South Africa – The Ferrum Crescent board has taken the strategic decision to seek to enhance shareholder value from the company’s Moonlight iron ore project in northern South Africa by identifying and securing an investment partner whilst pursuing an efficient operating model, progressing initially with its option over the Spanish lead-zinc projects, via the potential acquisition of GoldQuest Iberia S.L.
Further to the strategic review process, the group is being transitioned to achieve optimum efficiency in order to progress the Moonlight project with its investment partners, whilst pursuing additional attractive projects to add to its portfolio including the current option over GoldQuest and its two Spanish lead-zinc assets, with a view to progressing a rapid low-cost resource delineation and metallurgical testing campaign.
As part of the refocused strategy, Justin Tooth has assumed the role of executive chairman, based in London, with immediate effect. Tooth has had a long involvement with the company as an adviser before joining the board last year.
This strategy will significantly reduce management costs and locate the executive management function in the same country as the majority of the group’s principal advisers and shareholder base with more closely aligned time zones for our project teams in South Africa and Spain.
The board believes that both of the Spanish assets held by GoldQuest have potentially robust economics but the key to unlocking maximum value will be in the detail of the project development plans.
As a result, the board has appointed Dr Evan Kirby, as non-executive director with immediate effect, to provide the company with significant expertise and insight into metallurgy and development options for, inter alia, the Spanish lead-zinc assets.
Merlin Marr-Johnson, who has recently acted as geological consultant to the company, has also been appointed as adviser to the board to assist primarily with the progression of the potential Spanish lead-zinc projects
In the event that the company elects to exercise its option over GoldQuest, Marr-Johnson will advise, in particular, on the structure of the Spanish project team and an optimised exploration campaign.
Meanwhile, Ferrum Crescent announced the resignation of Tom Revy, as a board director and MD, who has been instrumental in overseeing the initial bankable feasibility study work on the Moonlight project, and Bob Hair, company secretary, both with immediate effect.
Tooth commented: “Ferrum Crescent is now moving into a new phase as we continue to seek to reduce costs and create a more streamlined company capable of generating value from both our existing project and carefully selected additional portfolio assets.
“I believe Moonlight can swiftly deliver absolute returns for shareholders; my recent visit to South Africa, meeting key local stakeholders, has informed that opinion.
Tooth also thanked Revy for all his hard work over the past two years, which has successfully steered Moonlight to the stage where it can progress with its major investment partners. Accordingly, the board has now decided to refocus the group and cut costs to enable Ferrum to create shareholder value from the right assets in the most efficient manner.
“The revised management structure gives us the right expertise in the right locations and at the right cost,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tooth says the option over GoldQuest affords it the opportunity to take ownership of a significant and exciting project data set. “With the team’s new geological and metallurgical expertise, we can now efficiently grow viable JORC-defined resources and establish pathways to future economic production.”