Bass Metals (ASX:BSM) talks graphite and lithium projects

Interviews

by Jessica Amir

Transcription of Finance News Network Interview with Bass Metals Limited (ASX:BSM) CEO, Tim McManus and Non-Executive Director, Peter Wright.


Jessica Amir: Hello I’m Jessica Amir from the Finance News Network and joining me from Australia’s only current listed graphite producer, Bass Metals Limited (ASX:BSM) is CEO, Tim McManus and Non-Executive Director, Peter Wright. Tim, Peter welcome back.

Tim McManus: Thank you very much.

Peter Wright: Hello. How are you?

Jessica Amir: Peter over to you. Can you give us a brief introduction for those new to the company?

Peter Wright: We’re somebody with a unique opportunity, at Bass we have a small market cap, but all the portentous are there to build a mid cap mining company. We have a producing asset that we’ve bought for a fraction of its previously traded price. We have a direct line onsite to profitable production in the latter half of this year. And from that, we want to take that as a financial platform to execute a broader strategy. To get to more meaningful production tonnes, subsequent cash flows and take that to grow the company in Madagascar.

Jessica Amir: Thanks Peter, so now to you Tim and Graphmada. Tell us what’s taking place there?

Tim McManus: Graphmada in Madagascar, our flagship asset, we’ve been working really hard since we’ve taken ownership in the last 10 or 11 months. And we’ve done quite a bit of work onsite, a lot in terms of safety, was our first focus and the community. And now we’re in the midst of our refurbishment program, going from our current production levels, which were about 1500 tonnes last year, to 6,000 tonnes. And that’ll see us cash flow positive at a corporate level, towards the end of the year.

Jessica Amir: What are you targeting for production this and next year?

Tim McManus: We’ve produced up until recently, where we have now shut down the plant to do our refurbishment works and there’d be recommissioning towards the end of the year, at a 6,000 tonne per annum run-rate. Which is about 500 tonnes per month, which as I’ve said, sees us cash flow positive.

Jessica Amir: And Tim, what about the potential for an expansion?

Tim McManus: From the 6,000 tonne per annum run-rate, we’ll look to do our studies and go to 20,000 tonnes per annum, which will leverage off the existing infrastructure. And we plan to base that expansion on the Mahefedok deposit, which we’ve recently drilled, 2300 metres of drilling. And we have the results pending and our resource announcement by the end of the quarter.

Jessica Amir: Now to exploration, you’ve got two projects, one graphite and one lithium. Can you give us an update on both?

Tim McManus: Our graphite project Andapa, slightly to the north and a little bit closer to the port. We’ve seen some really good results from our reconnaissance work there, some larger jumbo flake at surface and really good grades, up to 7-10 per cent. So we’re looking to do some drilling and explore that a bit further, and develop that potentially into a resource.

And then with our recently acquired lithium project Millie’s Reward, we’d like to aggressively explore that. We see some great potential there, outcropping pegmatites with good thickness at surface. Good grades, probably some of the highest grades I’ve seen, five to sixes in terms of lithium. So it’s early days there, but we’re really encouraged by I suppose, the strike length of the pegmatites. The fact that they’re shallow dipping and just the huge potential of the area in general.

Jessica Amir: Thanks Tim that sounds really exciting, so back to you Peter on financials. Can you tell us about your financials and your current cash position?

Peter Wright: For a company that has achieved what we have done over the past 12 months to have to have a near-installed mine and also shared infrastructure, 100 per cent ownership of the project and a broader tenement package; we’re in a very good financial position. We have zero debt; we have $1.5 million cash and receivables. And as Tim has alluded to, the whole strategy of the company is to get to that production and make ourselves self-sustaining or cash flow positive on a corporate level. We’re a $15 million company and the ASX think we’re a reasonably rare investment offering. So we’re in a very good position financially.

Jessica Amir: Thanks Peter, back to you Tim, last question. So what’s your focus for the next 12 months and what’s your long-term ambition for Bass?

Tim McManus: We want to finish our refurbishment and get to 6,000 tonnes per annum, cash flow positive, move to 20,000 tonnes in the longer-term. And that sets us up as an industrial minerals company, mid tier producer and we see that as providing a lot of value for our shareholders. And we’re pretty excited about the future.

Jessica Amir: Tim McManus, Peter Wright, thanks so much for the update.

Tim McManus and Peter Wright: Thanks for having us.


Ends

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.