Focus on High Grade Core Deposit to Further Improve Project Economics
LAKEWOOD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 25, 2014– General Moly, Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSE MKT: GMO)(TSX: GMO), a U.S.-based molybdenum mineral development, exploration, and mining company, announced the results of an internal study for operating the Mt. Hope Project in Eureka County, Nevada. The study considered an optional scenario for operating the Mt. Hope Project in later years at a sustained lower price molybdenum environment, which provides improved project economics and demonstrates upside to our potential strategic partners engaged in due diligence.
The study considered an optional scenario which would provide ore for 24 years of mining and 30 years of milling, compared with the base plan reported via the Company’s press release on December 5, 2013, which provides ore for 34 years of mining and 41 years of milling (mining duration excludes pre-production stripping). The optional scenario provides the Company with flexibility to respond to a sustained lower price molybdenum environment in later years, after the Mt. Hope Project is developed and operating.
Bruce D. Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of General Moly, said, “The study provides an optional scenario which focuses on the high grade core of the deposit and incrementally enhances the project economics. In comparison with our base scenario, at a $12.50/lb molybdenum price, the optional scenario increases the after-tax Net Present Value (“NPV”) at an 8% discount rate by 22% and reduces the NPV breakeven price to$10.82/lb from $11.19/lb in the base plan with the undiscounted cash flow breakeven price dropping to $9.35/lb in the improved plan from $9.80/lb in the base plan.”
Mr. Hansen added, “During the first nine years of production in the pit, there would be no meaningful change between the base and optional scenario developed by the study. The divergence would come in later years when the optional scenario could be implemented if lower molybdenum prices are sustained long-term. Under this optional scenario, mine planning would eliminate marginal lower grade production in later years, reducing stripping costs, tailings additions, and mining equipment purchases. If the optional scenario were to be implemented in the future, Mt. Hope would produce 933 million pounds of molybdenum, reducing salable molybdenum by 280 million pounds of marginal higher cost production.”
Mr. Hansen concluded, “Given the ongoing due diligence supporting our financing efforts, we are eager to announce results from the optional sustained lower molybdenum price mine planning scenario, which enhances our debt capacity and further demonstrates the attractive economics for the construction and operation of the Mt. Hope Project. The completion of this study demonstrates the economic viability of the Mt. Hope Project at sustained lower molybdenum prices allowing the Company additional flexibility as it pursues financing for the advancement of the Mt. Hope Project.”
Mt. Hope Project Operational Cost Estimate and Project Economics
The Company forecasts operating costs for the Mt. Hope Project based on current labor rates and input commodity prices. Direct operating costs for the Mt. Hope Project for this optional mine planning scenario over the first full five years of operation are anticipated to average $6.28 per pound, and Costs Applicable to Sales (CAS) are anticipated to average $6.99 per pound, including anticipated royalty payments of $0.71 per pound calculated at a $15.00 per pound molybdenum price, which the Company regards as a sustainable long-term price.
For the total years of primary mining, direct operating costs for the Mt. Hope Project for this optional mine planning scenario are anticipated to average $7.24 per pound, and Costs Applicable to Sales (CAS) are anticipated to average $8.06 per pound. For the total years of primary milling, direct operating costs for the Mt. Hope Project for the optional mine study are anticipated to average $7.39 per pound, and Costs Applicable to Sales (CAS) are anticipated to average $8.18 per pound. In both instances this includes anticipated royalty payments calculated at $15.00 per pound of molybdenum.
For this optional mine planning scenario, on a look forward basis, economics for General Moly’s 80% ownership in the Mt. Hope Project, at a $15.00 per pound flat long-term molybdenum price, anticipates an after-tax Net Present Value (NPV), discounted at 8%, to be $734 million and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 18.1%. General Moly’s 80% ownership in the Mt. Hope Project, which includes the impact of off-takes, other contractual agreements, and specific working capital assumptions, equates to $8.02 per current outstanding share. For every $1 change in the molybdenum price between $10 and $20 per pound, the after-tax NPV of General Moly’s 80% interest in the Mt. Hope Project changes by approximately $180 million. General Moly’s 80% ownership NPV breakeven price is $10.82 per pound molybdenum, and the undiscounted cash flow breakeven price (going forward excluding sunk capital) is $9.35 per pound molybdenum.
Metal Price After-Tax Sensitivity Analysis
|General Moly’s 80% interest
Both views are after-tax and pre-finance
|NPV8, $million with $12.50/lb Price||$237||$289|
|IRR, % with $12.50/lb Price||11.7%||12.5%|
|NPV8, $million with $15.00/lb Price||$707||$734|
|IRR, % with $15/lb Price||17.6%||18.1%|
|NPV8, $million with $17.50/lb Price||$1,195||$1,194|
|IRR, % with $17.50/lb Price||23.0%||23.3%|
|NPV8 Breakeven Price, $/lb||$11.19||$10.82|
|Undiscounted Cash Flow Breakeven Price, $/lb||$9.80||$9.35|
|NPV8 Change for $1 change in the molybdenum price, $million||$190||$180|
General Moly is a U.S.-based molybdenum mineral development, exploration and mining company listed on the NYSE MKT (formerly the NYSE AMEX) and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol GMO. Our primary asset, our interest in the Mt. Hope Project located in central Nevada, is considered one of the world’s largest and highest grade molybdenum deposits. Combined with our second project, the Liberty Project, a molybdenum and copper property also located in central Nevada, our goal is to become the largest pure play primary molybdenum producer in the world. For more information on the Company, please visit our website at http://www.generalmoly.com.
Statements herein that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor created by such sections. Such forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated, expected, or implied by the Company. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, metals price and production volatility, global economic conditions, currency fluctuations, increased production costs and variances in ore grade or recovery rates from those assumed in mining plans, exploration risks and results, political, operational and project development risks, including the Company’s ability to maintain required permits to continue construction, commence production and its ability to raise required project financing, adverse governmental regulation and judicial outcomes, including an appeal of the Record of Decision and appeal of water permits and estimates related to cost of production, capital, operating and exploration expenditures. For a detailed discussion of risks and other factors that may impact these forward looking statements, please refer to the Risk Factors and other discussion contained in the Company’s quarterly and annual periodic reports on Forms 10-Q and 10-K, on file with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.
Source: General Moly