Interim Report January – June 2020

Significant events during the second quarter 2020

  • Whittle Consulting is retained to perform an optimisation study of the Blötberget project.
  • The outstanding loan was converted into 885 834 new shares in the company.

Second quarter, 1 April – 30 June 2020

  • Income amounted to SEK 0 million (0)
  • Earnings after tax amounted to SEK –2.0 million (–2.8)
  • Investments in the period April–June totalled SEK 0.4 million (3.4)
  • Basic earnings per share were SEK –0.07 (–0.14)

Interim period, 1 January – 30 June 2020

  • Income amounted to SEK 0 million (0)
  • Earnings after tax amounted to SEK –4.6 million (–5.3)
  • Investments in the period January–June totalled SEK 0.8 million (8.8)
  • Basic earnings per share were SEK -0.15 (–0.27)
  • Cash and cash equivalents on 30 June 2020 amounted to SEK 5.8 million (5.4)

Significant events after the end of the period

  • To strengthen the financial position a short-term loan amounting to SEK 5m was raised.

A more in-depth evaluation of the project in Blötberget and the market continues to look promising, despite the pandemic

Project work        
The most important event in the quarter was the commissioning of an optimisation study from Whittle Consulting. The study is based on a feasibility study and simulates alternative ways of adapting operations and the design of the facility. The aim is to maximise the financial return on the project and to provide important input to the design and dimensioning of the facilities that are to be procured.

Whittle has retained mining engineering consultants Mining Plus to evaluate mine planning, as part of the study. One of the findings of their work is that they assess that it will be possible to achieve approximately an equal yield from mining via a combination of two different mining methods that are normally considered to be more cost effective than the method that has been assumed in the feasibility study. This is an alternative that ought to be evaluated in more detail before a final decision is taken on choice of mining method. One of the two methods include of so-called back-fill, that enables us to reduce the visible environmental impact of the mine by returning parts of the tailings below ground instead of depositing them on the tailings area. Unfortunately, this technique is not included in the description of mining activities in our environment permit, and we would therefore need to apply for a change to the permit; however, an evaluation of alternative solutions for the tailings must first be completed. Management of tailings from mines has attracted greater interest following accidents in Brazil, and we therefore wish to evaluate alternative solutions before we commit ourselves to the design described in our environmental permit. Already our current plan is a mine with significantly lower environment footprint than that our environment permit allows for; however, the mining industry is undergoing rapid development and we wish to evaluate potential opportunities for further improvements before we start construction.

We remain in contact with potential suppliers albeit without any face to face meetings. This work is continuing in the third quarter and has already resulted in a number of interesting proposals and tenders.

Work on the control programme has continued in dialogue with the County Administrative Board and the municipality and the programme for drinking water analyses has been approved. Discussions regarding compensation areas will continue after the summer. Analysis and measurements of the surface water continues. Agreements have been reached with a number of property owners within the impact area for automatic level readings of their wells.

Covid-19

Activities that require meetings in person have been postponed for the time being and employed personnel have been working reduced hours since May in accordance with the rules on furloughing.

Financing

The outstanding loan was converted in June and the company became debt-free. To ensure access to working capital on completion of the optimisation study, the company took out a short-term loan of SEK 5 million after the end of the period.  The loan falls due for payment on 28 February next year.

Market

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on prices for iron ore could be seen during the second quarter of 2020; prices converged for the different indices and at one point, there was little difference in price between different qualities.

This purely reflected confusion on the market and uncertainty about the global economy. When China started to recover, iron ore prices also started to recover and differences in the prices of different iron contents started to rise again. 

Uncertainty as to how Covid-19 will affect the supply chain, especially concerning the supply from Brazil, contributed to prices of iron ore in general remaining good. The average price for 65% Fe in April was approximately USD 113/ton, C & F China. This corresponds to over USD 120/ton for NIO’s average product.

The long-term trends that are driven by stronger sustainability and environment issues have started to drive up prices in futures contracts for iron ore that roll over into Q3. This is a consequence of future needs for high qualities and uncertainty surrounding the ability of the supply chain to meet demand. Please see graph below of futures contracts traded on the exchange in Singapore.

 

For further information please contact:

Lennart Eliasson Managing Director
phone: +46 70 640 5177

lennart.eliasson@nordicironore.se

Nordic Iron Ore Group is a mining company with the ambition to revive and develop the iron ore production of Ludvika Mines in Blötberget and Håksberg. The company also intends to expand its mineral resources, and upgrade them to ore reserves, primarily through exploration and other studies of the connecting Väsman field. The Company has all the necessary permits in place for the mine in Blötberget and will be able to produce iron ore of extremely high quality.

For more information, see www.nordicironore.se.

Nordic Iron Ore’s shares and warrants are listed at Nasdaq First North Growth Market. Wildeco is the company’s Certified Adviser (info@wildeco.se tel +46-8-545 271 00).

This information is required and provided by Nordic Iron Ore AB (publ) under the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was provided through the agency of the contact person set out above for publication at the date and time set above.

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