. MMG is targeting a resource in the order of 400,000 tonnes of contained nickel at greater than 1.5% nickel and has implemented a new exploration program, focussed on delineating high-grade, mafic intrusive style nickel mineralisation, which is considered to have the potential to increase the grade and size of the existing resource.

Stage One progressing well

The 'Stage One' work program defined by MMG and which commenced in September 2013, has a budget of US$10 million, with rapid evaluation of the potential for high-grade nickel discoveries and achievement of MMG's resource target, the primary objective.

In late 2013, MMG commenced a number of geophysical surveys to further highlight the potential within the Ntaka-Lionja corridor, including NSAMT (natural source audio magneto-tellurics), MLEM (moving loop electro-magnetic (EM)) and infill gravity surveys. Re-logging of oriented drill core and reassessment of down hole EM (DHEM) surveys have continued and along with the surface geophysical work, are providing a new understanding of the Ntaka intrusive.

Identification of drill targets is expected to be finalised in April, prior to the commencement of drilling in the June Quarter.

New zone of mineralisation identified at Ntaka Hill

Assay results received during the March Quarter confirmed a new zone of mineralisation, referred to as "Ntaka Kati", located 300m north of the current Sleeping Giant and Zeppelin resource (see ASX Announcement 24 February 2014). Two holes were drilled, each of which intersected mineralisation, with assay results including:

  • 71.5m of nickel mineralisation, including 41m @ 0.40% Ni, 16m @ 0.5% Ni and 14.6m @ 0.7% Ni within 150m of the surface (NAD13-388); and
  • 7.3m @ 1% Ni and 5.9m @ 0.6% Ni (NAD13-387).

Since announcing these exploration results on 24 February 2014, IMX is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in that announcement.

The discovery of Ntaka Kati continues to demonstrate the potential for the various zones of mineralisation at Ntaka Hill to form part of a much larger mineralised system up to 1.5km wide.

2. Nachingwea regional exploration

While primarily focused on the Ntaka Hill Nickel Sulphide Project to identify a resource in the order of 400,000 tonnes of contained nickel at greater than 1.5% nickel, MMG is also looking at the broader Nachingwea Project area which covers 6,800 km2 (tenements granted and under application).

Regional targeting for a virgin nickel sulphide discovery is based on an interpretation of a detailed aeromagnetic/radiometric survey flown in 2010, an extensive regional soil sampling program and a number of airborne EM (VTEM) surveys which cover approximately 60% of the Nachingwea Project area.

3. Mt Woods Copper-Gold Exploration, South Australia (IMX 100%)

OZ Minerals completed its withdrawal from the Mt Woods Exploration JV during the December Quarter, with all mineral rights over the Mt Woods tenements and interest in those tenements now 100% owned by IMX.

The prospectivity of the Mt Woods tenements, together with the availability of a significant exploration database established during previous exploration work, makes this an attractive opportunity for iron oxide copper gold discoveries in the world-class Gawler Craton mineral province.

A process to secure a joint venture partner for non-iron exploration on the Mt Woods tenements commenced during the December Quarter and is continuing. A number of parties have expressed an interest in non-iron exploration at Mt Woods and several Australian and international copper-gold explorers and producers are actively engaged in the process.

CORPORATE

Cash position and distributions

As at 31 March 2014, the Group had cash at bank of $12.1 million, as detailed in Table 4 below:

Table 4. Consolidated Cash Position
31 Mar 2014
($m)
31 Dec 2013
($m)
IMX Resources Limited 3.3 3.1
Cairn Hill JV (51% IMX share is $4.5 million) 8.8 13.7
Consolidated Group 12.1 17.7

The Cairn Hill JV cash balance is the working capital required to fund the operation. Distributions to the JV partners are made so as to retain a cash balance of at least $3 million at all times.

As at 31 March 2014, IMX's Tanzanian subsidiary Ngwena Limited held $0.1 million of cash on behalf of MMG. This cash will contribute towards its expenditure on the Nachingwea JV.

Distributions to the Cairn Hill JV partners amounted to $4.3 million, of which IMX received $2.1 million (December quarter $11.9 million, IMX share $6.1 million).

In order to provide greater certainty in respect of cash flow from the Cairn Hill Mine, price protection was put in place for 90% of the Group's iron ore exposure from January to March 2014. The transactions entered provided a price for the 62% iron ore benchmark of AUD146.59 (January); AUD144.16 (February); and AUD136.52 (March) significantly above the spot prices that would have been achievable.

Appointment of Managing Director and Non-executive Director

During February, Dr Derek Fisher, a highly credentialed mining executive with over 40 years' experience in mining companies, spanning both corporate and operational roles, with a particular emphasis on iron ore and nickel projects, was appointed as a Non-executive Director. Subsequent to the end of the Quarter, Dr Fisher was appointed Chairman of the Company.

Immediately following the end of the March Quarter, Mr Gary Sutherland was appointed Managing Director. Mr Sutherland will drive IMX's iron ore growth strategy, based on its 51% owned Cairn Hill Mine and portfolio of development and exploration projects, including the 100% owned Mt Woods Magnetite Project.

In parallel with Mr Sutherland's appointment, IMX has decided to relocate its corporate head office from Perth to Adelaide, a move which is consistent with the Company's focus on its South Australian iron ore assets and will enable consolidation of its operational and corporate teams in one location. While this will result in some one off costs being incurred during the June and September Quarters, it is expected to deliver significant savings in recurring overhead costs.

TENEMENT INTERESTS

Table 5. Tenements Held and Location
Tenement Ownership Project Location
ML6303 - Cairn Hill 100% Cairn Hill South Australia
EL4649 - Kangaroo Dam 100% Mt Woods South Australia
EL4706 - Mt Woods 100% Mt Woods South Australia
EL4963 - Warrina North 100% Mt Woods South Australia
EL4964 - Warrina South 100% Mt Woods South Australia
EL5048 - Mt Brady 100% Mt Woods South Australia
EL4446 - Yarrabolina Hill 100% Mt Woods South Australia
EL4866 - Mt Paisley 100% Mt Woods South Australia
EL4982 - Brumby Creek 100% Mt Woods South Australia
PL6489/2010 - Lubalisi 100% Mibango Tanzania
PL6895/2012 - Mioni 100% Mibango Tanzania
PL7464/2011 - Luegele 100% Mibango Tanzania
PL8017/2012 - Molumbo Hill 100% Mibango Tanzania
PL8124/2012 - Milanga 100% Mibango Tanzania
PL8833/2013 - Kamafinga 100% Mibango Tanzania
PL8901/2013 - Sifumbi 100% Mibango Tanzania
PL8902/2013 - Mpondwe 100% Mibango Tanzania
PL9299/2013 - Lwega 100% Mibango Tanzania
PL9394/2013 - Nkulya 100% Mibango Tanzania
PL4422/2007 - Ntaka 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL4917/2008 - Mbangala 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL4918/2008 - Lukumbi 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL5447/2008 - Noli SE 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL5971/2009 - Matambare 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL5977/2009 - Naujombo 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL5978/2009 - Kihangara North 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6073/2009 - Chilalo 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6148/2009 - Mbwemburu North 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6149/2009 - Chilalo West 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6153/2009 - Mbwemburu 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6154/2009 - Nachingwea SW 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6156/2009 - Noli SW 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6158/2009 - Kiperere East 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6161/2009 - Mtimbo 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6397/2010 - Kiperere West 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6409/2010 - Rappa 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6412/2010 - Mujira 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6414/2010 - Kihangara 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6467/2010 - Nepanga 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6634/2010 - Mihumo 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL6635/2010 - Nachingwea NW 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL7095/2011 - Nditi 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL7226/2011 - Ntaka South 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL8625/2012 - Nambu West 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL8626/2012 - Nambugu East 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL8627/2012 - Lumpumbulu 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL8628/2012 - Kipendengwa 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL8748/2012 - Kihue 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL8754/2012 - Chikoweti 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL8811/2013 - Chimbo 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL8812/2013 - Mbemba 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL9397/2013 - Mtimbo South 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL9442/2013 - Nachi West 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
PL9557/2014 - Nachunguru 100% * Nachingwea Tanzania
Claim Block 4242 50% ** St Stephen New Brunswick, Canada
Claim Block 5787 50% ** St Stephen New Brunswick, Canada
* Subject to farm-in joint venture with MMG
** Subject to 50/50 joint venture with ABE Resources
Table 6. Tenements Acquired During the Quarter
Tenement Ownership Project Location
PL9557/2014 100% Nachingwea Tanzania
EL4982 100% Mt Woods South Australia

Tenements Disposed During the Quarter

No tenements were disposed of during the March Quarter.

Farm-in Agreements

As at 31 March 2014, IMX held a 100% interest in the Nachingwea Project which is the subject of a farm-in agreement with MMG.

Gary Sutherland, Managing Director

About IMX

IMX Resources Limited is an Australian-based mining and exploration company, listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange, with projects located in Australia and East Africa.

In Australia, IMX operates and owns 51% of the Cairn Hill Mine, located 55km south-east of Coober Pedy in South Australia, where it produces a premium coarse-grained magnetite-copper-gold DSO product at a rate of 1.8Mtpa. This operation generates cash flow which underpins the IMX investment proposition.

IMX is also actively exploring for direct shipping hematite at its Mt Woods tenements, located near the Cairn Hill Mine, and progressing development options for its Mt Woods Magnetite Project. Studies indicate that a smaller scale, lower cost project may be developed utilising existing infrastructure already in use at the Cairn Hill Mine. Efforts to secure a partner to support development of the Mt Woods Magnetite Project are continuing.

In Africa, IMX owns the highly prospective Ntaka Hill Nickel Sulphide Project, located within the broader 6,800km2 Nachingwea Exploration Project in south-eastern Tanzania which is prospective for nickel and copper sulphide, gold and graphite mineralization. Ntaka Hill is a potentially world-class nickel sulphide project which is being explored under a US$60 million exploration joint venture with MMG Exploration Holdings Limited.

Visit: www.imxresources.com.au

Cautionary statement: The TSX does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release. No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

Forward-looking statements: This news release includes certain "forward‐looking statements". Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are frequently characterised by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may", "will" or "could" occur. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release are forward‐looking statements or constitute forward-looking information. There can be no assurance that such information or statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from IMX's expectations.

These forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions, the opinions and estimates of management and qualified persons at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements or information. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, fluctuating metal prices, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, the ability of contracted parties (including laboratories and drill companies to provide services as contracted), uncertainties relating to required approvals, issues associated with the availability and costs of financing needed in the future and other factors. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Exploration target tonnage quantity and grade estimates are conceptual in nature only. These figures are not resource estimates as defined by the 2004 JORC Code or NI 43-101, as insufficient exploration has been conducted to define a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a Mineral Resource.

IMX undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements or information if circumstances should change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. Readers are also cautioned to review the risk factors identified by IMX in its regulatory filings made from time to time with the ASX, TSX and applicable Canadian securities regulators.

Contact Information

  • IMX Resources Limited
    Gary Sutherland
    Managing Director
    +61 8 9388 7877

    IMX Resources Limited
    Phil Hoskins
    Chief Financial Officer
    +61 8 9388 7877
    www.imxresources.com.au

    Media:
    Read Corporate
    Paul Armstrong/Nicholas Read
    +61 8 9388 1474
    info@readcorporate.com.au