Comstock Mining (LODE) released positive earning results. Shares of LODE has skyrocketed above 85% from previous close and has hit a new high of $1.80. Can the momentum continue to rise?
MCU’s State-of-the-Art Mercury Remediation System On Comstock and Getting Prepped for Mercury Testing
VIRGINIA CITY, Nev., Aug. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Comstock Mining Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSE American: LODE) filed its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q last week and announced selected strategic and financial results for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2020, including the arrival and assembly of our first mercury remediation system.
Recent 2020 Selected Strategic Highlights
- Extinguished the current Senior Secured Debenture from a combination of $0.9 million in accelerated cash proceeds from Tonogold and new, unsecured promissory notes, with favorable, extended terms;
- Investments in Tonogold Resources Inc. (“Tonogold”) valued at $10.4 million at June 30, 2020, a $1.6 million increase in fair market value driving positive net income for the three months ended June 30, 2020;
- Investment in Mercury Clean Up LLC (“MCU”) increased to $1.75 million (in cash and stock) at June 30, 2020, with on-site installation of the Comstock mercury remediation system underway (pictured below);
- Extended agreements for the sale of Comstock’s two non-mining properties in Silver Springs, NV, for total expected proceeds of $10.1 million, with the closings expected this quarter; and
- Consummated the April acquisition of 25% of PELEN LLC, owner of the historic Sutro Tunnel Company.
Second Quarter 2020 Selected Financial Highlights
- Total operating costs were $1.3 million in Q2 2020, a $0.2 million or a 15.9% improvement over Q2 2019;
- Interest expense was $0.1 million in Q2 2020, a $0.1 million or a 49.6% improvement over Q2 2019;
- Other income, net was $2.2 million, primarily driven by gains of $1.6 million on equity investments in Tonogold and $0.4 million on the contingent forward assets receivable still committed to us by Tonogold;
- Net income was $1.3 million, or $0.05 per share for three-months ended June 30, 2020, as compared to a prior period net loss of $2.1 million, or ($0.13) loss per share, driven by investment gains and lower costs;
- Net income was $1.0 million, or $0.04 per share for six-months ended June 30, 2020, as compared to a prior period net loss of $3.9 million, or ($0.24) loss per share, driven by investment gains and lower costs; and
- Cash and cash equivalents at June 30, 2020, were $1.0 million.
Mr. Corrado DeGasperis, Executive Chairman and CEO stated, “We have grown and strengthened our balance sheet, extinguished our secured debt, and deployed and installed the first MCU – Comstock system as we prepare for material testing within the boundaries of the Carson River Mercury Superfund Site (“CRMSS”). We have also reserved shipping containers as we prepare to ship our first international unit to the Philippines.”
Comstock Mining’s Corporate Growth
The Company has enacted its Board-approved transformational strategic plan, focused on high-value, cash-generating, precious metal-based activities, (the “Strategic Focus”) including, but not limited to, environmentally friendly, and economically enhancing mining technologies, like mercury remediation. Our goal is to deliver over $500 million of value from our existing assets and the commercialization of these environmental mining technologies, partnerships and ventures. Comstock Mining Inc. is the parent company that wholly owns the realigned subsidiaries and is expanding its mercury and royalty portfolios. We believe that our resource-based technology, properties, plant and equipment and existing gold and silver resources are deeply undervalued.
Comstock Mercury Remediation System and the American Flat Processing Platform
Our American Flat processing platform is fully permitted, and the infrastructure has been prepared, including pads, power, water and retaining walls, for the delivery of the brand new MCU mercury remediation system. The system components have been arriving for the last few weeks and assembly and hook ups are nearly complete (see below). The Company is collaborating with regulators and policy makers for maximum social and environmental impact.
Corporate – Extinguishment of Senior Secured Debt
On August 11, 2020, the Company completely paid off its remaining $4 million Senior Secured Debenture from a combination of recent cash proceeds from Tonogold and new, unsecured promissory notes, with favorable terms. The Company entered into three promissory notes (the “Promissory Notes”) that refinanced its existing, secured indebtedness, on more favorable terms, through a known group of existing LODE investors. The Promissory Notes are unsecured and have an aggregate principal amount of $4,475,000 (net of an original discount of $255,000), and a maturity date of September 20, 2021, with no prepayment penalties, and a portion of which that can be extended for an additional two years. The Promissory Notes were designed to mirror the amount still receivable from Tonogold, including the same maturity date and the same 12% interest rate payable monthly.
The Promissory Notes also permit other indebtedness but contain covenants that prohibit the Company from incurring debt that matures prior to September 20, 2021, or that is senior in right of their payment. The Company must also prepay the Promissory Notes, without penalty, with at least 80% of the net cash proceeds with respect to the sale of the Company’s non-mining assets in Silver Springs, NV. The Company received $0.9 million in two payments from Tonogold, one in late June and one in early August, that were otherwise maturing on October 15, 2020. These payments reduced the amounts due to Comstock to $4,475,000, and when coupled with the $4,220,000 of net proceeds from the Promissory Notes, enabled the full, early extinguishment of the Senior Secured Debt.
Our non-mining assets are now valued at over $25 million, net of debt. In addition to the over $10 million from the Silver Springs assets, we also have the $5.0 investment in Tonogold Convertible Preferred Stock (CPS) plus over 6 million common shares, together valued at $10.4 million at June 30, 2020. We are also owed approximately $4.475 million from Tonogold through a 12%, cash interest paying forward instrument, perfectly mirroring our new promissory notes, in both interest and principal payments payable.
Outlook for Comstock Mining (LODE)
The Company is working diligently with Tonogold to consummate the acquisition of the entity that owns Lucerne, and facilitate the commencement of a well-planned and permitted exploration drilling program. We expect these transactions to be consummated and the exploration plans announced over the next few weeks.
MCU will soon commence Comstock trial operations that will continue throughout the second half of 2020, to validate and fine-tune the mercury extraction and remediation process, with the objective of remediating the Company’s existing properties within the Carson River Mercury Superfund Site (“CRMSS”), enhancing the values of, and evaluating the economic feasibilities for, these properties while creating new global growth opportunities in mercury remediation with MCU’s technological and operational effectiveness, efficiency, and feasibility.
MCU-P has agreed and plans to commence reclamation operations during the third quarter 2020, in the Philippines. MCU-P will secure containers, load and ship the first mercury remediation system in the upcoming week. This represents the first real international opportunity for large-scale mercury remediation and environmental reclamations, using MCU’s systems, with the objective of establishing MCU as a leader in mercury remediation projects, and in particular, contaminations caused by Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners (ASM).
Mr. Corrado DeGasperis, Executive Chairman and CEO stated, “It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of eliminating the overhang created by the Senior Secured Debenture, releasing all of our assets from restrictive security encumbrances and covenants. This positions us to fully consummate the 100% sale of Lucerne and more fully benefit on the closing of our $10 million plus non-mining asset sales in Silver Springs, NV, and funding our growth with more flexibility and speed, especially with MCU.”
Is Comstock Mining (LODE) a reliable investment?
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