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Day One18/10/2023
Time Title
08:45 Registration and Tea/Coffee
09:15 Welcome Speech

The Future of Exploration: Is the junior exploration funding model broken? / Mineral Supply Security

09:30 Market trends and why it's so hard for juniors
10:00 Exploration Funding - Junior Perspective for Overseas Assets

Bluejay Mining plc is a junior mineral exploration company focused on delivering value through the discovery, delineation, and development of future-facing commodities critical for the global green energy transition, through its significant portfolio of district-scale base metal projects in Greenland and Finland. The company is dual listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM: JAY) and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE: S5WA). Bluejay shares also trade on the OTC market in the United States (OCTQB: BLLYF). In his presentation, Bluejay’s Vice President Exploration, Josh Hughes will share the perspectives on the current investment climate for base metal focussed junior explorers and place this in the context of the Company’s recently updated development strategy. 

Bluejay operates in pro-mining, secure, transparent, and regulated European countries where high ESG standards are a prerequisite. The Company’s growth strategy is to retain as much value for shareholders, through considered exploration success and the monetisation of projects on commercially attractive terms having advanced them to an optimal stage. The Company aims to explore and progress its portfolio, both independently and with a suite of tier-one partners. Benefiting from a highly experienced in-house technical and operational teams, Bluejay offers a unique access point for partners seeking to enter Greenland and Finland.

Bluejay has an active Joint Venture (‘JV’) Agreement with KoBold Metals totalling US$15 million to progress the Disko-Nuussuaq nickel copper-cobalt-PGE project in Central West Greenland. A JV Agreement with Rio Tinto on Bluejay’s Enonkoski nickel-copper-cobalt project in eastern Finland, which ended in July 2023, has enabled the Company to significantly advance the project through US$4.65 million in exploration expenditure. Bluejay retains 100% of the Enonkoski project. In August 2023, Bluejay successfully divested its non-core Paltamo and Rautavaara polymetallic black schist projects in Finland to Metals One plc in a transaction worth £4.125 million. Bluejay currently owns c. 29% of the issued ordinary share capital of Metals One plc (AIM: MET1).  Josh will also discuss Bluejay’s participation in large research consortia projects (e.g., the €5.6 million AIMEX Project - Artificial Intelligence in Mineral Exploration) and several recent EIT RawMaterials EU-funded projects (e.g., MULSEDRO and UpDeep) as examples of how collaborative projects can yield value for junior explorers.

10:30 Exploration funding for UK projects

Jo Battershill, the CEO of AIM listed Anglesey Mining plc and Co-Founder of the private Argyll Battery Metals Limited, will be discussing the current market climate and appetite for funding both publicly listed and private minerals exploration and development opportunities within the UK.

11:00 Coffee Break
11:30 KEYNOTE: It’s Critical

An overview of climate change, Net Zero, mining, the role of finance and the need for urgent action.

12:15 Five legal tips to keep your funding options open
12:45 Lunch
13:25 Afternoon session introduction

The Future of Exploration: What can juniors do?

13:30 Pre-production royalties as a route to cash

Mining developers are turning to alternative financing methods due to challenges in accessing traditional equity and debt markets. One solution is royalty finance. While there is substantial capital available from public and private royalty companies and funds, one key question is: What is the true cost of this financing method?

14:00 BHP Xplor: Accelerating discovery through junior partnerships

Resources are fundamental to the way we live now and in the future. With the increased electrification of energy and transportation, the demand of commodities like copper will likely double in the next 30 years. The time to accelerate the exploration of the resources we need into the future is now.

BHP introduces BHP Xplor, a cohort-based accelerator program to support early-stage mineral exploration start-ups find critical resources, such as copper, to drive the energy transition. BHP Xplor offers candidates in-kind services, mentorship, networking opportunities with industry and investors and connections. A key component of the success of this program is the application by the Cohort of cuttingedge tools and research. The acceleration of projects is supported by consideration of key above ground complexities, including land access, social license, and environmental

We believe that building a better future is a responsibility we all share and that is why we are committed to accelerating exploration of critical resources needed for the energy transition, through this program.

14:30 What are today's investor's looking for?

Investors look for exposure to the minerals of interest and participation in company growth when they invest in junior mining companies. The starting point is to identify good companies in the right post code (in terms of geology, geopolitics, and infrastructure), with a good cash runway and cash access, with a management team with a solid track record and “skin in the game” and board/executive pay aligned with both the market capitalisation and stage of business which are not always the same thing. This is followed by assessing whether in the case of a listed company it has adequate market liquidity and is responsive to catalysts.

Hybridan believes that the heritage and abundance of talent in mining in the UK and the support from the London Capital Markets can contribute to net zero and energy security. To promote the UK small cap ecosystem, we recently published a sector note “Critical minerals for UK: mining and battery recycling” focusing on lithium.

15:30 Coffee Break
16:00 Making your funds work harder: R&D credits

This session will explore the availability of research and development tax credits for UK based exploration businesses – how it can reduce the net cost of investment, but also some of the pitfalls and headwinds to be aware of.

James Tetley heads RSM UK’s R&D tax business, and has worked with a range of businesses in the sector, so this presentation will be full of case studies and examples relevant to those in the room.

16:30 Rethinking polymetallic exploration - more metal, more value, less waste

The HOLY GRAIL for critical precious and base metal recoveries is to:

  1. deliver high metal recoveries;
  2. deliver rapid kinetics
  3. deliver lower energy consumption;
  4. deliver reduced water use;
  5. return wastes back into the Circular Economy for 2nd lives;
  6. remove toxic pollutants; and
  7. reduce capex and opex.

The industry needs transformational technologies which meet these lofty industry ambitions.

Better still, what if such transformational metal recovery technologies also turn geology searches upside: such that instead of saying “go find me a Copper deposit”, metal recovery innovations allow for “Metals Rich Critical Polymetallics deposit” findings instead, opening up the world’s deposit landscape to entirely new discovery possibilities…

The pioneering eutectic metallurgical developments at Vinca Technologies offer just such an efficient solution, harnessing the powerful complexing properties of recyclable eutectic metallurgical molten salts to deliver more metal, more value, while leaving less impact.

Vinca thrives on polymetallics, enabling flexibility across a wide range of industry applications.

Melinda’s paper will present the key technical and economic use case advantages of the Vinca process, as well as its chemistry underpinning and technical flowsheet steps in detail, while highlighting why this innovative process is the game-changing eutectic metallurgical molten salts metal recovery solution the mineral processing industry has long been seeking.

17:00 Closing remarks
17:15 Cocktail Reception at The Dilly
Day Two19/10/2023
Time Title
08:30 Registration and Tea/Coffee
09:00 Welcome Speech

The Future of Exploration: What can juniors do? / The impact of going green 

09:15 Exploring smarter

iCRAG is the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Applied Geosciences —a team of researchers creating solutions for a sustainable society. We are a globally facing centre with a core focus on the development of innovative science and technologies to better understand the ore systems in sedimentary basins to aid in discovery and production of raw materials. We leverage expertise from all sectors of the minerals (and petroleum) industries and we are focused on improving global mineral exploration and production through applied research primarily on (1) innovative mineral deposit models (focused on basin-hosted systems); (2) geophysical methods and petrophysics; (3) 3/4 D subsurface modelling; (4) geometallurgy; (5) social and environmental issues; and (5) data analytics. Since our inception in 2015, industry partners have been central to our applied minerals research mission and use our research to enhance the value of their exploration and mineral projects. We have carried out research on over 40+ major projects and are committed to working with partners to identify and solve their specific problems, working to create or expand their R&D footprint; and ultimately helping partners around the world provide the resources required for a sustainable future.

09:45 Gold analysis to ppb levels with pXRF – DetectOreTM by Portable PPB

Exploration and mining rely on assays to guide the next phase of work, yet shipping samples from the field or mine and waiting for the lab to process them slows the momentum. With this delay and the added complication of field seasons, boom-bust cycles and many potential targets to test, then is it any wonder that it often takes many years and several companies to make a discovery?

Whilst portable XRF technology has helped to speed-up discoveries for a number of commodities, it has been historically unreliable for gold analysis; that is until now. The patented detectORE™ technology from Portable PPB Pty Ltd supercharges the conventional portable XRF, providing geologists the ability to detect gold in samples, anywhere, down to low parts per billion level. With the ability to deliver results in just 8 hours, it’s use changes the way we approach, explore and mine gold, saving companies and investors time and money whilst increasing the probability of success.

10:15 Adding value to your project earlier

Data generated during the exploration phase of a project can have a material impact on decisions later in the project lifecycle. For instance, the value of a geochemical analysis may be important in assessing the alteration zonation but the value of being able to assess the blasting performance of the rock from this same data can create far more NPV in the project. Not collecting data correctly can destroy downstream value by not identifying critical knowledge soon enough. This talk will discuss the time value of information in exploration, how information can be generated from good data collection, and how we can think about upfront data collection to add greater value to projects sooner.

10:45 Coffee Break
11:15 KEYNOTE: Not just the Majors… adapting to the evolving ESG and sustainability landscapes

John Mulligan, Director of Market Relations & Climate Change Lead at the World Gold Council, will offer his perspectives on shifting investor and societal expectations and demands of the mining sector, focusing on risks and opportunities that companies of all types and scales need to be mindful of. He will draw from his engagement with institutional investors of scale, policy makers, and wider mining stakeholder groups, to present an overview of the rapidly evolving sustainability landscape – referencing issues such as climate change, industry decarbonisation, a just transition, physical adaptation and resilience, and the significance of biodiversity.

John will also detail some of the progress made by the gold mining sector in addressing these factors, and touch upon issues that mining Juniors might previously have neglected, but that are likely to be increasingly important in order for companies to demonstrate relevance, purpose and value.

12:00 The importance of local community engagement and creating economic benefits from Day 1

High expectations of meaningful economic and social development from mining projects and operations is the new normal for communities and their wider host economies. In Europe where mining is trying to make a comeback, communities are sceptical of proposed projects, and in Canada and Australia, Indigenous communities have more power than ever to block proposed projects if they are not engaged and assured of meaningful benefits. Governments and communities in Latin America and Africa are also seeking a greater share of the potential benefits that the increased mineral demand from the energy transition could bring.

This presentation will provide a state of play on community expectations for local jobs and procurement, and other economic benefits, as well as overview trends showing the increased risk of blocked projects due to community opposition. It will then provide guidance for exploration and mining companies for their engagement with communities to ensure they build in meaningful participation from locals from the very start.

12:30 Lunch
13:25 Afternoon session introduction

The impact of going green / The mining industry skills gap. 

13:30 Proactive ESG management to create long-term investor value

In today's rapidly evolving mining investment landscape, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors have emerged as critical determinants of long-term investor value. Mining, by its nature, presents unique challenges and opportunities in the ESG domain. By taking a proactive approach to ESG management, mining companies can not only mitigate risks but also unlock significant value for investors over the long haul. Understanding evolving investor preferences and the growing demand for responsible investment options is crucial for operator success. We will explore the investor perspective on ESG integration and explore how effective ESG management can serve as a catalyst for financial performance, resilience, and competitive advantage in the mining sector.

Emma will present strategies to assess and mitigate risks, enhancing operational stability and reducing financial exposure, by focusing on robust ESG reporting initiatives best practices and frameworks, that are vital for demonstrating commitment and progress.

14:00 Embedding ESG in mineral projects from first boots on the ground

Embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) concepts into mineral exploration and mining projects can seem daunting and overwhelming particularly for junior explorers with tight budgets. However, although the term ESG is a relatively recent phenomenon, the ideas behind it are ancient and stem from humanity’s deep connection to both the natural world and other people. ESG is not specific to raw materials extraction and use, but it has a particularly intimate link due to the physical connection between the ore extracted from the rocks and the overlying environment, ecosystems, and local populations. One of the main criticisms of ESG is that it is too nebulous and broad, yet at the same time full of nuances specific to the context of each project. A useful way to view ESG is that it is a transparency tool with which mineral extraction companies can ensure raw materials explored for and extracted for ‘green’ technology is, itself, ‘green’ by being open, honest and transparent with the aim of building and maintaining trust with stakeholders. This talk aims to provide some practical guidance for explorers to consider prior to putting those first boots on the ground.

Embedding ESG concepts – including topics such as biodiversity protection and management, stakeholder engagement, decarbonisation, pollution prevention and management – must happen at the very earliest stages of an exploration project. Despite the name of the talk, this must happen (and actually does happen already) prior to visiting site. For example, discussions with local authorities, landowners, local communities are required before exploration licences will be granted. But what about understanding the environmental and social context or setting? Are there protected areas, vulnerable species, drinking water sources, indigenous communities? The talk with aim to discuss practical ways to integrate ESG best practice into even day work to ensure your project can meet the expectations of your stakeholders, minimise negative impacts and - most importantly - maximise the positive impacts of your project on the local environment and communities.

14:30 JORC: Upgrading standards to support investor demands
15:00 Environmental, social and governance considerations in public mineral reporting

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance has become a defining feature in the marketplace that is being used to differentiate preferred investments. There is wide recognition that the approach taken by mineral companies to accommodate ESG requirements in the reporting of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (MRMR) needs to evolve. MRMR reporting codes across the globe are currently in various stages of being revised to ensure ESG criteria are appropriately incorporated in diligent and transparent disclosures. Equally, security exchanges are increasingly asking for increased ESG disclosures to inform investors.

This talk will discuss the context summarised above, expands on root causes of change in the industry and highlight what the future may look like. Examples of current challenges faced by mining companies will be presented before avenues for improvement are proposed. The principles of transparency, materiality and competence remain paramount when considering the impact of ESG matters on MRMR reporting, and this entails an inclusive, cohesive and integrated approach to assessing ESG parameters to ensure the necessary expertise and diligence is applied.

Key themes include: the benefits of procedure over prescription and checklists; how ESG criteria impact determination of reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction and modifying factors; the need for financial models to include material ESG commitments; the uniqueness of each mineral asset; the need for education of both ESG experts about MRMR reporting and conversely Competent Persons in ESG matters; and the need for concise, clear and balanced reports that meet the needs of end users.

15:30 Coffee Break
16:00 The future of University funding: what projects are gettng funded and by whom?
16:30 The next generation of geoscientists: filling the pipeline
17:00 Closing remarks
17:15 Student/closing drinks