Chairmans Address and AGM Presentation
ASX / Media Announcement 25 November 2021 CHAIRMAN’S ADDRESS AND AGM PRESENTATION Vital Metals Limited (ASX: VML ) (“ Vital Metals ” or “ the Company ”) provides, in accordance with Listing Rule 3.13.3, a copy of the Chairman’s Address and AGM Presentation to be delivered today at the 2021 Annual General Meeting. - ENDS- Contact: Ms Louisa Martino Company Secretary Vital Metals Limited Phone: +61 2 8823 3100 Email: email@example.com This announcement has been authorised for release by the Company Secretary of Vital Metals. CHAIRMAN ’ S ADDRESS Good afternoon and thanks for joining us today at the 2021 Annual General Meeting for Vital Metals Limited. I am Evan Cranston and as the Chairman of Vital Metals , I am delighted to welcome everyone attending the meeting, whether it is in person or via our live webcast. I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on and congratulate our team, lead by our Managing Director Geoff Atkins, on our C ompany’s achievements . A period which has certainly been transformati onal for Vital Metals. Having only acquir ed the Nechalacho project in Northwest Territories, Canada , roughly two years ago, it has been incredibl e to see our progress during this time , achieving our goal of becoming Canada’s first – and only North America’s second – rare earth producer. When you consider that in mining generally , and in rare earths more specifically, the expected time taken to bring a project to operations is accepted to be in excess of 5 years, and commonly over 10 years, to bring the Nechalacho rare earths project into operation s within a 2 year time period is a n outstanding achievement. When you also consider that for the majority of that 2 years the world has been in the grip of a global pandemic, with all the restrictions that that entailed, the achievement is all the more rem arkable. Further, if we have been able to achieve this over the last two years under such trying conditions, the question has to be asked “what can this team deliver over the next 2, 3, 4 or 5 years with the foundations that we have in place today? It was our strategy to start small at Nechalacho and demonstrate our ability in the rare earths space before expanding our operations and we have executed this perfectly, accomplishing a number of important milestones during FY21 and the months since . Let me recap on some of our highlights at Nechalacho . - Vital completed a 43 million dollar ($43M) placement in March 2021 which fully funded construction, mining and operations at Nechalacho. We thank our shareholders, both new and existing, for supporting this. We had ea rlier completed an 8 million dollar ($8M) placement in September last year to allow us to purchase our ore sorter for Nechalacho. - We commenced mining operations at Nechalacho in March, having signed local company Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction to underta ke mining. Vital’s operation at Nechalacho is the first time an indigenous business is extracting mineral resources from its own territory in Canada . This is an achievement of which we are very proud , and we continue to grow our relationship with the commu nities surrounding our operations. - Production at Nechalacho commenced with first ore crushed at the end of June and we completed commissioning of our ore sorter soon after, allowing us to process material mined from the North T starter pit. Our ore sorter has performed above expectations, producing a high - beneficiated product from a single pass of low - grade stockpile mater ial during commissioning and operator training. - We completed our initial mining campaign at Nechalacho before the winter months set in, and the first barge shipment of rare earth material was delivered to Hay River on its way to Saskatoon . - In anticipatio n of our expanded Stag e 2 operations w e completed at the Tardiff Zones . The purpose of this campaign was to confirm mineralisation to support a larger - scale, longer - life mining operation. Our drilling at Tardiff intersected high - grade rare earth minerali sation in all three zones we drilled, and drilling at Tardiff Zone 2 indicates the potential for a significant high - grade resource which is not currently contained within the Mineral Resource estimate. In parallel with our operations at Nechalacho, c onstr uction of our rare earths extraction facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan commenced in recent months. This is where we will produce our mixed rare earth carbonate product for sale to separation facilities. We have oversized this facility to enable expanded throughput capacity in Stage 2 operations. Vital procured equipment based on a start - up production capacity of 1,000 tonnes per year excluding cerium, which is equivalent to 470 tonnes per year of Neodymium/Praseodymium or Nd - Pr. Stage 2 will have expanded capacity of 2,000 tonnes per year excluding cerium, being 940 tonnes per year NdPr. This represents a plant throughput that is 50 per cent larger than initially planned, with the expanded capacity providing Vital with the opportunity to further double it s production capacity. We expect first feed into this before the end of the current calendar year . Commissioning of the plant is expected to occur incrementally over the first half of CY2022 and first product out is scheduled to occur by the end of the fir st half next calendar year . As we build our business, it’s important for us to secure customers for our product and we have made great progress on this through the year. We secured a binding offtake agreement with Norwegian rare earth separation company R EEtec AS late last year . Under the agreement, Vital will provide REEtec with mixed rare earth carbonate product. Initially agreed as an annual volume of 1,000 tonnes ex - cerium over five years, last month REEtec increased its offtake by 50 per cent . Under t he amended agreement, Vital will sell to REEtec rare earth carbonate product containing a minimum of 750 tonnes of NdPr, contained within 2,000 tonnes per year total rare earth oxides with a maximum of 25 per cent Cerium. This represents a total of 75 per cent of Vital’s expanded operation at its Saskatoon plant . The amended agreement extends Vital’s product sales to REEtec to 2028 . It also provides the option to further expand operations during an additional 10 - year long - term supply agreement to provide up to 2,500 t onnes of NdPr per annum contained within approximately 6,800 tonnes of TREO , containing a maximum 25 per cent cerium. Last month, we announced a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, with Ucore Rare Metals, providing us with an important and exciting entrance into the North American downstream rare earth supply chain. Ucore is the most advanced new rare earth separation company coming into the North American market, and on the back of our amende d agreement with REEtec, positions Vital as a critical supplier of rare earth feedstock in two major markets, Europe and North America. Under the MOU, we will sell Ucore a minimum 500 tonnes of REO a year excluding cerium by the first half of 2024, expandi ng to minimum of 50 per cent of Ucore’s proposed 5,000 tonne s - per - annum total REO rare separation plant by 2026. On top of this amazing progress in 2021, we are also positioning ourselves to be a producer of both light and heavy rare earths and have acqui red an option to acquire the Kipawa and Zeus projects from Quebec Precious Metals. This has the potential to transform Vital into the only producer of both light and heavy rare earths in North America. I look forward to updating the market on our progress on adding heavy rare earths into our product suite in the year ahead. The development of Nechalacho , our rare earth extraction facility under construction in Saskatoon and the move into heavy rare earth development , has set the foundations for Vital to bec ome a strategic player in the global critical minerals supply chain at a time when demand is increasing , and prices are rising . What our C ompany has achieved in FY21, a period that continued to be impacted by challenges and uncertainty due to the global pa ndemic, which restricted our travel to site in Canada and saw most of us working from home for long stints, is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team. I commend Managing Director Geoff Atkins and his team on site in Canada as well as those here in Australia, who all contributed to our success and achievements over the past year. Given our strong performance during this time, I am immensely confident that Vital will achieve the goals it sets over the next 12 months and beyond as we continue to position Vital as a strategic player in the global critical minerals sector and I look forward to sharing that journey with you. Annual General Meeting November, 2021 Canada’s First Rare Earths Producer Annual General Meeting November 2021 This presentation provides an overview of prospective rare earth projects (“the Projects”) and development opportunities and contains “forward looking statements”. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than statements of historical fact included in this presentation including and without limitation those regarding the Projects’ strategy, financial positions, plans and identification of additional resources and reserves. Such forward looking statements are subject to risk factors associated with exploration, development and the acquisitions of mining tenements and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. These risk factors could have a material effect on the operating, financial performance and achievements of the Projects and may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future operating , financial performance and achievements expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements contained in this presentation. Although there are reasonable grounds for making the forward-looking statements, such forward looking statements may be materially affected by changes in the underlying assumptions and changes to the environment which the Projects will operate in the future and such assumptions may or may not prove to be correct. Some of the underlying assumptions in this presentation are based on information which has not been independently verified. This presentation does not constitute, or form part of, an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to subscribe for or buy any securities, nor the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction, nor shall there be any sale, issue or transfer of the securities referred to in this presentation in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law. To the extent permitted by law, neither Vital Metals, nor any directors, officers, employees or advisors nor any other person shall have any liability whatsoever for any errors or omissions or any loss however arising, directly or indirectly, for any use of this information or its contents or otherwise arising in connection therewith. Therefore, any potential investor or shareholder should consult with their professional advisors and seek independent advice before making any investment decisions regard to investing in Vital Metals or the Projects. ASX LISTING RULE INFORMATION This presentation contains information relating to Mineral Resources for the Nechalacho Project extracted from ASX market announcements reported previously and published on the ASX platform on 13 December 2019, 19 February 2020 and 15 April 2020. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcements and that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the original market announcements continue to apply and have not materially changed. Investors should note that the Mineral Resource and Reserves estimates for the Wigu Hill Rare Earth Project and Kipawa Project are foreign estimates and are not reported in accordance with the JORC Code. A competent person has not done sufficient work to classify these foreign estimates as a mineral resource in accordance with the JORC Code and it is uncertain that following further exploration or evaluation work that these foreign estimates will be able to be reported as a mineral resource in accordance with the JORC Code. The Company has previously disclosed the foreign estimates in compliance with ASX Listing Rule 5.12 in the announcements dated 25 June 2019 titled “Vital to Transform into Rare Earth Oxide Developer” and 11 August 2021 titled “Vital Metals Ltd Enters Agreement to Acquire Heavy Rare Earth Projects” (“Announcements”). The Company is not in possession of any new information or data relating the foreign estimates that materially impacts on the reliability of the estimates or the Company’s ability to verify the foreign estimates in accordance with Appendix 5A (JORC Code). The Company confirms that the supporting information provided in the Announcements continues to apply and has not materially changed. This presentation contains information relating to exploration results extracted from ASX market announcements reported previously and published on the ASX platform on 26 May 2021, 23 June 2021 and 3 August 2021. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market. This presentation includes aspirational statements which have been reported in accordance with ASIC’s guidance on ‘Forward-looking Statements’ and ASX Guidance Note 31. These statements are not predictive in nature and the Company does not yet have reasonable grounds to assert that these aspirational statements can be achieved. REFERENCES 1. ASX announcement dated 15 April 2020, “Substantial Increase in Resource Size and Grade at North-T Zone Nechalacho” ( https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20200415/pdf/44gytlw5ckfbyr.pdf ); and ASX announcement dated 13 December 2019, “Vital Announces JORC 2012 Compliant Resources for the Nechalacho Rare Earth Deposit” ( https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20191213/pdf/44ckgzdngkmzpj.pdf ) 2. ASX announcement dated 25 June 2019,“Vital to Transform Into Rare Earth Oxide Developer” ( https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20190625/pdf/446361nxqnn9w8.pdf ) 3. ASX announcement dated 19 February 2020, “Vital Intersects Ultra-High Grade, Near-Surface REO at Nechalacho” ( https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20200219/pdf/44f7451l1z68r0.pdf ) 4. ASX announcement dated 5 December 2019, “Vital Demonstrates Ability to Produce Rare Earth Concentrate with Grades Above 35% REO” ( https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20191205/pdf/44c9nq180gpl7h.pdf ) 5. ASX announcement dated 25 June 2019, “Vital to Transform into Rare Earth Oxide Developer” ( https://cdn-api.markitdigital.com/apiman-gateway/ASX/asx-research/1.0/file/2924-02117124- 6A934624?access_token=83ff96335c2d45a094df02a206a39ff4.pdf ) 6.ASX announcement dated 26 May 2021, “Vital Intersects Broad High Grade REO in Near Surface Drilling at Tardiff Zone” ( https://cdn-api.markitdigital.com/apiman-gateway/ASX/asx-research/1.0/file/2924-02378307- 6A1034348?access_token=83ff96335c2d45a094df02a206a39ff4 ) 7. ASX announcement dated 23 June 2021 , “Vital’s Metallurgical Testwork Returns Positive Results” ( https://www2.asx.com.au/markets/trade-our-cash-market/announcements.vml ) 8.ASX announcement dated 3 August 2021 , “Vital Intersect High Grade REO in Tardiff Zones 2&3 including outside existing resource at Nechalacho” ( https://cdn-api.markitdigital.com/apiman-gateway/ASX/asx-research/1.0/file/2924- 02402947-6A1044224?access_token=83ff96335c2d45a094df02a206a39ff4 ) 9. ASX announcement dated 11 August 2021 , “Vital Metals Ltd Enters Agreement to Acquire Heavy Rare Earth Projects” ( https://cdn-api.markitdigital.com/apiman-gateway/ASX/asx-research/1.0/file/2924-02405866- 6A1045257?access_token=83ff96335c2d45a094df02a206a39ff4 ) 10. ASX announcement dated 18 October 2021, “ REEtec increases offtake of Vital’s REO by 50%” ( https://wcsecure.weblink.com.au/pdf/VML/02436809.pdf ) 11. ASX announcement dated 19 October 2021, “Vital Executes MOU for the Supply of Rare Earth Carbonate” (https://wcsecure.weblink.com.au/pdf/VML/02437485.pdf) Disclaimer Annual General Meeting November 2021 Guaranteeing Feedstock to the Global Rare Earths’ Supply Chain Annual General Meeting November 2021 World class REO Development Team - ex Lynas Corporation Ltd 3 World-Class Rare Earth projects – light and heavy rare earths • Nechalacho (Canada): 95mt at 1.46% TREO • Kipawa (Canada): Reserve 19.7 Mt at 0.41% TREO * • Wigu Hill (Tanzania): 3.3mt at 2.6% TREO * Aiming to become the first REE company with the ability to supply commercial quantities of both heavy and light rare earths Supporting a non-China supply chain • Europe: Binding Off-take agreement signed with REEtec, a Norwegian rare earth separation company • North America: Off-take MOU signed with Ucore Rare Metals to supply feedstock to the ALASKA2023 project Canadian Government Support • Funding agreement signed with The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) Stage 1 Mining Operations Commenced April 2021 • Canada’s first rare earth producer • North America’s second rare earth mine Vital positioning as a strategic player in global RE supply chain Highlights * Investors should note that the Mineral Resources and Reserves estimates for Kiipawa and Wigu Hill rare earth Projects are foreign estimates and are not reported in accordance with the JORC Code. A competent person has not done sufficient work to classify these foreign estimates as a mineral resource and reserve in accordance with the JORC Code and it is uncertain that following further exploration or evaluation work that the foreign estimates will be able to be reported as a mineral resource in accordance with the JORC Code Annual General Meeting November 2021 Company Overview Capital Structure ASX Code VML Shares on Issue 4,165m Options on Issue 432m Share Price (as 18 October 2021) $0.06 Market Capitalisation $258m Cash (30 June 2021) $34.9m Board and Management Geoff Atkins Managing Director Evan Cranston Chairman James Henderson Non-executive Director Tony Hadley Chief Operating Officer Mathew Edler Executive Vice President – Corporate Development Ray Anguelov Canada Operations Manager VML Share Price Performance Annual General Meeting November 2021 Vital’s leaders are rare earth project experts GEOFF ATKINS Managing Director 25 years of project and corporate development experience including four (4) years as Corporate Planning Manager at Lynas Corporation where he oversaw the development of and implementation of the strategic planning process and the development of the Mt Weld Concentration Plant and Lynas Advance Materials Plant in Malaysia. Senior Management TONY HADLEY Chief Operating Officer Over 25 years metallurgical process experience including General Manager, Mt Weld where he successfully designed and commissioned the world’s first rare earth phosphate flotation concentrator and General Manager, Browns Range where he successfully designed and commissioned the world’s first heavy rare earth process plant for xenotime feedstock. MATHEW EDLER Executive VP Corporate Development Former General Manager for Lynas Corporation and was responsible for all in-country activities for the Kangankunde rare earth project – Malawi. RAY ANGUELOV Canada Operations Manager Over 25 years metallurgical process experience. Over his career, Ray has been involved in all aspects of day-to-day metallurgical operations including plant commissioning and optimisation, and managing test work programs, metallurgical accounting, plant safety audits. GEOFF ATKINS Managing Director More than 25 years of project and corporate development experience including four years as Corporate Planning Manager at Lynas Corporation where he oversaw the development of and implementation of the strategic planning process and the development of the Mt Weld Concentration Plant and Lynas’ Advance Materials Plant in Malaysia. Annual General Meeting November 2021 Stage 1: Foundations Project Start-up: Nechalacho North T • Demonstrate the ability to supply rare earth feedstock at specification • Generate positive cashflow to fund expansion Stage 2: Expansion and Growth Nechalacho Tardiff • Long term/large scale commercial operation providing long term security to the rare earth supply chain Wigu Hill • Expansion capability through additional project • Multiple projects enable flexibility to react quickly to changes in market and customer requirements Stage 3: Heavy Rare Earth Production North T Xenotime/Kipawa • Enable Vital to be a single stop shop for the supply of the full suite of rare earths Our development strategy is delivering a full suite of rare earths Vital’s 3-Stage Development Strategy Annual General Meeting November 2021 Vital’s transformational year: - Offtake agreement executed with Norwegian company REEtec Ag – Dec ’20 - Mining operations commenced at Nechalacho rare earth project, Canada – March ‘21 - First blast at Nechalacho – May ‘21 - Nechalacho production commenced; installation of ore sorter completed – July ‘21 - Drilling for larger scale Stage 2 mine plan at Tardiff Zone completed – Aug ‘21 - Vital announces plan to acquire Kipawa and Zeus heavy rare earths projects – Aug ‘21 - Construction of Saskatoon rare earth extraction facility commences – October ‘21 - REEtec increases offtake agreement with Vital by 50% – October ’21 - MOU with Ucore Rare Metals for supply of rare earth carbonate – October ‘21 - Annual General Meeting November 2021 Implementation Stage 1: Building the Foundations to Success > Nechalacho North T mining operations commenced April 2021 > Saskatoon Rare Earth Extraction Plant under construction > Product shipped for further processing > Expansion to be funded from the sale of Mixed RE Carbonate Annual General Meeting November 2021 Our ESG & CSR Performance Key Performance Indicator Outcome Time Lost Incidents 0 Covid -19 Cases 0 Vaccine Mandate and Testing Began* April 2021 Environmental Incidents 0 Indigenous Mining Contractor First Indigenous Language Signs Installed 30+ Indigenous Hire 70%+ Northern Hire 85%+ Trained Indigenous Sensor -Based Sorter Operators 100% (5) Indigenous Procurement 85%+ Northern Procurement 90%+ Water used in mining process None Tailings created None Chemicals used in mining process None Annual General Meeting November 2021 Backed by a strong team across our Canadian operations Annual General Meeting November 2021 Supporting and supported by 160+ local suppliers Annual General Meeting November 2021 • Construction is underway on Vital’s rare earth extraction Plant in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada • All major processing equipment procured within budget with agreements/purchase orders issued for equipment including the following: • Dense Media Separation (DMS) • Calciner • Waste Gas Scrubber • Hydromet Tanks • Centrifuges • Candle Filters • Halyard International have been engaged to oversee project management and general engineering of the facility • Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) to provide technical support during plant construction and operation • First feed into the plant is on track CY21 with first production by the end of H1 CY22 Vital’s Extraction Plant on track for first feed by end of 2021 Saskatoon Plant Update Annual General Meeting November 2021 Europe REEtec - Norway • Developed a completely new and game changing process for the manufacturing of high purity rare earth elements. • Technology has been proven though the successful operation of an industrial scale demonstration plant • Definitive Off-take Agreement ( DOA ): Supply of rare earth carbonate feedstock containing 750t/yr NdPr over 5 years (1,500t REO ex Cerium) • Option: Supply of rare earth carbonate feedstock containing 2,500t/yr NdPr over 10 years, from 2028 (~5,000t REO ex Cerium) North America Ucore Rare Metals - USA • Developing rare earth processing technologies through its ALASKA2023 project, with the goal of fostering an independent American REE supply chain • The Alaska Strategic Metals Complex (SMC) has a scheduled commencement date of H1 2024 (2,000t TREO/yr) with expansion capacity to 5,000t TREO/yr by 2026 • Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU ): • Initial: Minimum 500t REO (ex-cerium)/yr, commencing H1 2024 • Expansion: Minimim 50% of Ucore’s envisioned 5,000t TREO/yr processing capability by 2026 Off-take agreements with the most advanced new separation facilities entering Europe and North America Off-take Agreements Annual General Meeting November 2021 Implementation Stage 2: Expansion and Growth > Long term growth and expansion through the development of Tardiff and Wigu Hill projects > Over 1Mt contained rare earths > Production targeted to commence 2025 > Expansion to be funded from the balance and debt funding Annual General Meeting November 2021 Implementation Stage 3: Heavy Rare Earth Production > Targeting to be the only supplier of commercial quantities of both light and heavy rare earth feedstock > Two projects under consideration: • North T Xenotime – Nechalacho, NWT • Kipawa rare earth project – Quebec, Canada Annual General Meeting November 2021 Vital’s plans for FY22: - Commission and commence operation of Saskatoon Rare Earth Extraction facility - First delivery of RE Carbonate to customers - Continue processing material mined at Nechalacho during CY21 - Complete Stage 2 Mine Plan for Nechalacho, expanding to Tardiff Zone - Sign Definitive Off-take Agreement with Ucore Rare Metals - Define heavy rare earth development plan - Annual General Meeting November 2021 Work Class Rare earth Development Team - ex Lynas Corporation • Lead by Vital Metals MD Geoff Atkins 3 World Class Projects • Nechalacho REO Project (Canada): 95Mt at 1.46% TREO • Kipawa (Canada) * : Reserve 19.7 Mt at 0.41% TREO * • Wigu Hill (Tanzania) * : 3.3Mt at 2.6% TREO * Flexibility and Scaleability to Meet Market Demand • Wigu Hill project to provide additional ability to increase scale of production and the flexibility to react quickly to increased market demand Vital to be capable of guaranteeing the supply of the full suite of rare earth • Kipawa to meet demand for heavy rare earths Rare earth feedstock supplier to both Europe and North America • Binding off-take agreement with REEtec - Supplier to Europe • MOU with Ucore - Supplier to North America Expansion Funded through Cashflow • Revenue from the North T projectile be used to fund both the increase in production volumes from Nechalacho but also the development of new projects Vital positioning as a strategic player in global RE supply chain Highlights *Refer foreign estimate cautionary statement on page 4 Annual General Meeting November 2021 Contact us Geoff Atkins Managing Director firstname.lastname@example.org +61 2 8823 3100
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