General Moly Reports 2018 Results
LAKEWOOD, COLORADO – March 21, 2019, General Moly, Inc. (the “Company” or “General Moly”) (NYSE AMERICAN and TSX: GMO), the only western-exchange listed, pure-play molybdenum (“moly”) development company, announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2018.
Fourth quarter, year-end and 2019 to-date highlights:
- As announced by the Company on March 13, 2019, the Board of Directors has retained XMS Capital Partners, Headwall Partners, and Odinbrook Global Advisors (collectively, the “Advisors”), as financial advisors to evaluate and recommend strategic alternatives;
- Members of management led by Chief Executive Officer Bruce D. Hansen agreed in principle with the Audit Committee of the Board to provide interim incremental liquidity to the Company through a private placement purchase of up to $900,000 of Convertible Preferred Shares of General Moly with a 5% annual dividend; (further details are described below and in the March 13, 2019 news release.)
- The Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Mt. Hope molybdenum (“moly”) project in central Nevada is available through a public comment period ending April 22, 2019, as announced in the Company’s news release on March 6, 2019;
- The moly oxide daily global spot price averaged $12.04/lb during the fourth quarter, up 37% over the average of $8.76/lb in 4Q 2017, according to Platts;
- The Company’s 80%-owned joint venture company, which operates the Mt. Hope Project, Eureka Moly, LLC (“EMLLC”); ended the year with a restricted cash balance of $6.2 million (100% basis) in a reserve account, and remains self-funded into 2021, based on estimated care and maintenance expenses; and
- The Company raised $2.0 million in net proceeds after commissions and expenses from an underwritten public offering of units, consisting of one common share and one share-purchase warrant, as described in the Company’s news releases on October 17, 2018.
The Company reported a consolidated net loss for the three months ending December 31, 2018 of $3.0 million ($0.02 per share), compared to a consolidated net loss of $1.8 million ($0.02 per share) for the 4Q 2017. For the full year 2018, the Company had a consolidated net loss of $11.1 million ($0.08 per share) compared with a consolidated net loss of $8.1 million ($0.07 per share) for 2017. At the end of the 2018, the Company had $1.3 million in unrestricted cash and equivalents.
Over the near term, the Company expects additional funding from AMER International Group (AMER), its largest shareholder. Once water permits are in place the Tranche 3 $10.0 million private placement is triggered. The Tranche 3 private placement is priced at $0.50 per share, and its closure is contingent upon the earlier of receipt of water permits for the Mt. Hope Project, or a negotiated acceleration of Tranche 3. The Company anticipates receipt of the water permits from the Nevada State Engineer by the June 6, 2019 Nevada statutory deadline, which represents 240 days after receipt of the September 2018 water hearing transcript.
During the fourth quarter, consolidated total cash use of $3.6 million was the result of $2.0 million spent in general and administrative (“G&A”) expenses, covering final costs associated with the drilling program that was completed in the third quarter, and $1.5 million disbursed at EMLLC, including legal and preparation costs related to the water rights hearing process and the annual $500,000 advanced royalty payment per the lease with Mt. Hope Mines Inc.
Mr. Hansen said, “We are on the threshold of having the Mt. Hope Project fully permitted with final Nevada water permits expected in mid-2019 and the Record of Decision (“ROD”) approving the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (“SEIS”) later in 2019. This moves us closer towards the eventual project financing, development and operation of the Mt. Hope moly mine. We look forward to working with the support of AMER, which under the Securities Purchase Agreement will help us source and guarantee a $700 million bank loan for the development of the Mt. Hope Project, upon further improved moly prices and receipt of the final permits.”
Private Placement with Management Insiders and Liquidity Discussion
The private placement of Convertible Preferred Shares by members of management is subject to a definitive purchase agreement and approval by the disinterested members of the Board. The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of March 2019.
The Convertible Preferred Shares are priced at $100.00/preferred share, convertible at any time at the holder’s discretion into common shares whereby one preferred share converts at a price of $0.27/common share to 370.37 common shares. The conversion price was set as the March 12, 2019 closing price of the common stock, representing the day before the announcement of the private placement. Upon maturity or full repayment of the $7.1 million convertible debt currently outstanding, there will be mandatory redemption of the preferred shares in exchange for equivalent cash for the principal invested, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends. The Company believes this transaction will provide the liquidity necessary for the Company to operate through the anticipated receipt of the water permits.
The range of strategic alternatives being evaluated by the Advisors include sourcing of potential incremental capital financing, sale of interest(s) in the assets of the Company or the Company, and restructuring of the convertible debt issued in a December 2014 private placement, which matures in December 2019.
In the March 13, 2019 news release announcing the retention of the Advisors, Ricardo M. Campoy, Chairman and Lead Independent Director of the Board, commented, “In view of the fiscal needs of the Company in a challenging market for small cap metal companies, we are pleased to structure a bridge financing agreement with our senior management on fair terms for our shareholders. Equally as important, we have engaged the team of (financial advisors) with the deep experience, and relationships with a broad spectrum of investors around the world and within the global steel industry to help us to unlock the worth of Mt. Hope and Liberty projects, and maximize value for our shareholders.”
Table 1: Financial Summary
Table 2: Balance Sheet Summary
Mt. Hope Project Status
Engineering remains approximately 65% complete at the Mt. Hope moly project. Currently, there is no ongoing engineering and procurement effort. The Company anticipates EMLLC will re-initiate its engineering and procurement programs once permitting is complete and market conditions allow for full Mt. Hope Project financing.
Strengthening Moly Prices
The March 15, 2019 moly price was $12.60/lb, which is up 6% from $11.88 at yearend 2018 and 23% from $10.25/lb at yearend 2017, according to Platts.
Moly prices were the strongest in four years in 2018 and moly ended the year as the best metal price performer metal in 2018 in the broad metals coverage scope of BMO Capital Market. The 2018 year low was $10.60/lb at the end of June and the year high was $13.00/lb in early March. (See the moly price chart below.)
The CPM Group, a leading commodities research and consulting firm in New York, projects moly supply to fall into deficit later in 2019 through 2022. CPM forecasts the average nominal moly price is expected to rise from $13.36/lb in 2019 to $17.67/lb in 2022.
World stainless steel production, which uses more moly than other forms of steel, increased 10% year-over-year in the first nine months of 2018, according to the latest data from the International Stainless-Steel Forum (“ISSF”). China, the world’s largest stainless steel producer, saw an 8.5% increase in output.
Chart 1: Molybdenum Spot Price (10/10/2011 – 3/15/2019)
General Moly’s ongoing priorities for 2019 are to:
- Continue to reduce costs and enhance financial liquidity through the AMER Tranche 3 equity investment, and potentially other sources to resourcefully provide additional longer-term sustainability of operations;
- Continue to progress towards obtaining a ROD approving the Final SEIS and the issuance of water permits for the Mt. Hope Project;
- Work closely with the Advisors to consider strategic options and opportunities achieving the optimal outcome to address sustainability and maximize shareholder value; and
- Upon the issuance of water permits and the ROD, and further improvement in the moly price, the Mt. Hope Project will be fully construction ready and the Company will prepare to finance the project.
About General Moly
General Moly is a U.S.-based, molybdenum mineral exploration and development company listed on the NYSE American, recently known as the NYSE MKT and former American Stock Exchange, and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol GMO. The Company’s primary asset, an 80% 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 the Company’s wholly-owned Liberty Project, a molybdenum and copper property also located in central Nevada, General Moly’s goal is to become the largest primary molybdenum producer in the world.
Molybdenum is a metallic element used primarily as an alloy agent in steel manufacturing. When added to steel, molybdenum enhances steel strength, resistance to corrosion and extreme temperature performance. In the chemical and petrochemical industries, molybdenum is used in catalysts, especially for cleaner burning fuels by removing sulfur from liquid fuels, and in corrosion inhibitors, high performance lubricants and polymers.
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 availability of cash to continue ongoing operations, 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 obtain a re-grant of its water permits and Record of Decision, ability to maintain required federal and state permits to continue construction, and commence production of molybdenum, copper, silver, lead or zinc, ability to identify any economic mineral reserves of copper, silver, lead or zinc; ability of the Company to obtain approval of its joint venture partner at the Mt. Hope Project in order to mine for copper, silver, lead or zinc, ability to raise required project financing or funding to pursue an exploration program related to potential copper, silver lead or zinc deposits at Mt. Hope, ability to respond to adverse governmental regulation and judicial outcomes, and ability to maintain and /or adjust 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.