Interim Results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2023
LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / September 18, 2023 / Trident Royalties Plc (AIM:TRR)(OTCQB:TDTRF), is pleased to present its interim financial statements to shareholders for the six months ended 30 June 2023.
The Interim Results for the period ended 30 June 2023 are set out below and will be available in full on the Company's website https://tridentroyalties.com/.
· 45% increase in royalty receipts in H1 2023 compared to H1 2022, with further growth expected in 2024.
· Sale of several pre-production gold royalties with cash proceeds of up to $15.6 million and a 140% return on invested capital.
· Solid progress across the portfolio, including the Thacker Pass Lithium Project which is now in construction.
· Completion of the La Preciosa acquisition, providing Trident with exposure to silver, further increasing the commodity diversification of our portfolio.
· Post period, the announcement of two further royalty acquisitions over the Dandoko Gold Project in Western Mali, and a royalty over Anson's flagship Paradox Lithium Project in Utah.
· Admission to the OTC Market in North America, improving investor accessibility and strengthening Trident's presence in the US.
Adam Davidson, Chief Executive Officer of Trident commented:
'Trident has continued to see material advancements at several key assets, with permitting decisions resulting in the commencement of construction at the Thacker Pass Lithium Project. Deal flow is now accelerating. The La Preciosa transaction completed during the period was then swiftly followed by two deals post-period. All three transactions have enhanced the diversity of our portfolio and are set to contribute to our growing cash flow.
It has been a solid start to the year and the Board and I eagerly anticipate sharing further updates as the year progresses.'
Competent Person's Statement
The technical information contained in this disclosure has been read and approved by Mr Nick O'Reilly (MSc, DIC, MAusIMM, MIMMM, FGS), who is a qualified geologist and acts as the Competent Person under the AIM Rules - Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies. Mr O'Reilly is a Principal Consultant working for Mining Analyst Consulting Ltd which has been retained by Trident to provide technical support.
All figures in US$ unless otherwise stated
In the six months to 30 June 2023, the price of Trident shares declined by 9.0%, to close the period at 45.5 pence. A decline in the share price is disappointing but reflects the generally cautious market sentiment around growth. Over the same period, the FTSE All Share Precious Metals and Mining Index fell 9.0%, and the AIM All Share Index fell 9.4%.
This is my first statement as Chairman, taking over from Paul Smith at our Annual General Meeting in June. I should like to thank Paul for his guidance as Chairman.
Our strategy remains unchanged; delivering significant shareholder returns through value accretive transactions across precious, base, battery and bulk materials. As mentioned in our 2022 Annual Report, our priorities for 2023 are to further reduce our cost of capital (as this directly improves our competitiveness) and deploy capital for value. We have a strong balance sheet, which enables us to take advantage of opportunities in this market.
As we build our portfolio, we may be 'overweight' in certain minerals for a period of time. But as our portfolio expands, our intention is to have a balanced portfolio of assets reflecting the broader mining sector. Some of the best acquisition opportunities are pre-production royalties. As these assets move to production and generate cashflow, the risks diminish and we can expect an enhanced valuation reflected in our share price.
One of our cornerstone assets, Thacker Pass, is an excellent example of a pre-production asset that is advancing towards production. During the period, we saw the United States Federal Court confirm the validity of the permitting process for the project and the commencement of construction on site. In addition, General Motors announced a $650 million equity investment in the project with an accompanying offtake agreement. The project is on track to be the largest lithium producer in North America within the next three years. The cash flow from this royalty, at current lithium prices, should exceed $30 million per annum.
Since the start of the year, we completed three transactions, all pre-production assets: La Preciosa (silver), Dandoko (gold) and Paradox (lithium). Each of these assets has a clear pathway to production and is a key asset to the relevant operator. In each case, the use of deferred consideration enabled Trident to optimise our deployment of capital and align our interest in achieving cash flow from these assets with milestone payments to the vendor.
La Preciosa is a near production silver project in Mexico. We were delighted to gain exposure to silver, which has the characteristics of a precious metal, and yet combines this with significant industrial use. Since the period end, we announced two further transactions. In August, we announced the acquisition of a royalty over the Dandoko Gold Project, in Western Mali, and a royalty over Anson's flagship Paradox Lithium Project, in Utah. Whilst we are not specifically seeking additional gold or lithium exposure, given our existing holdings in these areas, neither will we shy away from value-accretive transactions.
It has been a positive start to the year. We see further great opportunities for the Company through 2023 and beyond and we look forward to updating shareholders as we move through the year.
Al Gourley Non-Executive Chairman
18 September 2023
Chief Executive Officer Statement
The first half of 2023 saw material advancements at several of Trident's key assets alongside the acquisition of a new royalty interest. The new acquisition represents Trident's first exposure to silver, further increasing the commodity diversification of our portfolio. Post period, we announced a further two acquisitions increasing the total number of assets in Trident's portfolio to 20, of which 13 are currently cash flowing.
Royalty receipts for the period increased circa 45% over H1 2022, with further growth expected in 2024 from a combination of organic growth across the portfolio, as well as new acquisitions. Trident retains good access to capital for new acquisitions, bolstered by the favourable outcome from a competitive sales process undertaken for several of our pre-production gold royalties, which completed in February. We were able to monetise these royalties into the highly competitive precious metal focused royalty market with the sale providing cash proceeds of up to $15.6 million and providing a 140% return on invested capital in approximately two years. The process highlights Trident's focus on responsible and disciplined capital management, as well as the company's ability to identify undervalued royalty assets, even within the competitive gold sector.
From a corporate perspective, Trident was pleased to gain admission to trading on the OTC market in the US, which, over time, we hope will increase our investor accessibility, enhance liquidity, and strengthen our engagement with US investors. We intend to increase our interaction with North American investors over the coming months, particularly as Thacker Pass moves into construction in earnest over 2024.
The period under review has been particularly positive for our existing portfolio.
Trident holds a 60% interest in a gross revenue royalty over the entirety of Thacker Pass. Assuming Lithium Americas Corp. ('LAC') exercises the partial royalty buy-back ($13.2 million attributable to Trident), then Trident will retain the equivalent of a (net) 1.05% gross revenue royalty. At full production and current lithium prices, the Thacker Pass royalty is expected to pay in excess of $30 million per annum to Trident, making it one of the most important assets within our portfolio.
Progress continued at Thacker Pass with several key permitting decisions reached during the period. In February 2023, the appeal relating to the issuance of the Record of Decision for Thacker Pass was dismissed by the US District Court, District of Nevada subject to minor additional work which was completed in May 2023. This decision was subsequently appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected the arguments the opponents had put forth in their appeal and ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which approved Thacker Pass, had acted 'reasonably and in good faith'.
LAC made significant asset-level progress towards the development of Thacker Pass with a number of milestones including, the announcement of a $650 million equity investment by General Motors into Lithium Americas, the commencement of construction following the receipt of notice to proceed from the Bureau of Land Management, receipt of substantial completion from the U.S. Department of Energy ('DOE') Loan Program linked to LAC's application DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, and advancement of the proposed corporate separation of the LAC US assets from its other assets.
Thacker Pass is an asset of national significance to the USA as it seeks to secure and develop its own critical minerals supply chain. The project is on track to become a true Tier 1 lithium asset and we look forward to further updates from LAC over the coming months as it advances towards planned first production in H2 2026.
Our gold offtake portfolio continued to mature with progress across various assets in the portfolio. Construction of Equinox Gold's Greenstone project continues on schedule with first gold expected in H1 2024. Trident has a guarantee from a subsidiary of Equinox that the annual cap will be delivered in full during 2024 and 2025, with shortfalls to be compensated at an agreed rate. Victoria Gold reported a 47% uplift in half year production from Eagle and released an updated technical report outlining plans for an average gold production of 202koz per annum over the next eight years. The portfolio continues to benefit from operator activities with significant exploration programmes being undertaken at various assets, as well as additional capital being raised by some operators.
Trident's remaining royalty portfolio continued to show solid progress throughout the half year. Royalty receipts from Mineral Resources' ('MinRes') Koolyanobbing project increased as MinRes looked to capitalise on high AUD iron ore prices and increased mining from Trident's royalty area. Operations at the Moxico Resources' Mimbula project continue to develop, with the first copper cathode production announced in the period following the previously announced completion of a bankable feasibility study contemplating an expanded production of 56,000 tonnes per annum alongside a capital raise of $135 million to progress the development of the project.
Following the receipt of Q2 payments from both Koolyanobbing and Mimbula, Trident has now fully recovered its investment in both royalties. Trident retains life-of-mine exposure to both projects, with the royalty rate at Mimbula now adjusting to 0.30% of gross revenue following the recovery of Trident's capital.
As announced in May, Trident acquired two royalties and the right to an associated $8.75 million milestone payment from Coeur Mining Inc. over the La Preciosa Silver Project in Mexico. The acquisition of the La Preciosa royalty provides Trident with exposure to one of the largest undeveloped primary silver resources in Mexico and its first silver asset. In addition to being a tangible store of value and an inflation hedge, over 50% of silver is used for industrial purposes. Silver is increasingly important due to its conductivity and corrosion resistance, making it a critical component of both solar panels and electric vehicles.
La Preciosa is being advanced by Avino Silver & Gold Mines ('Avino'), which operates the Avino mine and mill located 19km from La Preciosa. Avino is targeting initial production from stockpiled material at La Preciosa in late 2023 through its existing mill, before commencing production from fresh ore in 2024. Avino intend to ramp up silver production to circa 3.5 million ounces per annum by 2028.
In consideration for the acquisition, Trident paid $7 million in cash, and will pay a further $1 million in cash or shares upon receipt of the $8.75 million milestone payment, which is payable by Avino 12 months from the first silver production at La Preciosa.
This acquisition further enhances the diversity of our portfolio and will contribute to our growing cash flow from 2024.
We observed a marked increase in our opportunity pipeline during the first half as challenging equity and debt markets increased the attractiveness of royalty financing. Post-period end, the Company was pleased to announce two new royalty acquisitions.
The first, a 50% interest in a 2% net smelter return royalty over the Dandoko Gold Project in western Mali, and the second, a 2.5% net smelter return royalty over the Paradox Lithium Project in Utah. Both royalties, which offer the potential for near-term revenue for Trident, demonstrate Trident's ability to identify undervalued royalties covering high-quality projects being advanced by reputable operators. The acquisitions underlie our belief that shareholder value is ultimately maximised by building a portfolio with a blend of producing, near-producing, and longer-term assets to deliver a diversified portfolio rooted in long-term growth.
With a growing portfolio which currently includes 13 producing royalties, and is seeing material organic growth, we are well positioned to deliver continued growth against a broader challenging macroeconomic backdrop. We remain well capitalised to act on a deep pipeline of new opportunities which meet our stringent investment criteria and our pipeline of opportunities is considerable.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Board and management team for their continued support and enthusiasm during the first half of 2023, and we eagerly anticipate sharing further updates as the year progresses.
Adam Davidson Chief Executive Officer
18 September 2023
Trident began 2023 by completing the sale of several pre-production exploration stage gold royalties over assets in Australia for cash proceeds of up to $15.6 million. Alongside the sale, the terms of the existing $40 million debt facility with Macquarie Bank were also renegotiated, with a reduction of the interest rate and an extension of the facility life. In May, Trident completed the acquisition of the La Preciosa royalty and the right to an $8.75m milestone payment for $7 million with a $1 million contingent payment. The transaction adds exposure to silver, which is an important precious and industrial metal with a wide range of uses, including the manufacture of solar panels. The gold offtakes continue to produce solid cash flow and sit alongside Trident's other cash generative assets, to complement our development projects such as Thacker Pass, La Preciosa and Pukaqaqa, which will provide material medium term growth.
Acquisitions and disposal
The Group completed the following transactions during the period:
· Acquisition of a 1.25% net smelter return royalty over the area covering the Gloria and Abundancia veins, a 2.00% gross value royalty over the surrounding area and the right to an $8.75 million milestone payment at the La Preciosa project in Mexico;
· Acquisition of a 0.25% Free On Board royalty over the Kwale mineral sands project in Kenya; and
· Sale of several pre-production exploration stage gold royalties over assets in Australia for cash proceeds of up to $15.6 million completed on 23 February 2023.
Condensed Consolidated Statement of Financial Position
Following these transactions, total net assets increased from $104.87 million at the end of 2022 to $108.94 million as of 30 June 2023.
Intangible assets consist of $112.32 million cost, less $2.51 million amortisation for a total net book value of $109.81 million (31 December 2022: $104.98 million) representing the gold offtakes portfolio, Thacker Pass, Pukaqaqa, Koolyanobbing and Lincoln Hill together with the acquisitions described above.
Royalty financial assets were valued at $6.73 million (31 December 2022: $7.65 million) representing the fair value of the Mimbula copper royalty in Zambia. The royalty financial asset has been designated as fair value through profit and loss with the fair value gains and losses recognised in the 'revaluation of royalty financial assets' line item in the income statement. The asset generated $1.50 million royalty income during the period and a fair value increase of $0.58 million was recognised in the income statement.
Trade and other receivables totalling $9.41 million (31 December 2022: $12.05 million) includes $3.12 million receivable from Macquarie bank relating to gold offtake trades which settled after the period end, $1.78m in respect of H1 royalty income due from Koolyanobbing and Mimbula received after the period end and prepayments and accrued income of $1.84 million. Other receivables also include $2.50 million in respect of the Sonora lithium project cash deposit, which is treated as an interest free loan.
Trade and other payables totalling $1.19 million (31 December 2022: $2.28 million) consisted predominantly of $0.29 million payables relating to the gold received under the offtake contracts, which had been sold but not yet settled with the operators, trade payables, social security and taxation, and accruals with all amounts within agreed payment terms.
At the 30 June 2023 the net gold receivable amount was $2.83 million (31 December 2022: $5.12 million).
Total cash at the end of the year was $25.43 million ($28.26 million including the net gold trading receivables) and total debt was $40.00 million.
Condensed Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income and EBITDA
The Group reported a gross profit of $2.01 million (2022: $1.31 million) from reported net revenues of $4.52 million (2022: $3.13 million). The increase in net revenue was predominantly from the gold offtakes, strong production at Koolyanobbing and minimum payments from the Lincoln gold royalty. The fair value gain on the Mimbula copper project was $0.58 million (2022: $0.92 million) predominantly due to the payment of the minimum payment schedule whilst the mine is ramping up and therefore not fully depreciating in value.
A profit of $6.97 million was reported on the sale of several pre-production exploration stage gold royalties, with gross proceeds of $14.30 million. The Group made a foreign exchange gain totalling $0.02 million (2022: $0.83 million loss). Finance charges totalled $2.29 million (2022: US2.25 million). Profit after taxation was $3.81 million (2022: $0.61 million loss) and basic loss per share of 1.31c (2022: 0.21c loss).
The Group generated net revenue predominantly from its gold offtakes of $3.11 million (2022: $2.57 million) and $1.05 million (2022: $0.56 million) at Koolyanobbing. The amortisation charge was $2.51 million (2022: $1.82 million) and total Group overheads of $2.04m (2022: $1.82m) including $0.20 million (2022: $0.43 million) in non-cash share-based payments and other charges; resulting in an operating loss of $0.03 million (2022: $1.38 million). The gold offtakes and Koolyanobbing are amortised on a units of production basis over the life of the assets depleted.
EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA
The below table summarises EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA:
The following table shows total royalty receipts for the period for royalty intangible assets, royalty financial assets, net offtake proceeds and gross disposal proceeds:
An offtake contract is a contract pursuant to which the operator agrees to sell, and the purchaser (Trident) agrees to buy, refined gold produced from the mine or mines over which the offtake is granted. The key commercial terms include those relating to the amount of gold to be purchased, the duration of the contract, and the payment terms. Trident has the right to purchase gold at the lowest reference price (usually a contract referenced by the LBMA or COMEX) in a defined quotation period, which is typically 6-8 days. The revenue from these contracts is disclosed net of the purchase costs in the income statement.
Net gold offtake proceeds of $3.1 million, comprises gross offtake revenue of $251.1 million less purchase costs of $248.0 million.
Cashflow and Borrowings
Net cash increased in the period by $8.87 million (2022: $25.38 million decrease). Financing activities in the period resulted in a cost of $2.35 million (2022: $32.33 million inflow); inflow from investing activities of $6.74 million (2022: $58.47 million outflow) resulting from the proceeds of the Australian gold royalties sale partially offset by the investments in those assets noted above, and $4.48 million (2022: $0.76 million) was generated from operating activities, as outlined above. The cash figure (excluding the net gold trading receivable) at 30 June 2023 was $25.43 million (31 December 2022: $16.58 million) with the majority held in US dollars with HSBC Bank plc and Macquarie Bank Limited.
During the period the Group paid $0.03 million (2022: nil paid) in respect of tax due. A deferred tax asset was recognised totalling $0.80 million (31 December 2022: $2.01 million) primarily in relation to taxable losses incurred in relation to the Company and gold offtakes. Following the sale of our Australian gold royalties we have utilised the deferred tax asset in our Australian subsidiary in full.
Condensed Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income
for the six-months ended 30 June 2023
Condensed Consolidated Statement of Financial Position
As at 30 June 2023
Condensed Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity
for the six-month period ended 30 June 2023
Condensed Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
for the six-month period ended 30 June 2023
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SOURCE: Trident Royalties PLC
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