Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML, USOTC:SMCDY) said its annual ore sales from the Cobre magnetite operation in New Mexico rose 12% from the year earlier.

Sales rose to US$3.0mln in the year to end March 2021 from US$2.7mln the year earlier.

“The company has been fortunate that its Cobre operation has been able to continue “contactless” during the pandemic, which has maintained this important income stream for the company,” said managing director John Peters.

Strategic Minerals had a cash balance of US$0.686mln as at March 31.

Cash flows had generally been consistent with budgets and that talks are continuing regarding the funding of both the Leigh Creek copper mine in Australia and the Redmoor tin and tungsten project in Cornwall.

Interest in Leigh Creek has risen, in line with increased copper prices, it said. 

“The board considers that the current copper price, of circa US$4/lb, is likely to endure and is also encouraged by feedback from the company’s recent meeting with the South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining on the Leigh Creek copper mine project,” said Peters.

The project currently awaits clearance from the South Australian government of its lodged Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR).

“Accordingly, the company is confident that 2021 will begin to unlock the substantial value inherent in the Leigh Creek copper mine project and provide a valuable, significant second income stream before the end of the year.”

Strategic Minerals acquired the distribution rights to the Cobre magnetite tailings dam project in September 2011 and bought it into production in 2012.

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