Vancouver, BC – July 15, 2019 – AsiaBaseMetals Inc. (the "Company") (TSX-V: "ABZ") wishes to provide an update regarding the progress made under the cooperation agreement (the "Agreement") between the Company and a city (the "City") within a member country (the "Country") of the European Union ("EU"), as previously announced on June 19 and 25, 2019 and its activities in the mining sector at its Gnome and Thazi Projects.
Cannabis Sector Update
As previously announced, the Agreement provides for the City to apply for a licence for growing and selling cannabis for medical purposes ("Medical-Cannabis-Permit") and, if it becomes permitted by law in the Country, a licence for the growing, processing and sale of cannabis for commercial purposes including recreational purposes ("Recreational-Cannabis-Permit"), through a limited liability company to be incorporated by the City ("City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd."). Upon City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd. obtaining a Medical-Cannabis-Permit or a Recreational-Cannabis-Permit, the City has agreed to transfer all or a majority of the shares of City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd. to the Company.
Medical Cannabis Permit: The City has informed the Company that it has commenced the process to incorporate City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd (as announced by the Company on June 25, 2019) and, pursuant to the rules of the Country, received clearance from the Country's national government to incorporate City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd for the purpose of applying for a Medical-Cannabis-Permit. The City anticipates that City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd will be incorporated and able to start business around the end of August, 2019.
Raj Chowdhry, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board stated "The Company is extremely pleased that the City is moving this cannabis project forward on an aggressive timeframe. We are working closely with the City to capitalize on this opportunity to enter the European cannabis market. Europe is the largest potential cannabis market within western cultures with its population of approximately 740 million (with the EU representing approximately 512 million) as compared to North America having an approximate population of 579 million (with the USA representing approximately 327 million). The Company looks forward to providing additional updates."
There is no defined timeline for obtaining a Medical-Cannabis-Permit or Recreational-Cannabis-Permit by the City through City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd in the Country in the EU and, unlike in Canada, completing the construction of a production facility is not required in order to apply for a Medical-Cannabis-Permit in the Country. The Company has not designed or estimated costs to build a production facility or made a decision to build a production facility.
Mining Sector Updates
Gnome Project (Zinc/Cobalt) (100% owned): The Company has commenced the mobilization of the crew and equipment to execute its planned 2019 exploration and drill program on the Gnome Project. The objective of the drill program is to locate mineralization at a shallow depth that would potentially be conducive to open-pit mining. The Company's drill program is expected to complete around the end of September 2019.
The Gnome Project is located 35 km SE along trend from Cirque and 15 km SE of the Akie Property in the province of British Columbia, Canada, and encompasses approximately 5,868 hectares (12 mineral claims). The Gnome Project is in the heart of the area that is home to ZincX Resources Inc.’s ("ZincX") flagship 100% owned Akie Project hosting the Cardiac Creek SEDEX Zn-Pb-Ag deposit, and Teck Resources Limited & Korea Zinc Co.’s joint venture Cirque deposit and the Pie, Cirque East and Yuen properties. Mineralization hosted on the Cirque and Cardiac Creek (Akie Project) properties is not indicative of the mineralization hosted on the Company’s Gnome Zinc Project at its current stage of exploration.
Raj Chowdhry, CEO stated, "The opportunity to advance the Gnome Project, a project adjacent to the Cardiac Creek Deposit (hosted within the Akie Project) where ZincX announced (June 20, 2018) robust results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (the "ZincXPEA"), to drilling is very exciting."
Thazi Project: The Company continues to monitor the grant of exploration permits for lithium at the Thazi Project, which the tracking mechanism provided by the government of Myanmar indicates is in the final stage. Upon receipt of the permit, the Company intends to design its initial work program to explore for both hard-rock and salar-type (continental salts and brines) deposit potential, using modern field techniques with International Organization for Standardization-approved mineralogical studies and analytical methods.
The Thazi Mineral Claims are located in the Hlaing Det area in the Meiktila District which is known as the main Feldspar-producing area of Myanmar. The Thazi Mineral Claims are accessible by road via the Meiktila-Thazi-Taunggyi highway, the main highway from central Myanmar to Shan State in the east, which eventually leads to the border of Thailand, and by train which runs through the central portion of the Thazi Mineral Claims. Power also runs along the highway and is available in the Hlaing Det area.
"The Company’s entry into Myanmar, a country having both China and India as neighbors (combined population of almost three billion people) who likely represent the largest buyers of gold, Copper and Zinc, and users of batteries in the world, is a significant move. Myanmar being endowed with impressive geology will allow the Company, now having commenced operation in the country successfully, to also pursue other assets, including gold, silver and copper assets. We look forward to capitalizing on the first mover advantage while adding and contributing to the growth of the country and its people." Stated Raj Chowdhry, President, CEO & Chairman.
Afzaal Pirzada, P.Geo., a Consultant to the Company, is an Independent Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the information of a scientific or technical nature contained in this news release.
Cannabis/Mining, Business/Commodity Focus Retention – Spin-Co under Plan of Arrangement
The Company, as previously announced (see News Release dated June 19, 2019), intends to retain business and commodity focus for both the cannabis and mining sector by incorporating a wholly-owned subsidiary to acquire City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd to facilitate a potential spin-out transaction pursuant to a plan of arrangement, on a planned one (1) new spin-out company share for each existing Company share basis, to create a new company focused on the cannabis sector. Any future spinout transaction is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. (see About AsiaBaseMetals Inc. below)
About AsiaBaseMetals Inc.
AsiaBaseMetals Inc., a company focused on advancing its projects in the mining sector and developing and evaluating additional opportunities in the cannabis sector, is led by an experienced and successful business and mining team. The Company is advancing its 100% owned Gnome Zinc Project and its 100% owned Jean Iron Ore Project in world-class mining districts in Canada, one of the safest and mining friendly jurisdictions in the world, and is advancing current opportunities and exploring additional opportunities in the cannabis sector, with emphasis in Europe. In addition, the Company is seeking to further diversify its portfolio, with special attention directed to advanced acquisition targets in the Americas, Asia and Africa for base metals [Copper (Cu)], alkali metals [Cobalt (Co) / Lithium (Li)] and precious metals [Gold (Au) / Silver (Ag)]. The Company is awaiting the grant of exploration permits for lithium pursuant to a submitted application in Myanmar and is in an advanced stage of reviewing mining projects for acquisition in Africa.
The Company, subject to required approvals, intends to retain business and commodity focus for both the mining and cannabis sectors by plan of arrangement spin-out transaction(s) (“Spin-Co’s”) as projects are identified and acquired, in the same manner as when AsiaBaseMetals Inc. was originally formed via the creation of a Spin-Co from Sandfire Resources America Inc. (name changed from Tintina Resources) while it was still under the guidance of its founder Raj Chowdhry as CEO and Chairman. Spin-Co's result in the Company retaining commodity/business focus and the shareholders of the Company, as of the record date for the Spin-Co creation, automatically receiving additional shares in a new company while retaining their shares in AsiaBaseMetals Inc.
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.
The ZincX PEA referred to in this news release is considered preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves have not yet demonstrated economic viability. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of a mineral resource will be upgraded to mineral reserves. Therefore, there is no certainty that the results concluded in the ZincX PEA will be realized. Mineralization hosted on the Cirque and Cardiac Creek (Akie Project) Properties is not indicative of the mineralization hosted on the Company’s Gnome Project at its current stage of exploration.
Raj Chowdhry, Chief Executive Officer
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: Certain disclosure in this release, including statements regarding the Agreement, the transactions contemplated thereby and the Company’s pursuit of opportunities, may constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. In making the forward-looking statements in this release, the Company has applied certain factors and assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable, including that the Company and the City will obtain the necessary regulatory approvals for the transactions contemplated by the Agreement, the Medical-Cannabis-Permit will be obtained, the acquisition of City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd by the Company will be completed as expected and will have the benefits expected by management, the Company will obtain the necessary regulatory approvals for the grant of the Thazi Mineral Claims, exploration in Myanmar and the proposed exploration on the Gnome Project, the Company will obtain the necessary approvals for possible acquisitions and spin-out transactions, the Company will be able to carry out future exploration or work programs as planned and that the Company will obtain any required financing. However, the forward-looking statements in this release are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Such uncertainties and risks include, among others, financing risks, delays in obtaining or inability to obtain required regulatory approvals, delay or failure to obtain the Medical-Cannabis-Permit and/or Recreational-Cannabis-Permit, inability of the Company to complete the acquisition of City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd on the expected terms or at all, the acquisition of City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd, if completed, having the benefits expected by management, the Company's ability to secure possible acquisitions and spin-out transactions and changes in the Company’s plans. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. There can be no assurance that the transaction contemplated by the Agreement will complete on the anticipated terms or at all.