URU Metals Limited
For the Year Ended 31 March 2020
I am pleased to present to our shareholders and stakeholders the consolidated financial statements of the Group for the year ended 31 March 2020.
As the clean energy revolution drives the growth in electric vehicles (EV’s) and energy storage, the demand for the critical metals used in these components, namely nickel, cobalt and aluminum is forecast to grow and, in the case of nickel, outstrip supply. Nickel’s high energy density makes it the most important metal by mass in the lithium-ion battery cathodes used by EV manufacturers.
Globally, nickel supply is sourced from two different types of deposits. Class I Nickel Sulphides deposits, which are scarcer but typically higher grade, make up approximately 40% of current global nickel production. The remaining 60% is found in Class II nickel laterite deposits, (U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, January 2020). Class 1 nickel is sought after for use in electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion batteries, whilst Class 2 nickel is mainly used in nickel pig iron and the steel industry.
Although modern technology allows for the profitable processing of laterites to extract battery grade nickel, increased energy and shipping costs hinder efficient processing, and it is easier and more cost effective to process Class I Nickel Sulphide to battery grade nickel.
The Zebediela Nickel Project contains a NI43-101 compliant nickel sulphide resource of over 1,600 million tons running at 0.245% Nickel, equating to a contained nickel resource of over 4 million tons of nickel, or 9 billion pounds, ranking it amongst the top ten largest nickel sulphide resources globally.
The Company has identified a target geological zone directly east and adjacent to the existing Zebediela resource. Exploration drilling in this area has resulted in grades of 0.56% nickel and 0.02% cobalt over a width of greater than 4 m, with significant PGE credits, resulting in a nickel equivalent grade of 3.01% nickel (metal prices as at 25 August 2020 using nickel, copper, 3PGE+Au; assumes 100% recovery for all metals). Drillhole Z017 intersected 1.7% Ni and 0.7 g/t 3PGE+Au over a width of 2.25 m, 20 m below the existing NI43-101 compliant resource.
The project is immediately adjacent to, and up-dip from, Ivanhoe Mines $1.5 billion Platreef Project, and about 15 km along strike from Anglo Platinum’s flagship Mogalakwena Mining Complex. Ivanhoe Mines’ Platreef Project contains a total resource of 852 million tons at 0.31% nickel, 0.16% copper and 3.5 g/t 3PGE+Au (platinum + palladium + rhodium + gold). Mogalakwena has an estimated resource of 3.8 billion tons at 0.18% nickel, 0.10% copper and 2.4 g/t 3PGE+Au.
Subject to financing we look forward to conducting further geological exploration to the target to the east of the existing resource and hopefully proving up a 43-101 compliant resource with improved nickel grades and declaring a maiden PGE and cobalt resource.
30 September 2020