CALGARY, ALBERTA – November 18, 2019 – Titanium Corporation Inc. (the “Company” or “Titanium”) (TSX-V: TIC) today released its results for the three and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2019.
The Company has continued to make progress on commercialization of its CVW™ technology with Canadian Natural Resources Limited (“Canadian Natural”) at its Horizon oil sands site. Work continues with Canadian Natural on preliminary planning and analysis for the next phase of the CVW™ project. The Company is also meeting with government funding agencies regarding the contracts required by each program and updates on progress toward the next phase of the project.
"Our team is focused on achieving a joint decision to move forward with the commercial project and associated government funding agreements,” commented Scott Nelson, Titanium’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “With the elections over, there is now more clarity on government priorities and programs including those with potential to support our project.”
Highlights for the three and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2019 and recent months include:
- The Company continues to investigate additional grant and financing opportunities from government programs. In their 2020 budget, the Alberta government recently announced the creation of the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program whereby large industry emitters may pay carbon levies into the TIER fund. The TIER fund will be used, in part, to develop and implement technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions over time. The budget forecasts that funding for Innovation and Technology will amount to $228 million in 2020 and total $808 million over the next four years.
- In the third quarter, the Company provided minerals test samples to a number of potential customers and is now working with these firms during their testing and analysis including visits to customer sites. The Company is also attending annual minerals industry conferences which include meetings with potential customers during the third and fourth quarters.
- On August 1, 2019, the Company announced receipt of the final payment of $991,000 related to the $5.0 million grant from Emissions Reduction Alberta ("ERA") for partial funding of the FEED phase of the CVW™ Horizon Project. The payment represents a 20% holdback by ERA which was subject to final project reporting and completion of a third-party audit of project costs. The $9.9 million engineering design phase was supported by $5.0 million of grant funding from ERA with the Company funding $1.4 million and Canadian Natural funding $3.5 million. Optimization of the project is on-going including refining capital and operating costs to achieve the most efficient and cost-effective implementation of CVW™ technology.
- On August 7, 2019, the Company announced the appointment of Bruce Griffin to the Board of Directors as an independent Director of the Company. Mr. Griffin has also been appointed to the Company's Commercialization Committee. Mr. Griffin is currently the Senior Vice President Strategic Development of Lomon Billions Group, the world's third largest producer of high performance titanium dioxide products. Mr. Griffin brings a deep understanding of the global minerals industry from its key markets and customers to its leading players and has broad experience in operations, strategy, finance and capital markets.
- In May 2019, the Company announced the first and second closings of its non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $4,262,640 resulting in the issuance of 6,089,485 common shares and 3,044,743 warrants entitling the holder to purchase one common share of the Company at an exercise price of $1.40 expiring on May 9 or May 30, 2022. As a result of the transaction the Company now has 88,166,359 common shares issued and outstanding. The net proceeds of $4,056,475 are being used to fund ongoing efforts to commercialize the Company’s CVW™ technology and for general operating purposes.
- On March 14, 2019, the Company announced $50 million in government funding toward the next phase of the CVW™ Horizon Project. The Federal Government awarded $45 million from two clean technology programs; Environment and Climate Change Canada, through its Low Carbon Economy Fund (“LCEF”) has committed to investing $40 million and NRCan’s Clean Growth Program (“CGP”) has committed to investing $5 million in Titanium's first of a kind sustainable technology designed to remediate oil sands froth treatment tailings. Emissions Reduction Alberta (“ERA”) awarded $5 million from their Partner Intake Program aimed at improving environmental performance in Alberta’s oil and gas sector. Funding from the LCEF and CGP programs are subject to finalizing funding agreements which will outline the conditions under which federal funding would be provided, including securing the remaining funding necessary to complete the project, fulfilling all applicable requirements associated with the project environmental assessments and Indigenous consultation requirements and finalizing the scope of the project costs eligible for program funding.
- The Company has been meeting with other government agencies and Canadian investment banks regarding their potential participation in the structuring and financing of the project and their support of the Company in financial markets.
- The Company is continuing its cash conservation programs including those under which executive officers and directors receive a portion of their compensation and fees in RSUs and DSUs. This program is aimed to conserve cash and further align Management and the Board with shareholder interests.
Titanium is focused on achieving long-term financial success by implementing its innovative CVW™ technologies in commercial operations at oil sands sites. With the FEED project completed, the Company is working with Canadian Natural on the potential implementation of its technology at Canadian Natural’s Horizon site. Until commercial arrangements and investment decisions are made, and facilities are constructed and operating, the Company expects to continue to incur losses. Currently, quarterly income/losses are comprised of research and development (“R&D”) project costs, recovery of project costs, and general and administrative (“G&A”) expenditures.
Net (Income) Loss – For the three-month period ended September 30, 2019 the Company reported net income of $272,000 or $0.003 per share. The net income of $272,000 was primarily the result of receipt of ERA’s 20% holdback of $991,000 and to a lesser extent, the receipt of $71,000 a SR&ED refundable tax credit. R&D recoveries of $1,062,000 exceeded the combined R&D and G&A costs of $811,000 for the three-month period ended September 30 ,2019. For the comparable three-month period ended September 30, 2018, the Company recorded a loss of $1,951,000 or $0.02 per share as project costs were being incurred and the recovery of ERA and Canadian Natural contributions occurred in subsequent quarters. For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019, the Company had net income of $750,000 compared to a loss of $6,551,000 for the comparative period ended September 30, 2018. The recovery of FEED project contributions of $3,475,800 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019 exceeded total R&D costs of $1,247,000 and $1,587,000 in G&A expenses. For a development stage company, and the timing of FEED project contributions, the net income reported was in line with expectations.
Research & Development – R&D spending in the current quarter of $329,000 consisted primarily of post FEED project activities related to minerals testing and compensation for technical staff. R&D had a net recovery of $732,000 for the three-month period ended September 30, 2019 due to the $991,000 recovery of ERA’s 20% holdback noted above. Project costs were lower by $2,920,000 for the three-month period ended September 30, 2019 compared with the same period in 2018 due to the completion of the project on February 28, 2019. For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019, a net recovery of R&D costs was $2,300,000 compared to a net R&D cost of $4,890,000 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2018 where the expected project costs aligned with the higher work volumes and contributions for those costs were collected in future periods. The Company continues to work on commercial project related areas including, market development and a minerals evaluation program for the new Horizon south mining area expected to be mined in the timeframe a potential CVW™ project would be commissioned.
General & Administrative – G&A expenses for the three-month period ending September 30, 2019 were $482,000 compared to $520,000 for the three-month period ended September 30, 2018, a $38,000 decrease. The decrease relates primarily to a reduction in investor relations and regulatory costs offset by an increase in travel and consulting and professional fees. The Company reduced its investor relations cost as investor relations services were provided on an as needed basis versus a fixed retainer in the prior fiscal period. Increase in travel costs during the three-month period ended September 30, 2019 related to market development work with potential customers for future minerals off take agreements with customers in international markets. For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019, G&A costs were $1,587,000 compared to $1,701,000 for the comparative nine-month period in 2018. As noted above, the decrease in G&A costs relate primarily to investor relations expenses being lower.
Cash Position - The Company had an aggregate of $5.5 million in cash consisting of $3.5 million in interest-bearing cash accounts and a $2.0 million 30-day cashable GIC at September 30, 2019 as compared to $0.8 million at December 31, 2018. The increase in cash related primarily to the closing of the private placement in May of 2019 and collection of $3.5 million in FEED project contributions during the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019. The Company closed a private placement in two tranches with the issuance of 6,089,485 units ($0.70 per share) for net aggregate proceeds of $4.1 million net of share issue costs
To view the Company’s management discussion and analysis and interim unaudited financial statements for the three and nine month period ended September 30, 2019, please visit our website at www.titaniumcorporation.com or SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
About Titanium Corporation Inc.
Titanium Corporation’s CVW™ technology provides sustainable solutions to reduce the environmental footprint of the oil sands industry. Our technology reduces the environmental impact of oil sands froth treatment tailings while economically recovering valuable products that would otherwise be lost. CVW™ recovers bitumen, solvents, heavy minerals and water from tailings, preventing these commodities from entering tailings ponds and the atmosphere: volatile organic compound and greenhouse gas emissions are materially reduced; hot tailings water is improved in quality for recycling; and residual tailings can be thickened more readily. A new minerals industry would be created commencing with the production and export of zircon, an essential ingredient in ceramics. The Company’s shares trade on the TSX-V under the symbol “TIC”. For more information please visit the Company’s website at www.titaniumcorporation.com.
Disclosure regarding forward-looking information
This news release contains forward-looking statements and information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws (collectively, "forward-looking information") that reflect the current expectations of management about the future results, performance, achievements, prospects or opportunities for Titanium, including statements relating to overall project economics; the advantages of the Company's technology and the creation of a mineral sands industry; the timing and expectations for completion of the post-FEED project activities; the scope of activities that will be undertaken in the post-FEED project; the Company's ongoing engagement with indigenous communities and other stakeholders; the use of proceeds from the private placement; meetings with government funding agencies regarding grant and financing opportunities and entering into funding agreements related thereto; and the expected next steps for the Company as described in this news release. These statements generally can be identified by use of forward-looking words such as "may", "will", "expect", "estimate", "anticipate", "believe", "project", "should" or "continue" or the negative thereof or similar variations.
Forward-looking information is presented in this news release for the purpose of assisting investors and others in understanding certain key elements of our commercialization progress and business plan, as well as our objectives, strategic priorities and business outlook, and in obtaining a better understanding of our anticipated operating environment. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.
Forward-looking information, by its very nature, is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and is based on many assumptions, both general and specific, which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events could differ materially from our expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking information and that our business outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities may not be achieved. In addition to other factors and assumptions which may be identified in this news release, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: the success of the post-FEED study project activities; Canadian Natural’s support for the Company’s current optimization plans and potential refinements of the project scope; the economic viability of the Company’s current optimization plans and potential refinements to the project scope; the ability of the Company to enter into commercial contracts with oil sands producers and to achieve commercialization of the CVW™ technology, including the anticipated scope of such commercial contracts; the ability of the Company to retain qualified staff; the ability of the Company to obtain financing on acceptable terms, including available grant and financing opportunities from government programs and finalizing funding agreements for such government programs; the translation of the results from the Company's research, pilot programs, FEED project activities, post-FEED study project activities and studies into the results expected on a commercial scale; future oil and zircon prices and the impact of lower prices on activity levels and cost savings of oil sands producers; the impact of increasing competition; the general stability of the economic and political environment in which the Company operates; the ability to obtain and maintain the Company's intellectual property; currency, exchange and interest rates; the regulatory framework regarding royalties, taxes and environmental matters in the jurisdictions in which the Company operates; and the ability of the Company to successfully market its CVW™ technology. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on the results of our research, pilot programs, FEED project activities, post-FEED project activities and related studies and commercialization efforts. The Company has not commercially demonstrated its technologies and there can be no assurance that such research, pilot programs, FEED project activities, post-FEED project activities and related studies will prove to be accurate nor that such commercialization efforts will be successful, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those expected or estimated in such forward-looking statements. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking information will materialize and we caution you against relying on any of this forward-looking information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
Additional information on these and other factors are disclosed in our MD&A, including under the heading “Discussion of Risks”, and in other reports filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada from time to time and available on SEDAR (sedar.com).
The forward-looking information contained in this news release describes our expectations as of November 18, 2019 and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information, contact:
|Scott Nelson||Jennifer Kaufield|
|President & CEO||Vice President Finance & CFO|
|Tel: (403) 561-0439||Tel: (403) 874-9498|