Strategic Minerals* (SML LN) 0.47p, Mkt Cap £7.7m –Cobre magnetite sales
Strategic Minerals reports sales of magnetite during the first quarter of 2020 of 12,953 tons generating revenue of US$0.76m.
The March 2020 quarter sales are approximately 37% higher than the 9,472 tons achieved in the equivalent quarter of 2019 and approximately 750 tons higher than the 12,202 sold during the preceding quarter to the end of December 2019.
The company attributes the increased level of sales to ʺthe factory maintenance undertaken by two of Cobre's clients in the quarter to March 31 2019, the 2020 March quarterly sales performance is exaggerated when compared to the March quarter 2019ʺ.
Strategic Minerals reports that it is continuing to operate the Cobre ʺoperations have been permitted to continue and protocols have been adopted to, effectively, operate with a zero contact both between on-site employees and with trucks arriving at the siteʺ even though the operations at the copper mine which is the source of the magnetite material have been suspended ʺas a few employees tested positive for Covid-19ʺ.
Strategic Minerals says that ʺWhile the incidence of the virus has not been considered widespread, the mine operator deemed it appropriate to undertake a temporary suspension of its operations.ʺ
Revenues grew by approximately 38% compared to the first quarter of 2019 and by approximately 7% compared to the preceding quarter.
Strategic Minerals comments however that ʺsales revenue shown here for the annual period to 31 March 2020 excludes deposits received and forfeited by the major Cobre client. As legal action has commenced in relation to this client, expectations for future sales growth are focused on those arising from new customers and other existing customersʺ.
Commenting on the state of the legal arbitration with its major customer, Strategic Minerals says that ʺa result expected by 30 May 2020ʺ.
The company reports a 31st March 2020 cash balance of US$0.35m.
Managing Director, John Peters, said that ʺthe Company greatly appreciates both the continuity of activity at Cobre, due to its identification as an essential service provider, and the organic growth seen in sales over the past year. We expect this growth trend to continue in 2020 despite the unusual market conditions. Operations at Cobre have always provided the highest level of safety for employees and these efforts have been lifted again to ensure all employees are safe in this work environment.ʺ
Mr. Peters also said that ʺEfforts continue to move our projects forward and, whilst the current environment has slowed the pace of some engagements, the Board and Management remain confident of future progress."
Conclusion: Sales from Cobre remained robust during the first quarter of 2010 and the site remains in operation while observing the restrictions implemented to control the Covid19. virus
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker to Strategic Minerals #SML