Eco Investor Update
A Weekly News Update for Environmental Investors
April 2011 - No 28
The 1C contingent resource is 0.3 tcf, the 2C contingent resource is 0.5 tcf and the 3C contingent resource is 1.5 tcf.
Following the acquisition of Apollo Gas in January, Dart Energy engaged MBA Petroleum Consultants Pty Ltd to undertake an assessment of the coal bed methane resource within six of its seven licences that are in NSW: PELs 456, 459, 460, 461, 463, and 464.
Chief executive officer Simon Potter said "The outcome of the MBA evaluation endorses our view of the resource potential in NSW and underpins our strategy of accessing a significant resource adjacent to markets with unfulfilled demand; in this case the need for gas-fired power generation capacity in the State.
"Thus our acquisition of Apollo Gas has added over 12 tcf of net prospective resource to the Dart portfolio. Our drilling program over 2011 is designed to further delineate this resource which will then lead rapidly to commercialization of gas in those licences most proximate to market." (ASX: DTE)
The remaining conditions for the investments by the SPC are expected to be satisfied this month.
Under the deal, the SPC will provide a US$225 million loan facility and subscribe for US$25 million of new Lynas shares at $2.12 each.
An underwritten institutional placement will raise another $55 million and an underwritten share purchase plan a further $20 million. The institutional placement and share purchase plan are at $2.07 per share.
The total raising is about $325 million. The proceeds of the loan facility and placement will fund the completion of Phase 2 of the Lynas Rare Earths Project and enable the company to double production of rare earth oxides to 22,000 tonnes per annum. The proceeds of the institutional placement and share purchase plan are for additional expenditures. (ASX: LYC)
A review of recently purchased
historic remote sensing data suggest the anomaly is significantly larger
than the area previously tested, and may have potential exploration targets
to the north and west of the previous drill area.
Most of the original data was collected in 1993 by the previous owners, Herald Resources Ltd. Galaxy recently purchased original grids of the detailed Herald aeromagnetic-radiometric survey, in addition to government data from a 400 metre line-spaced East Yilgarn aeromagnetic-radiometric survey. It also purchased recent aerial photography and digital elevation model data from Landgate.
Data from Herald and the Government were processed and merged across the Ponton project area by geophysics group Southern Geoscience Consultants.
The results from the Herald drilling were reported in an ASX release on 11 January 2011. These were, from the surface, 16 metres at 14.48 per cent, 28 metres at 10.50 per cent (including 6 metres at 20.57 per cent) and 26 metres at 6.99 per cent (including 8 metres at 13.12 per cent) of rare earth oxides.
The Ponton Project is on a Class A nature reserve and the company is in discussion with the WA Government to progress its tenement application. If the tenements are granted, the company will undertake a drilling program targeting the newly identified exploration areas.
Galaxy Resources' main project is the Mt Cattlin lithium mine and the Jiangsu lithium carbonate plant. (ASX: GXY)
Clean TeQ Holdings
The company said it is continuing to develop its Clean-iX technology platform for both mining and water applications.
For water applications, the product is known as Continuous Ionic Filtration (CIF) and variations of the process will be used as a broad water treatment process for desalination of brackish waters (RemSAL) and as a pre-treatment for reverse osmosis (PreMEM), where the outcome is a high recovery and reliability reverse osmosis process (HiROx).
In applications where the salt level is less than 4,000 milligrams per litre, the CIF technology is said to offer considerable advantages in capital and operating costs over the conventional approaches such as ultrafiltration and reverses osmosis.
When the salt levels exceed 4,000 milligrams per litre, the HiROx process is the better method for desalination.
"The technology will be applied to reduce the salt and contaminant content of waters in coal seam gas production, mining, wastewater treatment and ground waters. These markets are large, global and growing and will be the focus of our attention over the next months," said chief executive, Peter Voigt.
"Clean TeQ is operating a large-scale Continuous Ionic Filtration demonstration plant at a site in Melbourne and is well on the way to a zero liquid discharge water treatment process," he said.
Meanwhile, 1.59 million shares have been issued as a result of the partial conversion of the first convertible note held by La Jolla Cove Investors, Inc.
Clean TeQ's shares have hit an all time low of 3.4 cents. (ASX: CLQ)
Unitholders overwhelmingly passed all three resolutions for the placement of 36.28 million units to Carlyle Infrastructure Partners (CIP), the conditional placement to CIP of 55.1 million units, and a placement undertaken by Qube in June 2010. The three resolutions were passed with over 99 per cent of votes in favour.
The conditional placement to CIP is expected to be completed on 12 April.
Qube said that following the placement it will have cash and equivalents of approximately $175 million and be in a very strong financial position to pursue further acquisitions. (ASX: QUB)
The Power and Project division designs and builds grid, hybrid, mini-grid and Build Own Operate' solar projects around Australia. Its expansion is seen is integral to Solco's medium to long term growth.
David Richardson will remain as executive chairman of the company for the foreseeable future and will continue managing the company on a day-to-day basis.
Mr Richardson said Mr Norman's exceptional track-record in leading Solco's wholesale division into a profitable business over the past three years - and his considerable technical and solar industry knowledge - would provide a significant boost to the Power division.
"The strength of our wholesale business unit has created a positive environment where we are able to focus more fully on driving further growth," he said.
"We see the development
of our Power division as a major priority over the next three to five
years, and Mr Norman has the required skills and experience to harness
the massive potential of this new industry segment to grow and diversify
the company to ultimately drive further
Mr Norman said the main objective of his new role is to position Solco as a leader in the solar power generation market.
"Now the company has achieved a dominant position as an importer and wholesale distributor of solar systems, we are well positioned to use our market intelligence and competitive strength to build an equally dominant position in solar power generation," he said.
"Demand for solar energy increases by around 30 per cent every year, we aim to position Solco at the forefront of this lucrative, high-margin solar industry." (ASX: SOO)
Viridis Clean Energy
Micro Cap Companies
Advanced Engine Components
Advanced Engine components has been looking at ways to fund the commercialization of its technology, including discussions with Chinese parties. (ASX ACE)
The Due Diligence and Valuation Report, by analyst Thomas Renaud, explains the competitive advantages of Algae.Tec including its scalability, low capital and operating costs, minimal requirements of land, reduction of water evaporation and better recycling of water.
The report says "The global market for algae is poised for explosive growth in the next 10 years, reaching 61 million gallons per year and a market value of AS$1.3 billion by 2020 representing a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 72 per cent, roughly on par with early development in the biodiesel industry."
The 21 page reports says "Arrowhead believes that Algae.Tec has vast growth potential with a low risk profile", but also details the risks the company may face. (ASX: AEB)
Funding will remain a key issue. "The company's operations have been largely supported by equity raisings and this is likely to remain the case over the next two years. Over this timeframe, it is estimated that ANQ would require up to $20 million in additional capital to ramp up its global commercialization strategy.
"The company's cash balance as at 31 December 2010 was $2.574 million, which includes the receipt of $1.9 million resulting from the sale of its 16.4 per cent equity holding in the WRMC project to Palisade. Current short term debt is around $4 million (Directors' loans)."
Construction of the first waste to energy facility, in Perth, has commenced and should be commissioned by early 2012.
ANQ expects to generate sustainable revenues within 1-2 years. (ASX: ANQ)
Australian Renewable Fuels
All the product will produced using non-food grade feed stock, and meet Australian and international standards. The original investment in plant and equipment for all of these plants was in excess of $100 million.
In a complex arrangement, the $25 million consideration will be satisfied through a number of means: a working capital facility of not less than $12 million, which will be arranged by BPL; the issue by Australian Renewable Fuels subsidiary ARF Adelaide of a promissory note with a face value of $13.65 million; and a one time payment to the minority shareholders of BPL.
Australian Renewable Fuels will purchase $17 million in convertible notes issued by BPL in consideration for the issue by Australian Renewable Fuels to the BPL note holders of 5 year non-redeemable secured convertible notes with an aggregate face value of $13.65 million, subject to shareholder approval; possible additional payments, conditional upon the performance of the BPL biodiesel plant at Barnawartha, Victoria; and the payment of $1 million in cash.
The parties said all amounts payable by Australian Renewable Fuels under the ARF convertible notes and any additional payments by Australian Renewable Fuels will be secured by the assets of ARF Adelaide, including its plant at Largs Bay, South Australia and the biodiesel plant being acquired from BPL.
Australian Renewable Fuels will offer to purchase the shares of the shareholders in BPL other than those held by the BPL note holders at 7 cents per share, payable by 31 December 2011. If all BPL shareholders accept the offer, Australian Renewable Fuels will pay a maximum of $2.8 million for the BPL shares.
Australian Renewable Fuels will convene a meeting of shareholders to approve the convertible notes.
The BPL business and assets will be integrated into a combined operating structure, and Australian Renewable Fuels will focus on optimizing the BPL business model and using the resources of the BPL management team.
"This has been a very positive process for both parties,¨ said Tom Engelsman, chief executive of Australian Renewable Fuels, "allowing us to jointly review the benefits for the industry as well as for the shareholders. The growing focus in the Australian sector on renewable fuels is a very strong positive for the company, and will allow for us to better service the growing Australian market."
Andrew White, managing director of BPL, said BPL will bring very strong product and market benefits, and the strength of the management team. "The consolidated entity will allow for further expansion of the BPL market reputation, and hence should allow us to create an optimal service model in the carbon reducing environment we face today." (ASX: ARW)
Progress in commercializing the RPCVD technology is being made on all fronts, despite some delays, and early results are "highly encouraging", they said. Progress includes greater growth rates towards achieving quality single crystal material for LEDs.
SPTS has confirmed customer interest in the RPCVD value proposition and has allocated additional resources, facilities and funds in its commitment to the joint venture.
SPTS president William Johnson said "Feedback from customers indicates that the theoretical performance advantages of RPCVD are now recognized as the core value proposition for the LED industry. The RPCVD process is increasingly anticipated to be used in conjunction with existing technology, broadening the potential market opportunity." (ASX: BLG)
Carnegie Wave Energy
The wave buoy will be moored for a minimum of 12 months, and the wave data will be shared with the Bermudian public through the partnership with BAS-Serco's Bermuda Weather Service.
Carnegie's Site Development Manager Tim Sawyer said the buoy is a key step in assessing the feasibility for, and design of, a commercial scale CETO wave energy plant off Bermuda.
Carnegie and Triton have a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a commercial CETO wave energy project. Project pre-feasibility and environmental studies have been completed.
In 2009 the project was selected by the Bermuda Electric Light Company Ltd (BELCO) as a preferred renewable energy project. BELCO is Bermuda's sole supplier of electricity.
In Perth, Carnegie's onshore testing of the CETO pump and hydraulic module for its Garden Island commercial scale demonstration has been successful.
The testing involved exhaustive cycling of the pump using a hydraulic actuator to characterize the system performance and to ensure reliable function. Both sinusoidal and irregular waveforms were simulated at various pressure configurations to recreate the bulk of the scenarios likely to be encountered at sea.
The data acquisition and remote control system was also tested extensively. This enables high speed data and system control in real-time from the CETO control centre in West Perth. Engineers will man the centre around the clock to conduct power optimization trials and monitor performance.
Carnegie's managing director Dr Michael Ottaviano, said "We are very pleased with the results of the onshore test program. Mobilisation for offshore deployment is underway." (ASX: CWE)
Clean Seas Tuna
The growing of Southern Bluefin Tuna in sea cages is continuing with the transfer of two batches of fingerlings from the onshore nursery tanks to the ocean environment for controlled grow-out trials.
"The world-first transfer last month of the initial batch of fingerlings has since been followed by the successful transfer of a second batch of 60 Southern Bluefin Tuna fingerlings to the offshore facility," it said.
The company said it is very pleased with the progress of the 85 or so juveniles remaining in the Arno Bay sea cages. They continue to feed well and have grown to about 15 centimetres in length.
The company is also encouraged by survival rates so far. The mortality rate during both transfer programs was 2 per cent, well below the high mortality rates encountered during similar nursery-to-sea transfers during early-stage aquaculture breeding attempts in northern countries.
While separate additional spawnings have occurred since the second spawning began in mid-March, the numbers of eggs have not been sufficient to produce commercially, said Clean Seas. These spawnings enabled the company's production and research and development teams to continue their research work on the larvae and it has been decided that no further transfers to sea will be made this year. The company's bloodstock will be rested for the coming season's spawning.
Clean Seas Tuna managing director, Clifford Ashby, said "We have made substantial progress with successful transfers to sea cages and selection and development of manufactured feeds which are being well accepted by the juvenile cohort. We have learnt a number of lessons from the current season on which the company will continue to build as it advances towards full commercialization." (ASX: CSS)
The company's largest shareholder and underwriter to the issue, Waverton Holdings Ltd, chose not to take up its entitlement and dealt with these shares through the underwriting commitment. Waverton has gone from having 28.6 per cent to 64.1 per cent of Electrometals. (ASX: EMM)
Mr Cockcroft will continue to be available to advise the board while the company focuses on concluding negotiations with its convertible note holder, searches for a replacement chief executive, and prepares an exploration program for its European land position. (ASX: EPG)
The convertible note would have a coupon of 5 per cent and be redeemable on 30 June 2012 or convertible at the investor's option.
The funds will be for working capital. (ASX: GNB)
The company's annual report says its net assets decreased by $5.2 million to $1.3 million in the year to 31 December 2010. "This decrease has resulted from the consolidated group generating a net loss this year due to no licensing fees received, significant impairment and doubtful debts.
"The groups working capital, being current assets less current liabilities, has decreased by $3,283,636 since 31st December 2009 to $230,124 at 31st December 2010."
The company needs positive cash flows from sales and or additional capital to continue operation, it said.
The directors also said they are concerned about the inconsistent sales results to date and discussions have commenced with various parties who have expressed an interest in investing in the "air to water" products business operated by its subsidiary.
In addition, they are considering other avenues for investment to produce value for shareholders in the medium term. (ASX: ISK)
Mr McPherson said he received positive feedback about the company's products and prospects.
"Following almost universal recommendations from prospective US investors, the company will also investigate the possibility of its shares being quoted on the US OTC QX," he said. During his trip, Mr McPherson visited the OTC QX headquarters and met with several parties who can provide the requisite Principal American Liaison (PAL) service and issue the American Deposit Receipts (ADRs) used to trade the company's securities in the US.
"Many prominent ASX-listed companies both large and small have undertaken this course of action and, from the case studies I have viewed, have received very positive results in increased liquidity and market value," he said.
The road show was facilitated by Arrowhead Business and Investment Decisions, LLC, which recently issued a research report on MediVac. Boardroom Radio also recently interviewed Thomas Renaud, managing partner at Arrowhead, on MediVac and its prospects. (ASX: MDV)
Mr Henderson has over 30 years oil and gas industry experience.
Mr Henderson said "Metgasco has a strong coal seam gas reserve position and significant conventional gas prospects. I am very excited to be joining this young dynamic company and helping it to develop its commercial potential. The company has many opportunities available to it and we will be focused on delivering on project outcomes and increasing returns to shareholders."
The company's founding managing director, David Johnson, will continue to provide on-going consulting services to Metgasco. (ASX: MEL)
MBTAI - Performance Rights - 158,810
MBTAK - Warrants expiring 01 May 2014 - 1,995,009 and Exercise price - $15.00
MBTAM - Options expiring 30 June 2011 - 70,000 and Exercise price - $8.50
MBTAO - Warrants expiring 28 April 2014 - 1,000,000 and Exercise price - $15.00
MBTAS - 4 per cent Unsecured Redeemable Notes maturing 16 May 2012 - 935,579. The company says shareholders should note that an exchange offer as approved by shareholders is being finalized. Once completed the result will extend the maturity date of the majority of these units to 16 May 2014.
MBTAY - Options expiring 31 July 2011 - 7,315 and Exercise price - $50.00. (ASX MBT)
Orocobre said its analysis shows that the lithium carbonate is of greater than 99.9 per cent purity and of higher purity than the specifications for battery grade material sold by existing producers.
Orocobre's reporting of lithium carbonate purity does not include loss of ignition or moisture content, but the company said that in the lithium carbonate it produced, these specifications were also above the specifications of battery grade material being sold by producers.
The material was produced by refining a lower purity product previously produced at the company's facilities at Olaroz with recirculated brines. As such, the material is representative of what could be expected in commercial production.
Managing director Richard Seville said "This is a major milestone for the company, and is the result of over two years of painstaking process development work. Six months ago we started pilot plant scale production of crude lithium carbonate, and now we are able to produce a value added, refined product which we believe meets cathode manufacturers' rigorous material specifications.
"We considered that it was important to produce "battery grade" lithium carbonate from our facilities as part of our Definitive Feasibility Study and this important milestone has now been achieved." (ASX: ORE)
Pacific Energy managing director and chief executive, Adam Boyd said the sale will improve Pacific Energy's cash position by about US$3 million net of costs. The capital will be used to progress expansion of the company's power generation business. (ASX: PEA)
Phoslock Water Solutions
However, the quarterly result was modest, with Phoslock recording a positive net operating cash flow from operations of $8,000.
Cash operating expenses for the quarter were 2 per cent lower at $683,000 against $691,000 in the December 2010 quarter, and the company ended the quarter with cash of $800,000.
Inventory was increased in anticipation of major orders in 2011.
Much of its European activity focused on the preparation and finalization of proposals for major lake restorations projects in Germany, Italy, Denmark, Finland and UK with a combined value of nearly $6 million. Decisions on more than half of the projects are expected in the upcoming quarter with applications to take place during the second half of 2011 or 2012.
Phoslock is now sold in major specialty retail stores and garden centres in Germany, France and the Benelux countries. Phoslock Europe's retail distributor said retail sales of Phoslock increased over the previous year and a further increase in sales is expected in 2011 and beyond.
In North America, Phoslock's licensees in California and Florida have built "an impressive array of pipeline projects", and some are scheduled to be applied over the next two quarters.
Several projects in Canada totaling up to 200 tons are anticipated to be undertaken in Ontario during the June and September 2011 quarters. Phoslock's licensee for Quebec and the Atlantic provinces has identified a number of new projects, some of which could be applied in 2011.
In Australia, Phoslock completed a number of small and medium sized applications to waste water ponds and small lakes to reduce the phosphorus levels of discharge water. Several medium sized applications are scheduled for April and May.
Sales to the aquaculture sector in Australia and parts of Asia continued to increase during the quarter. In Australia there are eight aquaculture farming operations using Phoslock as part of their water quality management, and the enquiry rate from aquaculture companies in Australia and overseas continues to be high, it said. (ASX: PHK)
The unit is the first in a planned roll-out of successively larger electricity storage systems in the MW-class, and has an installed capacity for 12 RedFlow zinc-bromine battery modules (120 kWh), coupled with power electronics rated at 30 kW.
The unit is packaged in a 20 foot Hi-Cube shipping container. About 15 per cent of the container's footprint is occupied by zinc-bromine battery modules. The balance of space has been set up as a demonstration room, with computer monitors and power meters to highlight system performance and energy flows.
RedFlow's chief executive, Phillip Hutchings, said "RedFlow is already receiving early customer interest for our MW-class electricity storage products. Having this unit showcased along with such a large solar PV array will help us demonstrate it to customers from around the world."
"Moreover, this will be a globally-leading PV-storage demonstration, as it will allow the side-by-side comparison with an identical 390 kW PV adjacent section of the array which has no storage at all, but will face the same periodic power drops created by passing clouds. Part of the demonstration period will be to show the effectiveness of large scale energy storage on managing harmonics and transient effects on the network which could otherwise occur".
Professor of Physics Paul Meredith of the UQ Global Change Institute and leader of the UQ 1.22 MW PV array research program said "Addition of the electricity storage component is a significant step forward for this globally-significant solar PV demonstration facility. It will also allow UQ to demonstrate the application of battery storage to control power flow with such a large scale intermittent renewable energy source as our 1.22 MW PV array." (ASX: RFX)
220 million shares are offered at 1 cent each to raise $2.2 million. Another 60 million shares are offered at 0.5 cents each to raise $0.3 million via a placement. Another 15 million are offered at 0.5 cents to raise $75,00 to repay a deposit paid on behalf of the company.
The offer is not underwritten.
If the raising is successful Solverdi will come out of administration and its shares will be able to recommence trading on the ASX when several other conditions have been met.
The capital will enable the company to expand its biofuel and biodiesel from waste oil business. (ASX: SWW)
Mr Buchanan has over 20 years of experience in the North American flooring market. He has been director of Sales & Marketing at Kahrs Hardwood Floors and vice president Sales & Marketing at Award Hardwood Floors. In 2001, he joined Mohawk Industries, one of the leading flooring companies in the US to become their vice president, Wood Products Division.
Over the course of his career he has managed leading brands Mohawk, Columbia and Kahrs, as well as national account channels such as Home Depot, Lowes and Lumber Liquidators.
Peter Torreele, Style's chief executive officer, said "Dewevai is a highly experienced and respected executive in the flooring industry, with a proven track record of delivering growth through a multi-channel expansion strategy for one of the leading flooring companies in the world. His in-depth knowledge of the market will be invaluable for Style to deliver on our ambitious expansion plans in the North American market." (ASX: SYP)
Under the farm-in options, Mitsui will pay WestSide $11.5 million, equivalent to 49 per cent of WestSide's exploration costs in the tenements to date. Mitsui would then have a 24.5 per cent interest in the tenements while WestSide's interest in each would reduce from 50 per cent to 25.5 per cent.
The farm-in arrangements remain conditional on QGC, WestSide's existing joint venturer in ATP 688P and ATP 769P, waiving its pre-emptive rights over those areas.
Mitsui is WestSide's 49 per cent joint venture partner in the Meridian SeamGas Coal Seam Gas gasfields near Moura in Queensland and Galilee Basin exploration tenements ATP 974P and ATP 978P. ATP 769P is contiguous to the Meridian SeamGas gasfields and contains the Paranui gasfield where WestSide is currently operating an expanded production pilot project.
If it proceeds, the farm-ins significantly strengthen WestSide's relationship with Mitsui and validate the Meridian SeamGas joint venture's LNG strategy, said WestSide. (ASX: WCL)
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