Umicore | November 24, 2022
Umicore has successfully completed the issue of a fixed-rate, sustainability linked US Private Placement Notes for a total principal amount of € 591 million equivalent1. The Notes, which were placed with more than 15 institutional investors, attracted interest both from investors who participated in Umicore’s 2017 and 2019 placements as well as new investors.
The transaction, of which the funds will be drawn upon in January 2023, is composed of several tranches with maturities ranging from 5 to 12 years corresponding to a weighthed average maturity of more than eight years.
This issue further ties the Group’s funding to its sustainability performance. The interest rate of the Notes will be directly linked to Umicore’s progress towards the carbon neutrality goals formulated in its “Let’s go for Zero” sustainability ambitions, launched in June 2021. In “Let’s go for Zero”, the Group commits to reaching carbon neutrality in 2035, with intermediate targets to reduce its Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 2025 and by 50% in 2030.
Through the successful completion of this private placement offering, Umicore substantially diversifies and extends its funding basis and the maturity of its debt at fixed rate conditions. The proceeds of the offering will be used for general corporate purposes. This includes in particular the funding of Umicore’s growth projects under its “2030-RISE” strategy in the areas of mobility transformation, growing need for advanced materials and circularity.
“The success of this Private Placement issue, against a volatile financial market backdrop, demonstrates the strength of our relationships with institutional debt investors and provides a strong validation of Umicore’s “2030-RISE” strategic plan designed to accelerate value creative growth. This transaction will provide us with additional attractively priced, fixed-rate, long-dated financing and will support the execution of our ambitious “2030-RISE” growth strategy. Furthermore, it underscores the growing awareness of the social and sustainability impact of financing decisions in a context of climate change and resource scarcity and demonstrates Umicore’s strong commitment to its “Let’s go for Zero” sustainability ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.”
Wannes Peferoen, CFO of Umicore
The issue will complement the three existing private debt placements of a total amount of € 1,080 million, the Convertible Bond of € 500 million and the loan from the European Investment Bank of € 125 million. In addition, Umicore has committed currently undrawn Syndicated Bank Credit Facilities of a total amount of approximately € 1 billion and substantial additional uncommitted shorter-term funding instruments.
Umicore is the circular materials technology Group. It focuses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are organised in three business groups: Catalysis, Energy & Surface Technologies and Recycling. Each business group is divided into market-focused business units offering materials and solutions that are at the cutting edge of new technological developments and essential to everyday life.
Umicore generates the majority of its revenues and dedicates most of its R&D efforts to clean mobility materials and recycling. Umicore’s overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life.
Umicore’s industrial and commercial operations as well as R&D activities are located across the world to best serve its global customer base. The Group generated revenues of € 2.1 billion in the first half of 2022 and currently employs 11,350 people.
About Umicore’s “Let’s go for Zero” ambitions
At Umicore, we see it as our corporate responsibility, or better yet, our mission to use our technological know-how, scientific expertise and corporate reach to be an industry leader in sustainability. We are determined to rethink processes, transform and focus our efforts on net zero GHG emissions, zero regrets and endless possibilities.
Allied Copper Corporation | November 25, 2022
Allied Copper Corp. is pleased to announce additional technical information and financial information regarding Volt Lithium Corp. As announced on October 31, 2022, Allied Copper has agreed to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of privately-held Volt, pursuant to a share purchase agreement dated October 31, 2022, among each of the shareholders of Volt. Through this Acquisition, Allied Copper is afforded a strategic opportunity to expand both its asset base and development focus to include a broader range of battery metals that represent key inputs supporting the global energy transition.
Rainbow Lake Property
Volt has acquired a 100% minerals interest in a lithium-brine project in northwest Alberta which is defined by nineteen contiguous Alberta Metallic and Industrial Mineral Permits. Details of the mineral permits are summarized in Schedule B of the Agreement, which has been filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Rainbow Lake Property is in northwest Alberta, approximately 80 kilometres west of the Town of High Level, Alberta. The west-central portion of the Property surrounds the Town of Rainbow Lake, Alberta, which region is historically famous for its substantial oil and gas reserves within the carbonate platform and reef complex portions of the Middle Devonian Elk Point Group. The Property can be accessed by Provincial Highway 58, and numerous secondary all weather and dry weather gravel roads and tracks that are serviced year-round due to oil and gas production operations in the area.
Upper Keg River Formation Aquifer Brine Evaluation
Volt’s initial exploration objective at the Rainbow Lake Property was to assess stratigraphically deep hypersaline formation water, or brine, from oil and gas reservoirs, or aquifers, within the porous portions of the Elk Point Group’s Upper Keg River Formations reef complexes for its lithium-brine potential.
As per Government of Alberta subsurface brine compilations, historical Upper Keg River Formation lithium-brine analytical results within the boundaries of the Rainbow Lake Property include nine historical lithium assays of Upper Keg River Formation and Elk Point Group brines (the latter at depths that are correlative with the Upper Keg River Formation). The assays yield lithium-brine values that range between 29 and 44 milligrams per litre (“mg/L”) lithium with an average concentration of 38.3 mg/L lithium.
To validate the historical lithium-brine assays, Volt commissioned a petro-company leasehold owner and active hydrocarbon producer from within a portion of the Property and Mr. Roy Eccles P. Geol. of APEX Geoscience Ltd. to complete two separate 2022 brine sampling programs at the Rainbow Lake Property. The Petro-Company collected two brine samples from two separate wells; one of which was not within the boundaries of the Property. The samples were analyzed by Sterling Chemical Inc.’s subsidiary lab, Camber Resource Services Ltd., who is not independent of Volt.
The QP collected 25 brine samples from three oil and gas facilities and four producing wells within the Rainbow Lake Property in conjunction with the Petro-Company that is actively producing hydrocarbons from Upper Keg River Formation reservoirs. Quality assessment-quality control samples included four duplicate samples, seven brine lab-prepared lithium-brine standards, two blank samples (containing no lithium), and two check lab samples. The QP brine samples were analyzed at independent, commercial laboratories who are accredited and experienced in analysing petro-fluids.
The QP assessed both the Petro-Company and QP-collected sample analyses, and concluded that the analytical results yield both ‘valid’ and ‘invalid’ Upper Keg River Formation brine geochemical results. The Petro-Company collected samples were removed because the samples were either from an off-property well or analyzed at a non-independent lab that returned lithium results that did not correlate well with the analytical results of the QP-collected samples. Four QP-collected sample analyses were also removed from the dataset because of suspected issues with contamination or the brine geochemical results were not compatible with representative Upper Keg River Formation aquifer brine. The contamination relates to high oil contents in the brine sample, or elevated iron and metal contents believed to be related to corrosiveness inhibitors used by the Petro-Company at a specific well that may have precipitated metals that are not representative of the true brine. With respect to the assessment of representative brine genuine Upper Keg River Formation samples in this dataset contain between 72,200 and 156,000 mg/L sodium; however, the QP-assessed invalid samples had very low sodium.
Once the invalid brine analyses were removed from the database (n=6 analyses), the QP had no further significant issues or inconsistencies that would cause one to question the validity of the data. Brine analytical results are presented in Table 1 and include lithium-brine values from the three facilities and two wells.
With respect to the QP-collected valid Upper Keg River Formation aquifer brine samples, brine from the wells yielded between 29.3 and 36.1 mg/L lithium with an average concentration of 33.0 mg/L lithium. Brine from the facilities yielded between 24.5 and 37.3 mg/L lithium with an average concentration of 33.6 mg/L lithium. Collectively, the brine analyses from Volt’s primary lab yielded between 30.6 mg/L and 37.3 mg/L lithium with an average concentration of 35.0 mg/L lithium.
The QP concluded that the Volt sampling program validated the historical lithium-brine analytical results: 38.3 mg/L lithium versus 35.0 mg/L lithium. The similar lithium concentrations potentially demonstrates the chemical homogeneity of the Upper Keg River Formation aquifer underlying the Rainbow Lake Property. The sample program results also show that Volt could utilize the facilities for any future demonstration, or pilot direct lithium extraction test work, which is beneficial because the facilities represent multi-well collection points with high brine volume.
Based on the results of the Rainbow Lake Property brine sampling program, Volt has commissioned APEX Geoscience Ltd. to prepare a technical report that will provide a geological introduction and exploration results of the Upper Keg River Formation aquifer brine assessment and include recommendations to advance the lithium-brine project. The technical report will be prepared in accordance with the Canadian Mining and Metallurgy Mineral Exploration Best Practice Guidelines (2018) and the disclosure requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
TotalEnergies and Air Liquide | November 23, 2022
TotalEnergie and Air Liquide are innovating to produce and valorize renewable, low carbon hydrogen at the Grandpuits zero crude platform. Under a long-term contract committing TotalEnergies to purchase the hydrogen produced for the needs of its platform, Air Liquide will invest over €130 million in the construction and operation of a new unit producing hydrogen. This unit will partly use biogas from the biorefinery built by TotalEnergies and will be delivered with Air Liquide’s carbon capture technology CryocapTM. These innovations will prevent emissions amounting to 150,000 tons of CO2 a year compared to current processes. TotalEnergies’ biorefinery will use the unit’s hydrogen to produce sustainable aviation fuel.
In line with the two companies’ shared ambition to get to net zero by 2050, the project includes sustainable and circular innovations
The new hydrogen production unit, with the capacity to produce over 20,000 tons a year will produce hydrogen that is partly renewable, thanks to the recycling of residual biogas from the Grandpuits biorefinery, in place of the natural gas that is normally used.
This unit will be delivered with a carbon capture technology, allowing it to help reduce the platform’s carbon footprint, by capturing over 110,000 tons of CO2 a year for reuse in food and industrial applications.
Most of the unit’s renewable, low carbon hydrogen will be used by the biorefinery itself, to produce sustainable aviation fuel, but it could also be used to support sustainable mobility in the Ile-de-France region.
"By recycling the biogas produced by the biorefinery into renewable hydrogen, this innovative project makes full use of the conversion of the Grandpuits refinery into a zero crude platform harnessing the potential of biomass, especially in the production of sustainable aviation fuel,” said Bernard Pinatel, President, Refining & Chemicals, TotalEnergies. "Combined with the production of low carbon hydrogen and the capture of CO2, this project contributes to TotalEnergies’ ambition to decarbonize all of the hydrogen used by its European refineries by 2030."
"This innovative project is characterized by the combination of several solutions in order to produce renewable and low-carbon hydrogen,and contribute to the decarbonization of TotalEnergies’ Grandpuits site. It also provides the opportunity to recycle CO2 as part of a circular economy approach while securing its supply for agri-food applications. This project illustrates Air Liquide’s expertise in working with its customers on customized solutions to help them reduce their carbon footprint and actively participate in the fight against global warming. It provides yet another example of the key role that hydrogen will play to succeed in the energy transition"," added Pascal Vinet, Senior Vice President and member of the Executive Committee, Air Liquide, in charge of Europe Industries activities.
About TotalEnergies in Grandpuits
Commissioned in 1966, Total's Grandpuits-Bailly-Carrois refinery was for a long time the only refinery in the Paris region. In September 2020, TotalEnergies launched a project to convert the site, in line with its strategy to become carbon neutral by 2050. This zero-crude project, with a total investment of more than 500 million euros, is based on the development of several future-oriented activities in the field of biomass, renewable energies, and the circular economy: chemical recycling of plastic waste, production of biosourced and biodegradable bioplastics, production of biofuels for the aviation sector, construction of a solar farm and electricity storage by batteries. The start-up of these new units will begin in 2022, and they should all be operational by 2025.
TotalEnergies and renewable & low-carbon hydrogen
TotalEnergies is convinced that renewable and low-carbon hydrogen will play a major role in the energy transition. The Company is working with its suppliers and partners to decarbonize all the hydrogen used in its European refineries by 2030. This represents a reduction in CO2 emissions of 3 million tons per year. Further out, TotalEnergies aims to pioneer the mass production of renewable and low carbon hydrogen to meet demand for hydrogen fuel as soon as the market takes off, notably to help decarbonize heavy transport. The renewable hydrogen production capacity currently under development in Europe and India will contribute to TotalEnergies' ambition for new molecules - biofuels, biogas, hydrogen, and e-fuels- to reach 25% of its energy production and sales mix by 2050.
TotalEnergies and Sustainable Aviation Fuels
TotalEnergies is developing Sustainable Aviation Fuels. These are biofuels produced from waste and residues from the circular economy and "e-jets", synthetic fuels for aviation. These sustainable aviation fuels will significantly reduce CO2 emissions from air transport
TotalEnergies is a global multi-energy company that produces and markets energies: oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables and electricity. Our more than 100,000 employees are committed to energy that is ever more affordable, cleaner, more reliable and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, TotalEnergies puts sustainable development in all its dimensions at the heart of its projects and operations to contribute to the well-being of people.
About Air Liquide
A world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, Air Liquide is present in 75 countries with approximately 66,400 employees and serves more than 3.8 million customers and patients. Oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen are essential small molecules for life, matter and energy. They embody Air Liquide’s scientific territory and have been at the core of the company’s activities since its creation in 1902.