The EBRD has subscribed to 2.6 percent of the share capital of Adriatic Metals PLC with an investment of GBP 6.2 million (EUR 6.84 million). The Bank's financing will support the company to transition its operation from exploration to mine development. The proceeds from the Bank's equity subscription will fund engineering and economic studies to complete a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) and associated pre-development cost in H12021 for mining the Vareš mineral deposit, located in the Zenica-Doboj canton, which has a history of minerals exploitation for more than a century.
In spite of its long exploration history and investor outreach, BiH has struggled in the past two decades to attract investment into the mining sector. Adriatic's project is an exceedingly rare foreign direct investment in mining and enjoys strong government support. There is also strong support from the Zenica-Doboj canton's communities because Adriatic will operate at the highest environmental and social standards and create new employment and business opportunities locally. Moreover, the region's mineral sector will benefit from Adriatic introducing modern exploration, project management and health and safety procedures.
The Bank's financing in parallel with investment from renowned international mining financiers will fund pre-development and exploration works at the Vares project.
ETI score: 60
Primary Quality: Competitive: greater competition in the project sector
There has been limited FDI into BiH's mining sector during the last 20 years. The project creates an opportunity not only to attract capital, but also to invest in modern equipment and processes, introduce best international standards of developing and operating a modern mine and an increased sophistication of managerial decision making. Once operational the project will create a new player in the sector.
Secondary Quality: Inclusive: open up training, employment, or entrepreneurship opportunities
Adriatic is expected to recruit, develop and train local workers in the areas of geology and mine management. The project will generate learning opportunities in the Vareš community of the Zenica-Doboj region and will entail new cooperation with local educational institutions.
ADRIATIC METALS PLC
Adriatic Metals PLC is a UK-based, dual-listed (ASX: ADT and LSE: ADT1) mineral exploration and development company focused on advancing its 100%-owned brownfield polymetallic (silver-zinc) Vareš project in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
EBRD Finance Summary
Subscription to newly issued shares for up to GBP 6.2M (EUR 6.84M)
Total Project Cost
The Bank's equity investment will be made in parallell with another equity/quasi equity investment raised by Adriatic in the market as well as the company's own cash balance.
Risk mitigation: Given that there are very few FDI in BiH, especially in the mining sector, participation of the Bank can mitigate potential non-financial risks, such as country's regulatory and political risks, which are currently elevated due to upcoming local government elections.
Standard-setting: helping projects and clients achieve higher standards: The Company would further draw on EBRD's expertise to inform and guide the identification, assessment management of ESG risks. The Environmental and Social Action Plan will be agreed between the EBRD and the client prior to the signing of the Subscription Agreement and will include key actions on aligning the Company with EBRD's Environmental and Social Policy requirements.
Environmental and Social Summary
Categorised B (2019 ESP). The use of equity proceeds is not associated with significant Environmental and Social (E&S) risks and impacts and therefore is categorised B. Any subsequent development of the Vares mine would, however, be categorised A requiring an ESIA.
A condition of equity financing requires the Company to align all of its activities with EBRD's E&S requirements. This includes the requirement to develop and disclose ESIAs for any category A projects at the appropriate time in the timing of the mine development.
An ESAP has been developed will be agreed with the Company to align its operations with EBRD's E&S requirements.
E&S due diligence was conducted by ESD and a consultant. The ESDD concluded that the Company has in place appropriate corporate commitments, capacities, resources and experience to manage potential E&S risks and impacts associated with the use of equity proceeds as well as future mine development. The Company has initiated an international standard ESIA process with the ESIA due in 2021. ESD will work with the Company to ensure the ESIA meets the PRs, is disclosed and consulted upon, including on EBRD's website. To manage E&S risks associated with the mine, the Company will need to develop a formal E&S management system. HR provisions are in place and with some improvements will meet PR2 requirements.
Mine developments can be associated with pollution risks. These can be compounded by brownfield assets with potential legacy contamination issues. The Company is conducting investigations, and will develop controls, to address water use and contamination risks, including from previous mining activities. The old Veovaca open pit mine site includes a tailings facility (TSF). The Company is assessing the integrity of the TSF together with its contamination risks for potential use for the Vares mine.
Tailings will initially be disposed underground at Rupice and later at a facility to be developed near Veovaca. This latter facility may incorporate the existing TSF and will be built and operated in line with international standards.
The mine is located in a mining area but which is also inhabited. The Company is seeking to avoid impacts on communities through design. All community H&S risks will be appropriately covered in the ESIA. Stakeholder engagement has highlighted some concerns regarding legacy contamination and this is being considered through a health impact assessment. The future mine development is expected to require some land acquisition, both state and private land. A resettlement plan will be developed with the ESIA to address potential resettlement and livelihood issues. The area does not extend into any protected areas but surveys are ongoing to characterise the biodiversity and to undertake the necessary assessments. Stakeholder engagement has commenced and a stakeholder engagement plan is in place as is a public liaison committee.
Further information on company activities can be found here: https://www.adriaticmetals.com/
October 2021 Update
As a condition of EBRD's equity subscription, Adriatic Metals is required to align all of its activities with EBRD's Performance Requirements. This includes the requirement to develop and disclose ESIAs for any category A projects at the appropriate time. The Vareš mining project is considered a category A project and therefore Adriatic Metals has prepared and disclosed an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in line with EBRD's Performance Requirements for the project. This includes a Non-Technical Summary, Stakeholder Engagement Plan and a series of Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs). ESIA disclosure will include engagement with stakeholders in the project area including through public meetings. A 60 day disclosure period has been adopted. Some early works are planned prior to the end of 2021 with main construction due to commence in early 2022.
ERBD is not providing financing for the development of the Vareš mining project but is monitoring its development as part of its equity in Adriatic Metals. In this respect Adriatic Metals is operating in line with EBRD's Performance Requirements and is satisfactorily implementing the agreed ESAP. EBRD will continue to monitor the project.
Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing
Company Contact Information
Dominic Roberts, Head of Corporate Affairs
+44 (0) 207993 0066
Adriatic Metals PLC, Regent House, 65 Rodney Road, Cheltenham, GL50 1HX
PSD last updated
27 Oct 2021
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