Regency Mines PLC

Published : June 28th, 2016

Operations and Investment Update

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Keywords :   Australia | Cash | Cobalt |

Operations and Investment Update

RNS Number : 4130C
Regency Mines PLC
28 June 2016

Regency Mines Plc

("Regency" or the "Company")

Operations and Investment Update

28 June 2016

Regency Mines Plc ("Regency" or the "Company"), the natural resource development and investment company with interests in oil and mineral exploration, announces an update on its operations and investments. This release will cover Regency's core oil and mineral assets, current investments, non-core assets and discontinuing activities.

Andrew Bell, Regency Chairman, comments:"We have had more than a year of significant balance sheet and cost restructuring of the Company and re-ordering of its priorities. This update identifies the key assets and operational opportunities in the business, in order to demonstrate clearly where value lies and where we intend to focus over the next 12-18 months.

We have continued to hold those assets with both scale and identified mineral resources through the lows of the cycle, and over three years we have worked to add bottom of the cycle oil and gas opportunities. We have worked the remaining portfolio to divest and to generate liquidity opportunities.

Our initial oil and gas focus was on low cost onshore near-term production. We have recently focussed on potentially larger oil and gas assets which while still having these characteristics are entering into or coming out of insolvency proceedings. We now have a portfolio of three oil and gas opportunities that offer some combination of scale, upside, and cash flow potential.

Regency has a very low cost base, multiple potential income streams, and several potential company-makers in its portfolio. We will continue on this path."

Company Strategy

Regency seeks to monetize and optimize its existing portfolio of non-core mineral exploration assets and investments while focussing the deployment of new funds on three main oil and gas projects; Horse Hill, Westport, and the Western US Oil Project. The Company intends to spend minimal funds on other projects and will continue to explore farm-out options and asset disposals as appropriate with a view to maximizing the value of previous expenditure and existing resources.

The Board believes that the three main oil and gas assets can be developed and expanded over a number of years to come.

Core Oil Assets/Opportunities:

Westport Energy Plc

Westport Energy is a UK based company currently finalizing the acquisition of gas assets located in the Pacific Northwest that are expected to be available following a related party in the United States perfecting its security after a loan default. The assets are expected to include several existing methane gas wells with significant acreage and development potential.

Regency is seeking to make an equity investment in approximately 10% of Westport (in addition to the shares in lieu of 7% fee as mentioned below) following its planned IPO later this year and looks for Westport to fund development of the properties via a combination of debt and equity sources.

Regency has to date subscribed for 21,875 shares of Westport for a total consideration of £175,000 via a pre-IPO funding round. Following final acquisition of the gas assets in the US, Westport intends to seek a listing on the London market and Regency has agreed to subscribe for a further £350,000 as a keystone investor of the planned IPO and as such ultimately expects to receive a board seat to represent its interests. Regency further expects to receive a 7% fee to be taken in shares of Westport in consideration of a partial lock-up of its investment for one year.

Gas, widely considered the "fuel of the future", continues to be the preferred fossil fuel in the United States having risen in 2015 to 33% of US power consumption with steadily increasing demand and relatively low levels of development activity and the Board of Regency considers Westport an ideal access vehicle to this growth market.

Western US Oil Project

The project consists of a single wellbore located in the Western United States that has been drilled and uncompleted and is expected to be sold by tender to the Company and its partner. Regency had originally been informed that the asset would be sold by an auction process, which brought with it an additional level of risk, however our local partner has now secured an agreement to purchase the wellbore and associated surface assets outright, which puts Regency on a fast-track to deal completion.

Regency has partnered on this project with a local operator with knowledge of the region and the asset and is working on securing both the asset and an associated farm-out agreement with a large US E&P company out of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The partners would then complete the well and bring it into production. If successful Regency will own a 75% working interest in the wells and a 60% net revenue interest. Regency has agreed to carry its partner for 25% of the cost of the completion of the first well.

In the event the partners proceed to drill further wells, the local partner will be carried for 25% of the cost of the next two wells, and would then meet its own costs.

The well in question was drilled, logged and cased at a cost of $4m yet was never perforated and put into production due to financial difficulties encountered at the parent company of the then owner. The operator has calculated that this well offers more than 420,000 barrels (gross) of oil recoverable in multiple stacked pay zones with 150,000 barrels recoverable (gross) in the two deepest zones that would be initially targeted. Purchase and completion of the initial well is expected to cost Regency less than $1m.

While development for the next several years is likely to focus on vertical completions in the same horizons as the initial well, the longer term development of acreage could ultimately turn to horizontal completions where over 80 locations have already been identified. Additional information on the project and the Company's partner will be made available following completion of the tender process.

HHDL

Regency holds a 5% interest in Horse Hill Development Limited, an investment company currently developing the Horse Hill oil exploration project near Gatwick Airport in the UK. Flow tests at the well were conducted earlier this year and indicated strong average stable low rates of 37 degrees API oil of over 1,688 BOPD (gross) from the Upper Portland and two Kimmeridge zones.

The findings from the initial exploration well indicated vastly expanded development potential and reserves available in the Weald Basin, changing the generally held understanding of the region. Currently, planning is underway for extended flow tests over 90 day periods that will take the currently proved commercial flow rates and determine whether these equate to commercial production rates. As much information as possible will be gathered during the testing period in order to explore both deviated sidetrack horizontal well opportunities as well as the potential for a shallow vertical production well on the site.

Other Mineral Assets/Opportunities

Mambare Nickel Project

Regency holds a 50% direct interest in the Mambare nickel-cobalt laterite project located in Papua New Guinea. The project was traditionally operated as a joint venture with Direct Nickel Ltd ("DNi"), however due to DNI's inability to meet approved expenditure calls, Regency and the Joint Venture manager have issued default notices followed by a buy-out notice and as a result Regency is currently in negotiations with Direct Nickel to take over DNI's share of the project. More information will be made available as matters progress.

The project sits on license EL1390 and contains a JORC Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource Estimateof 162.5m tonnes at 0.94% Ni and 0.09% Co. With only 3% of the 80 sq km main plateau target tested by drill to date, the Company has long indicated that the project potentially holds one of the world's largest nickel laterite deposits. The project also comes with a license to utilize Direct Nickel's laterite treatment process, which offers extremely low operational costs as well as the ability to better match the scale of the plant to overall project size. The DNi process has been tested for over a year at 1 ton per day test plant scale proving its commerciality and preparing for its use at Mambare and other lateritic deposits.

Motzfeldt

Regency owns 100% of the Motzfeldt project in Greenland, and as previously stated is one of the world's largest undeveloped niobium-tantalum deposits. Located near the southern tip of Greenland the project offers ready deep water access as well as being proximal to a large international airport. SRK Consulting Ltd published a JORC Inferred Mineral Resource Estimateon the project of 340MT @120ppm Ta2O5 and 1850ppm of Nb2O5 and 4600ppm ZrO2.

With minimal holding costs and the value of several million dollars of historic exploration expenditure at Motzfeldt, Regency considers the asset a useful part of its portfolio and continues to seek opportunities to partner and monetize these assets as appropriate.

Other Investments

RRR

Regency retains a 2.3% interest in Red Rock Resources PLC (AIM:RRR), a natural resource development and investment company with interests in manganese in South Africa, oil and gas in the United States, gold in Kenya and Colombia, as well as iron ore in Greenland. The value of Regency's equity interest is currently £48,000.

Ram - Fraser Range

Regency retains a 4% carried interest in Ram Resources' (ASX:RAM) Fraser West project in Western Australia. The region has been the site of significant base metals discoveries over the past few years and RAM considers these tenements highly prospective for nickel and copper. Regency's carry can be converted from a project shareholding to a direct shareholding in Ram at any future Ram fundraisingat a value of AUD50,000 per 1% of the carry.

Perpetual Resources Limited

Regency announced on 14 June 2016 that it was to have transferred to it 3,000,000 shares in a listed company in Australia in settlement of the disposal of its Munglinup graphite tenements in 2015 and this has now been confirmed to be Perpetual Resources Limited (ASX:PEC). At current prices the value of the 3,000,000 shares issued in Perpetual will amount to approximately 4.5% of the issued capital, and is valued at AUD102,000.

DNi

Direct Nickel Pty Ltd is Regency's long-time partner in the Mambare nickel exploration asset as well as the developer of a hydrometallurgical process for the treatment of nickel laterite ore. DNi recently informed the Company that it was insolvent at the holding company level and that it would undergo a restructuring effort that would result in a largely new ownership structure led by a fund and former creditor. This effort will dilute Regency's interest in Direct Nickel and as a result Regency has instituted the default procedure under the JV to re-acquire the 50% of Mambare not already held. Regency does not consider the cost likely to exceed the £50,000 of excess payments so far made by the Company on behalf of the joint venture, so that no additional payment would be required. DNI's board of directors has indicated that they intend to focus on licensing opportunities for their technology going forward. More information on Direct Nickel will be made available when available.

Non-Core Oil Assets/Opportunities:

West Virginia Shallow Oil

Regency retains an option to participate in the development of a shallow-oil project in West Virginia, where Regency would obtain a 25% working interest and 20.25% net revenue interest in the wells. Wells in this historic oil producing area are relatively small and inexpensive, however the operator and investors have made the decision to place the project on hold pending higher oil prices. Once prices have stabilised the investors intend to reassess the timings associated with the project.

American Resources Inc. ("ARI")

Regency has announced a cooperation agreement with ARI, a Texas based oil and gas development company with a strategy to find underdeveloped assets that require infill drilling, remediation, and optimisation, using largely secondary recovery techniques. The first such project identified and announced at North Francitas will not be progressed due to issues with lease rights identified during the preparatory phase of the project.

Regency and ARI continue to work together to analyse and assess other opportunities in the United States that meet similar criteria and more information will be released as appropriate.

Discontinuing Activities:

Lake Trist

Following two years of minimal carrying costs Regency has made the decision to drop the Lake Trist exploration assets in Papua New Guinea. Ongoing low nickel price levels and anticipated logistical challenges associated with operating in the region left the project very low on the Company's priority list, hence the decision to drop this license application.

Sudan

Despite some initial signs of success in the Company's efforts to explore for potash and phosphates in Sudan, the Company has made the decision to suspend its earn-in agreement with IMRAS, and to cease all activity related to the project. The carrying value of the project in the books of the Company is c.£698,000.

For further information contact:

Andrew Bell 0207 747 9960 Chairman Regency Mines Plc

Scott Kaintz 0207 747 9960Executive DirectorRegency Mines Plc

Roland Cornish/Rosalind Hill Abrahams 0207 628 3396NOMAD Beaumont Cornish Limited

Jason Robertson 0129 351 7744Broker Dowgate Capital Stockbrokers Ltd.

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
ENDMSCEAKKXASKKEFF
Read the rest of the article at www.publicnow.com
Data and Statistics for these countries : Australia | Colombia | Greenland | Guinea | Kenya | New Guinea | Papua New Guinea | South Africa | Sudan | All
Gold and Silver Prices for these countries : Australia | Colombia | Greenland | Guinea | Kenya | New Guinea | Papua New Guinea | South Africa | Sudan | All

Regency Mines PLC

CODE : RGM.L
ISIN : GB00B067NB67
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Regency Mines is an exploration copper and nickel company based in United kingdom.

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Project news of Regency Mines PLC
10/22/2015Sale of interest
Corporate news of Regency Mines PLC
7/15/2016Update on Mambare Nickel Project
7/5/2016Horse Hill Licenses Update
6/28/2016Operations and Investment Update
6/14/2016Update
6/7/2016Director/PDMR Shareholding
5/26/2016Investment
5/9/2016Participation in auction to acquire oil assets
5/3/2016Price Monitoring Extension
5/3/2016Second Price Monitoring Extn
4/7/2016Issue of Shares and Directors' Dealings
3/23/2016Second Price Monitoring Extn
3/23/2016Price Monitoring Extension
3/21/2016Price Monitoring Extension
3/21/2016Horse Hill-1 Aggregate Flow Rate
2/2/2016Grant of Options and Directors' Shareholdings
12/31/2015Total Voting Rights
12/23/2015Result of AGM, Capital Reorganisation and TVR
12/18/2015Director/PDMR Shareholding
12/17/2015Issue of Equity, Proposed Capital re-organisation
12/15/2015Director/PDMR Shareholding
10/2/2015Holding(s) in Company
10/1/2015Board Change and Restructuring
9/21/2015Second Price Monitoring Extn
9/21/2015Price Monitoring Extension
9/15/2015Directorate Change
9/14/2015Holding(s) in Company
9/2/2015Total Voting Rights
9/1/2015Holding(s) in Company
8/20/2015Placing and Total Voting Rights
7/27/2015Potential Investment and Update
7/3/2015Holding(s) in Company
7/2/2015Issue of Equity and TVR
4/15/2015Holding(s) in Company
4/14/2015Share Incentive Plan and Directors' Dealings
4/14/2015Attendance at UK Investor Show
3/30/2015Holding(s) in Company
3/27/2015Interim Results
3/20/2015Total Voting Rights
3/20/2015Holding(s) in Company
3/20/2015Agreement for Sale of Horse Hill Interest
3/20/2015Update on Horse Hill Discovery
1/2/2015Total Voting Rights
12/30/2014AGM Statement
12/5/2014Issue of Equity and TVR
12/5/2014Final Results
12/5/2014Update on Greenland and Sudan
11/14/2014Horse Hill-1 Provisional Results at TD
10/16/2014Drilling Update, Horse Hill-1, Weald Basin UK
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