Iberian Minerals featured in Merger Market

Iberian Minerals looks to close deals in Spain, North America, executive says

September 11, 2015
by Zena Olijnyk in Toronto

Alberta-based miner Iberian Minerals (TSX.V:IML) will likely close on at least two deals for precious or industrial metal assets in Spain or North America over the next few months, taking advantage of current market turmoil in the industry to bulk up on assets in that country, Director of Business Development Rick Gliege told this news service.

The executive said in an interview that Iberian has “three or four” active deals it is looking to close on, and expects that at least one of these will be done within the next few weeks. He added that another can likely be completed before Christmas.

While he wouldn’t be specific what assets the company is looking to buy, the executive noted Iberian is focussed on opportunities in the precious metals space, as well as industrial and base metals. He said that at least one of the deals the company is working on is for an industrial metal. While predominantly focused on Spain, the company is also looking at assets in Canada and the United States.

The company is focusing on brownfield projects, areas that have already been mined, Gliege said, rather than greenfield exploration projects.

Most recently, Iberian acquired the Caurio project within the Rio Narcea Gold Belt, in Asturias, northern Spain. Gliege said the asset is within a region with a gold mining history that goes back to Roman times and is “considered one of the most important gold regions in all of Euorpe.”

Under terms of the deal, Iberian, through its Spanish subsidiary, made a cash payment of EUR 190,000 to seller Compania Minera Sierra De Caurio to purchase the company and assume the option agreement.

As a result, Iberian has the right to option a 95% interest during a three-year term ending 30 June 2018 by paying EUR 50,000 every eight months. After completing due diligence, Iberian can exercise the agreement for a total price of EUR 7m, less payments already made.

Gliege noted the asset is also adjacent to Orvana Mineral’s (TSX: ORV) Carles and El Valle/Boinas mines – the latter which has produced more than one million ounces of gold equivalent from a resource of 1.1 million ounces.

Currently, they are the only two operating gold mines in Spain, he said. Given El Valle is coming to the end of its production life, he said Orvana is likely targeting opportunities to extend the current mine life of El Valle and is working to replace their depleted reserves. It is currently pursuing additional exploration activities in the vicinity of the El Valle Mine, which is adjacent to the Caurio property. He would not specify if Iberian has already been in talks with Orvana.

In terms of financing acquisitions, Gliege said Iberian recently sold its Alberta-1 tin/tantalum & lithium project assets in Spain for CAD 7m to become debt-free and still have the working capital it needs to develop the assets it has, as well as look for acquisition opportunities.

At the end of the second quarter ended 30 June, Iberian had CAD 5.5m cash on hand. It has a market cap of about CAD 12m. As a result, he said, the company does not require an equity issue or debt financing in the near future to finance acquisitions.

Gliege noted that the company’s long-term strategy is to find and develop assets that can later be partnered with or sold to larger players looking to for replacement production.

For example, Gliege said, Iberian caught the attention of mining heavyweight and trading house Glencore in 2013 with its Cehegin iron ore property in Spain. This evolved into a joint venture in June 2014, with an 80:20 split between Iberian and Glencore. Past iron ore production in the region was noted for its high grade and low impurities, Gliege said, making it attractive to producers compared to low quality iron from places like China.

The JV is still in effect, Gliege said, though Iberian has made it clear that it has sufficient funds to complete the company’s upcoming work program without Glencore’s contribution. There are “ongoing negotiations” for Iberian to regain Glencore’s 20% interest and assume 100% ownership of the project, while retaining the offtake portion of the agreement.

While current market conditions for iron ore are in a downturn, Gliege noted that high-purity iron ore for the European market is “still an attractive long-term proposition.”

The company’s auditor is K.R. Margetson, and its legal advisor is DLA Piper LLP.

Gliege has been interim CFO at Iberian during the company’s search for a candidate. On Tuesday it named Don Weatherbee to the CFO position.

by Zena Olijnyk in Toronto

Mining Weekly Sept 23, 2015 article on Cehegin

Iberian consolidates ownership of Cehegin iron-ore project as Glencore withdraws


Toronto (miningweekly.com) – Spain-focused iron-ore project developer Iberian Metals has regained full control over the Cehegin iron-ore prospect, located in the southwest of the country, after joint-venture (JV) partner Glencore relinquished its 20% interest in the brownfields project.
Calgary, Alberta-based Iberian on Wednesday reported that the project partners had decided to part ways by mutual agreement, under which Iberian’s Spanish subsidiary Solid Mines Espana (SME) acquired interest in holding company Cehegin Iron Ore Holdings (CIOH) for “nominal consideration”.
Under terms of the acquisition of Glencore’s 20% interest in CIOH, each of the parties had agreed to terminate all previous agreements related to the JV agreement signed in June 2014, with the exception of Glencore’s exclusive off-take agreement, which would remain in effect.

“The Company is very pleased with the outcome of this new arrangement with Glencore. Being able to regain 100% ownership of the project and retaining Glencore’s marketing and sales expertise is very beneficial. Having the working capital available has allowed us this opportunity and we are continuing with the next stage of development,” Iberian president and CEO Greg Pendura stated.

The Cehegin mine produced four-million tonnes of 65% iron content, low-impurity iron-ore between 1975 and 1989. Exploration had suggested the deposit to hold a magnetite resource of between 25-million tonnes to 30-million tonnes, or more.

According to Iberian, the price of 65% iron-ore had fallen from around $100/t to $60/t since the start of the year, as significant producers, including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Vale ramped-up output with the intent of eliminating inefficient Chinese producers.

Mining Weekly Online had earlier this month reported that low-cost oversupply, an overhang in steel inventories and, at the macro level, weakened Chinese manufacturing data had slowed iron-ore project development to a crawl.

In the iron-ore development space, only projects, such as Cehegin, deemed to have a premium product or the potential for the lowest of operating costs had retained the market’s interest.

However, Iberian remained confident in the project’s product, saying that an abundance of cheap, low-grade (56% to 62% iron content) would not displace premium grade (+62% iron) demand. Steel mills in Europe and Asia insisted on premium grade iron-ore in their battle with pollution and plant efficiencies.


Iberian Minerals featured in Mining Weekly

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore producers continued to batten down the hatches on low-cost oversupply, an overhang in steel inventories and, at the macro level, weakened Chinese manufacturing data.

Many medium- or small-scale iron-ore projects had also been mothballed, shuttered or divested, while few commentators had been positive about the commodity’s immediate price prospects.

In the iron -ore development space, only projects deemed to have a premium product or the potential for the lowest of operating costs had retained the market’s interest. Even then, the pace of development slowed as companies tried to strike the right balance between necessary advances versus the need to make strategic savings.

One such company, Iberian Minerals, had been illustrative of being able to move forward despite the strong headwinds.

The company’s Cehegin project comprised a past-producing iron-ore mine and was located in Murcia, south-eastern Spain. It was composed of 62 concessions for just over 1 000 ha, and came with 38 000 m of borehole results and a wealth of historical production data stretching from the 1960s to the 1980s.
The mine averaged grades of more than 65% iron (Fe) until 1985, which meant its material could carry a premium over 62% Fe fines. The material was also noted for a reduced level of impurities. The quality of Cehegin’s potential output would be its critical selling point, Iberian head of corporate development and interim CFO Rick Gliege told Mining Weekly Online. “The abundance of cheap material between 56% Fe and 62% Fe shouldn’t displace the premium grade that Cehegin is capable of producing,” he noted. “High-grade material still has demand attached to it.”

The demand related to high-grade grade iron-ore’s added efficiency in the steelmaking process and that it was often used as a mix to improve the quality of low-grade feed.

Fewer impurities meant fewer pollutants emitted from the blast furnaces. This was an important consideration for the European market, which continued to witness reduced or capped emissions levels on heavy industry, including steelmaking. By comparison, China had just started its journey towards emissions reductions and greater demand for high-grade iron-ore might stem from this.

A National Resource 43-101 technical report for Cehegin was filed in May 2014, which noted the historical data supported estimated mineralisation of between 25-million and 30-million tonnes. In addition, it noted the project’s logistical strengths, including a deep seaport located 115 km away, a nearby toll-free highway, and a railhead just 12 km away that could connect the project to the wider European network.

A big coup for Iberian came in 2013 when Cehegin caught the attention of mining multinational and trading house Glencore, which entered into a co-operative agreement with the company in October 2013. This evolved into a definitive joint venture (JV) that was announced in June 2014, with an 80-20 spilt between Iberian and Glencore respectively.

That JV was still in effect, although Gliege noted that Iberian had sufficient funds to complete the company’s upcoming work programme without a 20% contribution from Glencore. He added that Iberian had entered into discussions to acquire 100% of the project while, at the same time, maintaining the offtake deal with Glencore. “There are huge advantages of having Glencore on board – there’s no question of that,” Gliege said. “We won’t have to concern ourselves with the sale of production as the agreement calls for Glencore to purchase all iron-ore production that meets [its] specifications.”

Cehegin was still in its first phase of development, with a high-resolution aerial magnetic survey across the concessions just completed. The objective had been to confirm and define the extent of several previously compiled targets. “The aerial magnetic survey provided excellent resolution for the showing of near-surface magnetic sources and represents a major improvement over the previous aerial magnetic data we had,” Gliege said.
Another objective would be to bring magnetic anomalies noted outside Iberian’s concessions under the company’s auspices, with Gliege saying this could increase the project’s territory to about 6 900 ha. The aerial magnetic survey would be used as supporting data in applications for exploration permits.

In the meantime, the company would utilise the magnetic data alongside its other modelling to select drill targets for the upcoming 2015 work programme. This would involve around 15 to 18 boreholes for about 2 200 m, with around two holes at each location.

Phase 2 would take the project into the prefeasibility stage during 2016, whereby another 10 000 m of drilling would be undertaken with the goal of outlining an initial mineral resource. The cost was estimated at $2-million and would also involve metallurgical studies, as well as mine and processing plant design work. GOING FOR GOLD

Away from Cehegin, Iberian recently acquired the Caurio project, located within the Rio Narcea Gold Belt in Asturias, northern Spain. This was a region with a gold mining heritage stretching back to Roman times. The Caurio project covered 3,413 ha and was located near Orvana Mineral’s Oro Valle/El Valle gold mine.

Like Cehegin, the company inherited a wealth of historical data, including 9,000 m of core available for analysis and information from historic geological logs and airborne surveys. The company’s near-term objectives at Caurio would be to determine short- and medium-term targets for exploration.

The project came with a three-year option agreement for Iberian, granting it flexibility for the future. “We’re excited about the project,” Gliege said. “And we like gold: it’s a commodity closely followed by many in the resource investment community. It’s a commodity everyone understands – it’s the go-to metal.”

Iberian was also bullish about Europe’s economic performance, which, away from Greece, had undergone a slow but steady recovery. This included Spain. “Spain is on the road to economic recovery and is now ranked the fourth-best performing country within the EU. Its growth rate is currently 3.1%,” Gliege said. “The local and national governments have been supportive and it’s a great jurisdiction in which to conduct exploration.”


Bob Moriarty’s Analysis of the Mineworx Gold Processing Technology

Bob Moriarty, founder and editor of www.321gold.com offers his candid independent opinion and analysis of the Mineworx gold processing technology. Mr. Moriarty is one of the most respected authorities and experts in this space and has over 50,000 viewers to his website – 321gold per day. Bob has known the founder and president of Mineworx – Duane Nelson for over 10 years, dating back to Duane’s tenure as the CEO and co-founder of Silvermex, which was acquired by First Majestic Silver Corp in 2012 for $175 million.

As previously announced on December 22, 2015, Iberian Minerals acquired 100% of Mineworx, whereby Duane Nelson was appointed to the board of directors of Iberian and named president of Iberian’s wholly owned subsidiary – Mineworx.

Bob Moriarty recently attended Arizona twice to witness the Mineworx technology operate first hand. It is important to note that Mr. Moriarty is offering his own unsolicited opinion and received no compensation from Mineworx or Iberian Minerals to provide his analysis.

Here are some of Bob’s comments on the Mineworx technology:

  • “I literally saw some of the first material run through the machine and saw gold”
  • “They have come up with a complete system that consists of two parts – a front end recovery….and a water recovery system on the back end, so you can operate this anywhere in the world with hardly any water whatsoever.”
  • “We ran 10 to 15 tonnes of material, with a gram plus recovery, which has doubled to tripled since then.”
  • “What this technology does is offer a junior mining company with the ability to put a high grade gold deposit into production for less than the cost of a scoping study or a feasibility study……that is an absolute big game-changer all by itself”
  • “There is not only the ability to recover gold from a hard rock mine, you can also use this in a placer gold situation, allowing a junior miner to go into production for a few million dollars”
  • “I feel this is a big deal, I was pleased to hear about this technology 3 years ago, I was absolutely thrilled to see it 2 weeks ago and I am thrilled to see it today”
  • “I think Duane is on to something big”

To watch the interview in its entirety please see the video below: