LONDON, June 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --
- The Serrote copper-gold mine and processing plant completed construction ahead of schedule and under budget
- Demonstrates Appian's ability to identify, acquire and develop high quality assets into production
- MVV has delivered the project with a leading safety record, successfully executed during challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic
- The mine has an initial 14-year life, based on a subset of the defined mineral resources, and is targeting 22 ktpa CuEq production
- High-grade concentrate will yield a market premium, with lower downstream transport costs and carbon footprint
- MVV is well positioned in the lower second quartile of the copper cost curve, benefiting from long-term demand trends for electrification and decarbonisation
- Significant value upside beyond initial plan through mine life extensions and plant throughput expansion opportunities
- First shipment of high grade copper-gold-silver concentrate is targeted for November 2021
Mineração Vale Verde Ltda. ("MVV" or the "Company") and Appian Capital Advisory LLP ("Appian") are pleased to announce the finalization of construction of the Serrote copper-gold mine and processing plant ("Serrote") located in Alagoas, Brazil.
This important milestone has been achieved by MVV ahead of schedule and under budget, while maintaining an industry leading safety record. Construction was concluded safely, whilst managing the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic. MVV's leadership, organisational structure and working practices have protected its employees and have been critical to the successful completion of this project.
This progress has been driven by high-calibre execution from the team on the ground in Alagoas, delivering on the operating strategy implemented by MVV's leading management team and Appian. The focus is now on the transition to steady state operations and the ramp-up over the second half of 2021, with operational readiness workstreams, employee training programs and risk management workshops well advanced.
This follows the announcement in February that MVV had secured a US$140m project finance debt facility, the largest independent greenfield mining project finance transaction announced since the beginning of 2020 and the onset of COVID-19, demonstrating Serrote's strong fundamentals. MVV remains well funded through the ramp-up with the support of Appian and its lender group.
MVV's first shipment of concentrate is targeted for November 2021. MVV will produce a high grade bornite-chalcopyrite copper concentrate, with gold and silver by-product credits. The high-grade nature of the concentrate will yield a premium in the market, and lowers the downstream transport costs and carbon footprint compared to typical copper concentrates.
Serrote will produce an average of approximately 22 ktpa of copper equivalent over an initial 14-year mine life from a low-strip, open pit mine supplying a 4.1 Mtpa processing plant. This initial life of mine will exploit a mineral reserve of 52.7 Mt grading 0.6% Cu and 0.1 g/t. MVV is now working towards unlocking substantial value upside through definition of an expansion plan into the larger 108.9 Mt Measured and Indicated Resource at Serrote, as well as developing plans to generate value through the known oxide resource and nearby satellite deposits which are currently being drilled and expanded.
The current copper outlook further enhances the highly attractive economics of the project with MVV expected to produce at an AISC cash cost of ~US$1.41/lb Cu and generate strong annual EBITDA margins in excess of 60%, at market consensus commodity prices and FX forecasts. Serrote is well positioned in the lower second quartile of the copper cost curve on an AISC basis.
Our priority remains the safety of our people and the communities that host our operations, and with the conclusion of construction Appian and MVV remain committed to best-in-class ESG practices, including compliance with the Equator Principles and IFC Performance Standards on Social Sustainability.
Paulo Castellari, CEO MVV & Appian Brazil commented:
"This is a fantastic achievement for MVV, underlining the technical, operational and financing expertise of our talented team. Concluding construction in line with schedule and below budget once again demonstrates the success of Appian's business model, and I am particularly proud of our leading safety record and ability to exceed expectations despite the pandemic.
"In Serrote we have a high quality asset with low production costs, a long mine-life and significant upside from potential further expansion. Copper remains an incredibly attractive commodity and MVV is ideally placed to benefit from the growing global focus on electrification and decarbonisation."
About Mineração Vale Verde Ltda.
MVV is the owner and operator of Serrote, an advanced stage, de-risked greenfield open-pit copper-gold asset, located in Alagoas, Brazil. The Company is headquartered in Belo Horizonte, with a high-quality management team with extensive local and international experience operating at site.
Following Appian's acquisition of the asset in mid-2018, an updated DFS was completed outlining a 14-year initial mine life with production of approximately 24 thousand tonnes of copper equivalent per annum in a premium, high grade concentrate. Serrote is expected to be well positioned in the lower second quartile of the copper cost curve on a total cash cost basis.
MVV is pursuing several expansion opportunities beyond the initial mine life, with significant defined mineralization outside of the current mine plan as well as numerous satellite resources and targets within trucking distance of the planned plant infrastructure. Less than 50% of the 112Mt global MI&I resource is currently contained within the mine plan, with active drilling and growth plans underway to increase mineable inventory.
About Appian Capital Advisory LLP
Appian Capital Advisory LLP is the investment advisor to long-term value focused private equity funds that invest solely in mining and mining related companies.
Appian is a leading investment advisor in the metals and mining industry, with global experience across South America, North America, Australia and Africa and a successful track record of supporting companies to achieve their development targets, with a global operating portfolio overseeing nearly 5,000 employees.
Appian has a global team of 46 experienced professionals with offices in London, Toronto, Lima, Belo Horizonte and Sydney.
 Copper equivalent production and AISC based on long-term commodity prices of US$3.20/lb Cu, US$1,700/oz Au and US$22.00/oz Ag and 5.00 BRL:USD.
SOURCE Appian Capital Advisory LLP; Mineração Vale Verde Ltda