Letter to Shareholders
- FULLY UNDERWRITTEN NON-RENOUNCEABLE $12.2M RIGHTS ISSUE
- FUNDS RAISED WILL PROGRESS DEVELOPMENT OF HASTING'S WORLD CLASS RARE EARTHS MINE
The Rights Issue will be at a price of A$0.31 cents per new Hastings ordinary share, an 8.3% discount to the 30 days volume weighted average price of Hastings shares traded on the ASX prior to announcing the Rights Issue.
Charles Lew, Executive Chairman, commented "In 2017 Hastings achieved many milestones on the road to establishing a world-class rare earth production plant, culminating in the publication of the Definitive Feasibility Study in November last year that confirmed compelling economics for the Yangibana project. We anticipate that 2018 will be a pivotal year for the Company as we work towards raising the necessary funding to build the processing plant commencing with early construction work to prepare the Yangibana site and continue negotiations with European and Asian customers for additional off-take agreements. In addition, Hastings is exploring specific and innovative approaches to securing funding for the capex.
Numerous market trends continue to provide confirmation of a significant shift in the way we travel, generate energy, monitor and control our environment. The focus to reduce fossil-fuel usage is now well established. Many targets have been set globally to electrify transportation and advance renewable energy technology and new materials will be required to meet them. The Nd-Pr to be mined and processed from Yangibana will provide critical components to these electric vehicle and clean energy applications.
Through this Rights Issue, shareholders will have the opportunity to add to their investment in Hastings as we journey together to build a world class Nd-Pr mine in Australia to produce the critical minerals needed for the manufacture of permanent magnets and used primarily in clean renewable energy and e-mobility. This Rights Issue is underwritten by four major shareholders, directors and senior management."
Milestones highlights in the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) are:
- Initial operating life of 8 years provides NPV of $466m, IRR of 78% and a payback period of 2.3 years
- First Probable Reserves estimated at 5.16mt at 1.12% TREO including 0.45% Nd2O3+Pr6O11
- Latest JORC Resources total 21.00mt at 1.17% TREO including 0.41% Nd2O3+Pr6O11
- Plan to produce up to 15,000 tons per annum of Mixed Rare Earths Carbonate on site at Yangibana
- Pre-production capital expenditure of A$335 million and operating costs of A$17.06/kg TREO (US$12.8/kg)
- Native Title Agreement signed for the entire tenement area of 650sqkm covering all rare earths minerals mined and sold
The production targets and underlying assumptions have not changed from the date of release of the DFS on 28th November 2017.
The strengthening in Neodymium (Nd) and Praseodymium (Pr) prices (+42% and +39% respectively year-on-year) and the signing of three offtake Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with three Chinese rare earth producers provide further confidence in the successful development of the Yangibana Rare Earths Project.
China further continued to fuel excitement around the announcement of electric vehicle (EV) developments. Chinese authorities hinted of policy changes in early September 2017, with the intention of banning fossil-fuel vehicles. This follows similar policy announcements made by India, Norway, France and the United Kingdom.
Vehicle manufacturers also made encouraging announcements regarding EV targets. Volkswagen will spend EUR 20 billion in R & D to develop eEVs. VW aims to roll out 80 EVs models across all its brands by 2025.
Given both policy and manufacturer announcements, the International Energy Agency predicts that by 2030 the stock of EVs on the road globally will total between 160 to 200 million, an almost 100 times increase of the EV stock today. These developments will drive the robust support in demand for Nd and Pr well beyond 2030.
Funds raised under the Rights Issue will be used to progress development of the Company's Yangibana Rare Earths Project, including:
- Capital costs associated with the development of an access road and the procurement of an accommodation village; and
- Engineering design and specification work with respect to the mine infrastructure and construction of the processing plant.
The Rights Issue is severally underwritten by Equator Capital Management Limited (a company in which Charles Lew, Executive Chairman is a director and shareholder), Fong Kah Kuen, Astaman Aziz and Simon Yim (all being long term shareholders of the Company) for $12 million. The Company's directors who have confirmed their intention to participate in the rights issue and agreed to underwrite the balance of the Rights Issue. The underwriters other than related parties will be paid a 5% underwriting fee.
The Company expects the Rights Issue to be conducted in accordance with the following timetable:
Event: Announcement of Offer, appendix 3B and section 708AA notice
Date: 2 February 2018
Event: Ex rights date
Date: 6 February 2018
Event: Record date to determine entitlement to new shares
Date: 7 February 2018
Event: Dispatch of Offer document and Entitlement and Acceptance Form Opening date for subscription
Date: 12 February 2018
Event: Closing date for subscription
Date: 5.00pm AEST on 26 February 2018
Event: Securities quoted on deferred settlement basis
Date: 27 February 2018
Event: Notify ASX of total subscriptions
Date: 28 February 2018
Event: Allotment Date
Date: 2 March 2018
Event: Dispatch of holding statements
Date: 5 March 2018
These dates are indicative, and the Company, in conjunction with the underwriters and subject to the Corporations Act and the ASX Listing Rules, may vary the above dates.
The new shares issued pursuant to the Rights Issue will rank equally with existing fully paid ordinary shares in the Company. Application has been made for the quotation of the new shares. The Rights Issue will be made without disclosure and in reliance of section 708AA of the Corporations Act (as modified by ASIC Corporations (Non-Traditional Rights Issues) Instrument 2016/84). Eligible Shareholders may also apply for additional new shares in excess of their entitlement. Foreign ineligible shareholders may, where it is lawful to do so, also apply for shares equal to their entitlement.
The capital structure of the Company before and after completion of the Rights Issue is set out below:
Securities on issue at the date of the announcement of the Rights Issue
Securities offered under this Rights Issue
Total securities on issue following Rights Issue
Should you have any questions regarding the Rights Issue you may contact the Company on +61 9078 7674 or email@example.com, or consult your stockbroker or professional adviser.
A copy of the Company's announcements may be viewed on the ASX Limited website at www.asx.com.au, or alternatively at the Company's website at www.hastingstechmetals.com.
We look forward to your participation in the Rights Issue.
About Hastings Technology Metals Ltd
Hastings Technology Metals Ltd (ASX:HAS) (FRA:5AM) is currently developing a rare earths mine and processing plant at Yangibana in the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia. The processing plant is anticipated to commence production of MREC in late 2019. Hastings has completed both beneficiation and hydrometallurgy pilot plants, in the process producing MREC samples which are high in neodymium and praseodymium content. These are critical materials for the production of permanent magnets and other technology applications. The MREC will be capable of being further separated and refined to produce a number of individual rare earth oxides outside of Australia. Hastings estimates an annual production quantity of 15,000 tonnes of MREC¹ which it will sell to offtake partners globally.
Hastings Technology Metals Ltd