Update on Projects-STRATEGIC MINERALS PLC

Update on Projects-STRATEGIC MINERALS PLC

Update on Projects

Strategic Minerals plc (AIM: SML; USOTC: SMCDY), a profitable producing mineral company, is pleased to provide the following update on the Company's projects.

Highlights

·   Cornwall Resources Limited ("CRL") continues to seek to expand its mineral footprint in the resources rich Cornwall area and expects to be able to report on progress in the second half of the year. 

·   CRL was recently notified that its comprehensive grant application to the Cornwall and Isle of Scilly Council ("CIoS") Shared Prosperity Fund had proven unsuccessful and is now, with encouragement from CIoS, working on resubmitting a modified version prior to the next application deadline (4 August 2023)

·   CRL has been negotiating with unrelated parties as a precursor to potential closer formalised relationships.

·   A presentation at Austmine's "Copper to the World" conference in Adelaide, in May, has led to a further two parties exchanging confidentiality agreements with the Company and accessing Leigh Creek Copper Mine's ("LCCM") data room.

Cornwall Resources Limited ("CRL")

The CRL team has continued to advance the Redmoor project, through completing the Deep Digital Cornwall ("DDC") data collection component, work on the grant funding application, re-logging and sampling of existing Redmoor drill core, progressing negotiations for the expansion of mineral rights and additional work programs.

The formal working period of DDC closed at the end of June, with an event held at Camborne School of Mines ("CSM"), where CRL's Senior Geologist, Rowan Thorne, presented the work to-date.  Project partners CSM, CRL and Cornish Lithium plc have ceased all new data collection and have moved into a reporting and project closure stage.  This includes providing a copy of all datasets to CSM for long term storage and public access.

In the remaining three months of DDC funding, CRL, with project partners, will be compiling a case study of all data collected for publication and presentation to interested parties.  In addition, CRL, in its own right, will be combining all datasets into a new study of the geology and mineralisation potential of the entire Redmoor project area, with the intention of highlighting potential new target areas for further investigation and sampling.

As reported last quarter, CRL submitted an application to CIoS for grant funds from CIoS's Shared Prosperity Fund to undertake the planned development of the Redmoor project.  Subsequently, a request to provide additional information was received and replied to.  Despite early enthusiasm showed by CIoS and others, CRL was recently informed that its application for a comprehensive grant had been unsuccessful in this form.  In light of feedback from the Good Growth Team, supporting CIoS, CRL will be submitting a modified grant application for the round of applications with a 4 August 2023 deadline.

Notwithstanding our recent application for a comprehensive grant, the Company considers that, at some stage, the Redmoor project is likely to benefit from Governmental funding given it:

·    Falls within the UK Government's Critical Minerals Strategy;

·    Is anticipated to result in many well-paid jobs for decades in East Cornwall; and

·    East Cornwall being an area likely to benefit from the UK Government's "Levelling Up" policy.

Additionally, the Company is encouraged by recent developments in the USA which indicate that the UK is expected to be classified as a "domestic" source of some critical minerals, including tungsten and tin.  This may provide the opportunity for project funding from the considerable amounts allocated to such arrangements by the US government.  CRL is actively monitoring and pursuing potential funding from such sources and is encouraged by the US Department of Defense's recent direction to suppliers to source only non-Chinese/Russian tungsten in their products by 2027.  With China supplying 85% of world tungsten supplies, Russia supplying 5% of world tungsten supplies and the US consuming 45% of world tungsten supplies, there is a positive outlook for the Redmoor project as a potential domestic source of tungsten.

CRL is in active discussions with various parties concerning collaboration to progress the Redmoor project and is currently working on creating and executing formal development arrangements, at the asset level, in CRL.  Additionally, there are, currently, multiple groups accessing the Redmoor data room confidentially.  Prior to attendance at the Company's AGM on 18 July, the Board will be visiting Cornwall to conduct a full review of CRL's operations and prospects.

As part of CRL's preparation for grant funding, should this have been made available, planning permission for an extended exploration drilling campaign has already been approved by Cornwall Council and supports the Redmoor project's readiness for future exploration, subject to funding.

Leigh Creek Copper Mine

Following the withdrawal of the potential LCCM debt provider, the Company has been revisiting parties that may have an equity interest in the project and presented the project at Adelaide's recent "Copper to the World" conference hosted by Austmine.  This particular presentation focussed on the mineral upside of the existing sites and is available on the Company's website at:

https://www.strategicminerals.net/investors/presentations.html.

As a result of the presentation and the Company's marketing efforts, there are currently two parties with experience in the copper and critical minerals sectors respectively that have exchanged Confidentiality Agreements with the Company and are actively examining the due diligence folder.  While there is currently no formal proposal, the nature of the entities (one a copper focused ASX listed entity and the other the Australian Critical Minerals arm of a major international energy company) means the Board is optimistic for the development of some form of arrangement, yet to be agreed.

As yet, there has been no correspondence from the South Australia's Department of Energy and Mining ("DEM") in relation to the Programme for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation ("PEPR") lodged in December 2022.  The Company's enquiries of DEM have indicated that the Department was focussed on the clearance of a large project and that LCCM's PEPR application was not prioritised, especially as it related to works that would not be undertaken until at least one year after re-commencement of operations at Leigh Creek.  Again, it is noted that this PEPR, for the treatment of transitional ores, is not time critical.

Commenting, John Peters, Managing Director of Strategic Minerals, said:

"The CRL team made a significant, credible submission for a comprehensive grant which has given it valuable experience for its pending modified grant application.  To this end, engagement continues with both Cornwall Council and other local stakeholders.  Recent encouraging discussions with various parties leave us confident of progress at Redmoor in the second half of the year including potential expansion of its mineral rights catchment area.

"Feedback from the "Copper to the World" presentation has sparked renewed interest in the Leigh Creek Copper Mine project which the Company is actively following up on.

"The Board is currently in Cornwall reviewing CRL's planned operations and looks forward to seeing shareholders at its upcoming AGM."

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