Dasa Uranium Project On Schedule to Produce Yellowcake in Q1 2025
TORONTO, March 31, 2023 /CNW/ - Global Atomic Corporation ("Global Atomic" or the "Company"), (TSX: GLO) (OTCQX: GLATF) (FRANKFURT: G12) announced today its operating and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2022.
Dasa Uranium Project
- On April 19, 2022, the foundation for the debt portion of the financing for the Dasa Project was laid when the Company received a Letter of Interest from Export Development Canada ("EDC"), confirming their interest in working with the Company in regard to the financing of the Dasa Uranium Project in the Republic of Niger.
- On June 15, 2022, the Company received a Letter of Intent from a major North American utility for the procurement of Dasa's uranium, representing the supply of 2.1 million pounds U3O8 over a six-year period commencing in 2025, representing approximately 7 percent of Dasa's production over the period with a revenue potential of US$110 million in real terms.
- On June 20, 2022, the Company received Letters of Intent from a banking syndicate to finance the Dasa Uranium Project in Niger. The syndicate is comprised of North American financial institutions and includes the previously announced indication from EDC.
- On July 21, 2022, the Company announced that it had reached an agreement with Enernet Global Inc. ("Enernet"), a leading hybrid independent power producer, to commence early engineering for a hybrid power plant for the Dasa Project.
- On August 11, 2022, Global Atomic announced the incorporation of the Company's Niger mining subsidiary, Société Minière DASA S.A. or "SOMIDA", which is owned 80% by Global Atomic and 20% by the Government of Niger, including their 10% carried interest provided under the Niger Mining Code.
- On September 28, 2022, Global Atomic announced the signing of Development Consultants Private Limited ("DCPL") of Kolkata, India, and Lycopodium Minerals Canada Ltd. ("Lycopodium") to commence the basic and detailed engineering, procurement and project management of the Dasa Mine processing plant in the Republic of Niger.
- On October 5, 2022, the Company received Letter of Intent from a second major western utility for the procurement of uranium from the Company's Dasa Project, representing the supply of up to 2.4 million pounds U3O8 within a multi-year delivery window beginning in 2025, representing about 7% of Dasa's annual Phase 1 production over the period with a revenue potential valued at US$140 million in real terms.
- On November 5, 2022, Global Atomic hosted over 800 people for the Opening Blast Ceremony at the Dasa Mine which officially commenced the underground development of the Dasa Mine
- On November 24, 2022, the fourth update of drill intercepts were reported from the infill drill program initiated at the Dasa project in 2021, including a 1,000-meter extension to the program as well as interim results of chemical assays completed to date, which indicated higher grades than reported in the probe results from the original drill holes.
Turkish Zinc Joint Venture
- The Turkish Zinc Joint Venture ("BST" or the "Turkish JV") plant processed over 76,000 tonnes EAFD in 2022.
- The Company's share of the Turkish JV EBITDA was $4.2 million in 2022 ($11.3 million in 2021).
- The zinc contained in concentrate shipments in 2022 was 35.2 million pounds and the average price was US$1.58/lb.
- Available funds were used to secure adequate supplies of critical materials in case of unforeseen supply disruptions.
- The revolving credit facility of the Turkish JV was US$8.3 million at the end of 2022 (Global Atomic share – US4.1 million)
- The cash balance of the Turkish JV was US$3.1 million at the end of 2022.
- Global Atomic continues to receive approximately $1.2 million in management fees and sales commissions annually from the Turkish JV, helping to offset corporate overhead costs.
- Cash balance at December 31, 2022, was $8.4 million.
- The Company revised its Dasa Project, Phase 1, Feasibility Study ("Feasibility Study"), which was revised primarily to apply "zero grade" to Inferred Resources included in certain stopes of the Phase 1 Mine Plan.
- The Feasibility Study confirmed a reserve for the Dasa Project of 4.1 million tonnes grading 5,267 ppm for a total of 47.2 million pounds U3O8.
- The Feasibility Study resulted in an initial, Phase 1, 12-year mine schedule at a production throughput of 1,000 tonnes per day to produce 44.1 million pounds U3O8.
- The Study estimates cash costs, including royalties and all Niger off-site costs, of US$19.02/lb U3O8 and an all-in sustaining cost of US$22.13/lb U3O8.
- Initial capital expenditures are estimated to be US$208 million.
- Based on a U3O8 price of US$35/lb, the after-tax NPV discounted at 8%, is US$147 million for an after-tax IRR of 22.3%. The Feasibility Study sensitivity analysis shows that at a U3O8 price of US$50/lb the after-tax IRR rises to 44.4% and at US$60 the after-tax IRR would be 56.9% for Phase 1 only.
- The Company completed a bought deal private placement of 18,666,667 Units on March 17, 2023, at a price of $3.00 per Unit for gross proceeds of approximately $56,002,501. Each Unit comprised one common share and one-half warrant exercisable at $4.00 per common share over an 18-month period.
Global Atomic President and CEO, Stephen G. Roman commented, "In 2022, we made significant strides in advancing the Dasa Project in Niger, most notably opening up the portal, building the surface infrastructure and hiring a local experienced mining executive and workforce to begin underground development of the mine. We are on schedule to produce yellowcake in 2025 and are advancing the project on all fronts thanks to the confidence of investors who participated in our recent equity raise. Bank financing is also progressing well with the terms approval process nearing completion and an announcement of final debt facility approval at the end of Q2, as previously stated."
"To address any other further funding needs we are currently discussing potential offtake agreements with pre-payments from international electric utilities and we are evaluating other funding proposals received as alternatives to equity. Meanwhile in the near term, for the Dasa processing plant we expect to complete detailed engineering, order long-lead equipment and begin earthworks in advance of construction. We also plan to issue a revised Mineral Resource Estimate, which will lead to a revised mine plan and updated Phase 1 Feasibility Study for Dasa."
Dasa Uranium Project
- In Q2 2023, a banking syndicate is expected to approve the debt portion of the project financing to complete the Dasa Project.
- Additional uranium sales contracts with international electric utilities are expected to be signed once the project financing package is completed.
- In Q2 2023, the Company expects to complete a revised Mineral Resource Estimate ("MRE") for the Dasa Project based on the 16,000-meter drill program initiated at the end of 2021.
- The Company plans to use the revised MRE to complete a revised mine plan for the Dasa Project, followed by a revised Feasibility Study in Q4 2023
- In Q2 2023, the Company expects to complete the basic engineering for the plant at the Dasa site, place orders for long-lead items and begin site preparation.
- The Company continues discussions with Orano Mining relating to the direct shipment of development ore to their Somaïr processing facility located 150 kilometers north of Dasa.
Turkish Zinc Joint Venture
- In early March 2023, the recycling plant resumed operation following a thorough inspection and assessment of the facility after earthquake on February 6, 2023.
- Continued supply interruptions for the availability of Electric Arc Furnace Dust ("EAFD") are expected until Turkish steel mills increase their productivity that has been hampered by the effects of COVID during the past few years and more recently by the 2023 earthquake.
The following table summarizes comparative results of operations of the Company:
Year ended December 31,
(all amounts in C$)
General and administration
Share of equity loss (earnings)
Other (income) expense
Finance (income) expense
Foreign exchange loss
Net income (loss)
Net gain (loss) attributable to:
Shareholders of the Company
Other comprehensive income (loss)
Comprehensive income (loss)
Comprehensive income (loss) attributable to:
Shareholders of the Company
Basic and diluted net loss per share
Property, plant and equipment
Exploration & evaluation assets
Investment in joint venture
The consolidated financial statements reflect the equity method of accounting for Global Atomic's interest in the Turkish JV. The Company's share of net earnings and net assets are disclosed in the notes to the financial statements.
Revenues include management fees and sales commissions received from the joint venture. These are based on joint venture revenues generated and zinc concentrate tonnes sold. Revenues in 2021 have increased with the increased zinc prices and higher sales in the Turkish Zinc JV.
General and administration costs at the corporate level include general office and management expenses, stock option awards, costs related to maintaining a public listing, professional fees, audit, legal, accounting, tax and consultants' costs, insurance, travel and other miscellaneous office expenses. Stock option expenses, professional fees and salaries have increased in 2022 compared with 2021 due to growth required to support Dasa development.
Share of net earnings from joint venture represents Global Atomic's equity share of net earnings from the Turkish Zinc JV.
Net gain (loss) attributable to Non-controlling interest represents 20% ownership of the Republic of Niger in SOMIDA. $23 thousand loss is related to the exchange loss of SOMIDA incurred during the period between the incorporation and the reporting date.
Mineral Resources and Reserves
As noted on the overall Dasa resource schematic above, there are significant Inferred Resources located above Zone 3 and between Zones 2 and 3. The Company completed a 15,000-meter drill program at its Dasa Project that began in Q4 2021, which due to its success was expanded to include another 1,000 meters. Drill results indicate that Zones 2, 2a and 2b now represent a contiguous zone that joins up with Zone 3 and is estimated to be approximately three times larger than initially defined (see the longitudinal depiction below). Recent drilling has also targeted the extension of Zone 4.
On the strength of results from the overall drill program, Global Atomic is updating the Dasa Mineral Resource Estimate ("MRE") and will in turn update its Mine Plan which is expected to result in larger and contiguous mining Zones, reduced underground development work between the Zones, lower operating costs and an increase in mineable reserves.
The updated MRE is expected to be completed in Q2 2023. The Company plans to use the revised MRE to complete a revised mine plan for the Dasa Project, followed by a revised Feasibility Study in Q4 2023.
On January 9, 2023, the Company revised its Dasa Project, Phase 1, Feasibility Study ("Feasibility Study"), which was revised primarily to apply "zero grade" to Inferred Resources included in certain stopes of the Phase 1 Mine Plan.
The Zones vary in grades, with Zone 1 contributing the largest portion of the U3O8 tonnes:
Feasibility Study including
Revised Feasibility Study
The inferred resources, representing 4.4% of total mineral resources to be mined in Phase I, was treated as zero grade waste in the revised feasibility study. Impacts of this grade change are summarized in the table below:
Average mill feed grade (ppm)
Total production over 12-year Phase 1 mine plan (Mlb)
Average cash cost1 (US$/lb)
Average AISC (US$/lb)
Internal After-tax Rate of Return ("IRR") @ $US35/lb
After-tax Net Present Value ("NPV8") (US$ millions) @ $US35/lb
Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") @ $US50/lb
After-tax Net Present Value ("NPV8") (US$ millions) @ $US50/lb
Niger Mining Company
Under Niger's Mining Code, a Niger mining company must be incorporated to carry out mining activities. Société Minière de Dasa S.A. ("SOMIDA") was incorporated on August 11, 2022. The Republic of Niger received its 10% free carried interest in the shares of SOMIDA and elected to subscribe for an additional 10%, resulting in a total ownership of 20% of the shares. Under the terms of the Company's Mining Agreement, the Republic of Niger commits to fund its proportionate share of capital costs and operating deficits for the additional 10% interest. The Republic of Niger has no further option to increase its ownership.
Dasa Mine Development and Construction
The Company has entered into an agreement with CMAC-Thyssen International Inc. ("CMAC"), a contract miner based in Val d'Or, Quebec to provide contract mining services in the development of the Dasa underground mine over the first 24 months of mining. Following the March 2020 closure of the Cominak underground uranium mine in Arlit, there is a pool of skilled miners available to the Company in Niger. CMAC is providing training, development and oversight of the Niger workforce with the new equipment that will be used at site. Initial mining will comprise only ramp development during the first 12 months, followed by access and level development. Equipment and mining consumables have been procured and shipped to site.
The Box-Cut has been completed and the First Blast of the portal took place on November 5, 2022, marking the start of the underground development. Surface infrastructure to support CMAC has been completed. At the Dasa Mine, operations are proceeding on schedule with over 200 meters of underground development now completed on the decline ramp plus for re-muck and safety bays.
The Company engaged DCPL and Lycopodium to commence the EPCM process to build Dasa's ore processing plant. DCPL is focusing on the Basic and Detailed Engineering required for the final design of the Dasa Process Plant. Lycopodium is providing project management, procurement, project controls and a project execution plan services. Lycopodium's engagement may be extended to include construction management in view of their extensive West African experience.
Global Atomic has received a Letter of Interest ("LOI") from Export Development Canada ("EDC") confirming their interest in working with the Company on a project financing of the Dasa Project. EDC expects to partner with other export credit agencies, commercial banks and/or financial institutions as co-lenders and to have a lead role in the structuring of the debt facility. EDC has indicated a potential participation, at typical bank rates for a greenfield mining project finance, of up to US$75 million to form the cornerstone of what is expected to be a syndicate of banks. On June 15, 2022, Global Atomic also received additional Letters of Intent such that a syndicate has been formed to finance the Dasa Project. The syndicate is comprised of North American financial institutions, including EDC.
The names of all members of the syndicate will be announced following credit committee and board approvals by the financial institutions involved. The Company expects to enter into term sheets with the syndicate shortly and to receive final approvals in Q2 2023.
Turkish Zinc JV EAFD Operations
The Company's Turkish EAFD business operates through a joint venture with Befesa Zinc S.A.U. ("Befesa"), an industry leading Spanish company that operates a number of Waelz kilns throughout Europe, North America and Asia. On October 27, 2010, Global Atomic and Befesa established joint venture, known as Befesa Silvermet Turkey, S.L. ("BST" or the "Turkish JV") to operate an existing plant and develop the EAFD recycling business in Türkiye. BST is held 51% by Befesa and 49% by Global Atomic. A Shareholders Agreement governs the relationship between the parties. Under the terms of the Shareholders Agreement, management fees and sales commissions are distributed pro rata to Befesa and Global Atomic. Net income earned each year in Türkiye, less funds needed to fund operations, must be distributed to the partners annually, following the BST annual meeting, which is usually held in the second quarter of the following year.
BST owns and operates an EAFD processing plant in Iskenderun, Türkiye. The plant processes EAFD containing 25% to 30% zinc that is obtained from electric arc steel mills, and produces a zinc concentrate grading 65% to 68% zinc that is then sold to zinc smelters.
Global Atomic holds a 49% interest in the Turkish JV and, as such, the investment is accounted for using the equity basis of accounting. Under this basis of accounting, the Company's share of the BST's earnings is shown as a single line in its Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss).
The following table summarizes comparative operational metrics of the Iskenderun facility.
Year ended December 31,
Exchange rate (C$/TL, average)
Exchange rate (US$/C$, average)
Exchange rate (C$/TL, period-end)
Exchange rate (US$/C$, period-end)
Average zinc price (US$/lb)
EAFD processed (DMT)
Shipments (zinc content '000 lbs)
In October 2022, the World Steel Association released an update of its short-term outlook for demand, which projected 2.3% overall global demand contraction in 2022 and a recovery of 1.0% in 2023. The impact of the Ukrainian conflict on global steel markets is uncertain. As exports from Russia and Ukraine have historically accounted for 10% of global steel exports, it is likely a material percentage of this supply will be replaced by increased production in other countries.
Global steel production decreased by 4.2% from 1,960 million tonnes to 1,878 million tonnes in 2022. The global steel demand was significantly impacted with high inflation along with Ukranian conflict and China's lockdowns. Similarly, Turkish steel production decreased by 12.9% in 2022 compared with 2021. Sharp decreases in construction activities due to the Turkish Lira's devaluation and high inflation lead a decrease in steel demand in 2022.
During 2022, in addition to the existing nine hyperinflationary economies including Venezuela and Argentina, the Turkish economy was deemed to be hyperinflationary after the International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook ("IMF WEO") that was published in April 2022 reported a 3-year cumulative rate of inflation of 74% and an annual rate of inflation of 36% as of December 2021. For 2022, the IMF WEO forecasted an annual rate of inflation of 52% (2023: 30%) and a 3-year cumulative rate of inflation of 138% (2023: 169%). The Turkish Statistical Institute ("TURKSTAT") reported a 3-year and 12-month cumulative rate of inflation of 145% and 83%, respectively, as of September 30, 2022. Therefore, the Turkish economy was considered hyperinflationary, requiring the first-time application of IAS 29, Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies. IAS 29 requires the non-monetary assets and liabilities and income statements of countries with hyperinflationary economies to be restated to reflect the changes in the general purchasing power of their functional currency, thereby generating a profit or loss on the net monetary position which is recognized in net income as gain or loss on net monetary position. In addition, the financial statements of the subsidiaries in these countries are translated at the closing exchange rate of the reporting period concerned, in accordance with IAS 21, The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates.
The comparative information is not restated, because it has already been presented in Canadian dollars (CAD). The gain of $7.9 million between the closing balance of shareholders' equity of the Turkish JV at December 31, 2021 and the opening balance at January 1, 2022 is recognized in equity:
Opening net assets of the Company's investments in joint venture at January 1, 2022
Gain on first time application of IAS 29
Cormpany's share of net loss of joint venture
Company's share of other comprehensive loss of joint venture
Carrying value of the Company's investment in joint venture at December 31, 2022
The following table summarizes comparative results for 2022 and 2021 of the Turkish Zinc JV at 100%.
Year ended December 31,
Net sales revenues
Cost of sales
Foreign exchange gain
Management fees & sales commissions
Foreign exchange loss on debt and cash
Tax expense (recovery)
Net income (loss)
Global Atomic's equity share
Global Atomic's share of EBITDA
EBITDA is a non-IFRS measure, does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and may not be comparable to similar terms and measures presented by other issuers. EBITDA comprises earnings before income taxes, interest expense (income), foreign exchange loss (gain) on debt and bank, depreciation, management fees, sales commissions, losses (gains) on sale of property, plant and equipment.
The Turkish Zinc JV realized significant growth in revenues in 2022 compared to 2021, benefiting from higher zinc prices and processing more EAFD. EBITDA decreased from $23 million in 2021 (Global Atomic share - $11.3 million) to $8.5 million in 2022 (Global Atomic share - $4.2 million). The Ukrainian conflict, post-COVID demand increases, raw material shortages and global logistics challenges have in combination resulted in substantial inflationary pressures on all costs.
The cash balance of the Turkish Zinc JV was US$3.1 million at December 31, 2022.
Total debt was reduced to US8.3 million in 2022 from US$12.45 million at the end of 2021. The local Turkish revolving credit facility balance was US$8.3 million at December 31, 2022 (December 31, 2021 - US$7.8 million) and bears interest at 10%. The Turkish revolving credit facility can be rolled forward. In Q2 2022, the Befesa loan related to the 2019 plant expansion, was fully paid (December 31, 2021 – US$4.65 million). Now that the Befesa loan has been repaid, Turkish JV dividend payments may resume.
The loans are denominated in US dollars but converted to Turkish Lira for functional currency accounting purposes. For presentation purposes, the equity interests are then converted to Canadian dollars. The foreign exchange loss for the 12 months ended December 31, 2022, related to the Turkish JV debt and cash balances was $3.8 million (loss of $5 million in 2021).
The foreign exchange loss is an unrealized loss, and largely relates to the devaluation of the TRY relative to the US$ from 13.36 on December 31, 2021, to 18.71 at December 31, 2022. In economic terms, all revenues are received in US$ and these will be used to pay down the US denominated debt, so no exchange gains/losses will be realized in US$ terms. The accounting exchange losses relate to the debt and cash balances are shown below EBITDA as a financing related cost.
Overall, the Company's share of EBITDA was $4.2 million in 2022 ($8.5 million at 100%). After deduction of management fees, sales commissions and interest expense, depreciation, foreign exchange losses, other income and taxes, the Company's share of net loss was $0.3 million for 2022 ($0.6 million at 100%).
This news release has been reviewed and approved by Mr. A. Christophe Din, MSc, MAus, IMM, Exploration Manager at Global Atomic's subsidiary, SOMIDA, in the Republic of Niger, who is a "qualified person" under National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Properties. Mr. Din holds a Diplôme de Formation Spécialisée from École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris and is a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.
About Global Atomic
Global Atomic Corporation (www.globalatomiccorp.com) is a publicly listed company that provides a unique combination of high-grade uranium mine development and cash-flowing zinc concentrate production.
The Company's Uranium Division includes four deposits with the flagship project being the large, high-grade Dasa Project, discovered in 2010 by Global Atomic geologists through grassroots field exploration. With the issuance of the Dasa Mining Permit and an Environmental Compliance Certificate by the Republic of Niger, the Dasa Project is fully permitted for commercial production. The Phase 1 Feasibility Study for Dasa was filed in December 2021 and estimates yellowcake delivery to utilities to commence in 2025. Mine excavation began in Q1 2022.
Global Atomic's Base Metals Division holds a 49% interest in the Befesa Silvermet Turkey, S.L. (BST) Joint Venture, which operates a modern zinc production plant, located in Iskenderun, Türkiye. The plant recovers zinc from Electric Arc Furnace Dust (EAFD) to produce a high-grade zinc oxide concentrate which is sold to zinc smelters around the world. The Company's joint venture partner, Befesa Zinc S.A.U. (Befesa) holds a 51% interest in and is the operator of the BST Joint Venture. Befesa is a market leader in EAFD recycling, with approximately 50% of the European EAFD market and facilities located throughout Europe, Asia and the United States of America.
The information in this release may contain forward-looking information under applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to completion of any financings; Global Atomics' development potential and timetable of its operations, development and exploration assets; Global Atomics' ability to raise additional funds necessary; the future price of uranium; the estimation of mineral reserves and resources; conclusions of economic evaluation; the realization of mineral reserve estimates; the timing and amount of estimated future production, development and exploration; cost of future activities; capital and operating expenditures; success of exploration activities; mining or processing issues; currency exchange rates; government regulation of mining operations; and environmental and permitting risks. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "is expected", "estimates", variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "could", "would", "might", "will be taken", "will begin", "will include", "are expected", "occur" or "be achieved". All information contained in this news release, other than statements of current or historical fact, is forward-looking information. Statements of forward-looking information are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Global Atomic to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those risks described in the annual information form of Global Atomic and in its public documents filed on SEDAR from time to time.
Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date such statements are made. Although management of Global Atomic has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to be materially different from those forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance upon forward-looking statements. Global Atomic does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except in accordance with applicable securities law. Readers should also review the risks and uncertainties sections of Global Atomics' annual and interim MD&As.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy and accuracy of this news release.
SOURCE Global Atomic Corporation
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