The Superior Court of the Federal Court of Administrative Justice in Mexico has overturned the denial of Odyssey Marine’s environmental permit application for the extraction of phosphate sand from its Don Diego offshore marine phosphate project.
Odyssey Marine owns a 53.9% interest in the Don Diego project, which is located within a mining concession licensed to the company’s subsidiary Exploraciones Oceánicas (ExO).
Based on a resource assessment, the deposit contains 588.3 million tonnes of phosphate ore.
The next phase of development of the deposit is subject to the receipt of approval of the environmental permit application.
Situated more than 22km offshore in the Pacific Ocean at an average depth of 80m, the deposit is expected to become a significant source to meet the demands of the Mexican fertilizer and agricultural industry.
Odyssey Marine Exploration CEO Mark Gordon said: “The recent ruling by the Mexican Superior Court is a big step towards the ultimate issuance of the environmental permit, which will allow us to confirm that the ‘Don Diego’ deposit can produce cost-effective phosphate for much-needed fertilizer in an environmentally responsible manner.
“Offshore operations cannot commence until the environmental permit is issued. The project will use standard dredging ships and equipment that have been operating for decades in Mexican waters with a proven track record of minimal environmental impacts.”
Upon the receipt of approvals for the project, the company is required to offer several services.
This year, the company expects to obtain additional contracts to provide services for new projects.
Odyssey Marine Exploration Reports Full Year 2017 Results and Updates Current Projects
March 26, 2018
TAMPA, Fla., March 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NASDAQ:OMEX), a pioneer in the field of deep-ocean exploration, reported results for the full year ended December 31, 2017, and provided an update on current projects.
Don Diego Project
On March 21, 2018, the 11-judge panel of the Superior Court of the Federal Court of Administrative Justice in Mexico ruled unanimously in favor of Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.’s (“Odyssey”) subsidiary, Exploraciones Oceánicas, S. de R.L. de C.V. (“ExO”), nullifying the denial of ExO’s environmental permit application for the extraction of phosphate sand from its “Don Diego” project. Odyssey holds a 53.88% interest in ExO. To move to the next phase of development of the deposit, Odyssey and its subsidiaries need the approval of the environmental permit application, which is anticipated in due course as a result of this decision. However, until the judicial decision is published, any further details about the status or timing of the permit would be speculative. Odyssey will provide additional information regarding this matter once details appropriate for public disclosure become available to Odyssey.
The “Don Diego” project is expected to deliver significant economic and social benefits to Mexico in the form of job creation, lowered fertilizer pricing, increased crop yields, generation of tax revenues, and the funding of programs that will promote the protection and enhancement of the marine environment.
Phosphate, which will be the product of the dredging project, is a key and irreplaceable component of fertilizers. The location of the “Don Diego” deposit makes it an attractive potential sourcing site for the Mexican fertilizer and agricultural industry. The deposit, which is centered more than 22 km offshore in the Pacific Ocean at an average of 80 meters deep is well within reach of standard dredging equipment.
Currently planned or operational shipwreck and mineral projects are typically conducted under leveraged contract models whereby Odyssey is paid to perform offshore services while retaining a significant back-end share of the future net proceeds from these projects. The combined potential cash flows from these projects are expected to fund operations for multiple years while simultaneously increasing the value of projects in which the company has an equity ownership position.
Operations are currently underway on a contracted project that is expected to begin generating cash in 2018 to fund company operations and is forecast to produce cash returns for a minimum 12-18 months.
Planning continues for recovery of phosphate sands from the “Don Diego” project so that preliminary operations can commence soon after environmental approval is received. Odyssey is under contract to provide a variety of services related to this the project once approvals are in place. This contract has the potential to produce several million dollars in positive cashflows and enhance the value of Odyssey’s investment in this project.
Several other new subsea mineral projects that will require offshore exploration work and resource evaluation by Odyssey are currently under development. We anticipate receiving additional contracts during 2018 to provide services for these new projects, which are expected to produce cashflows and potentially equity stakes in these projects for Odyssey.
“Odyssey is making great progress already in 2018 on both the mineral and contracted shipwreck elements of our business, and we received notification from NASDAQ on March 8th that we had regained compliance with all listing requirements. The recent ruling by the Mexican Superior Court is a big step towards the ultimate issuance of the environmental permit, which will allow us to confirm that the ‘Don Diego’ deposit can produce cost-effective phosphate for much-needed fertilizer in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Mark Gordon, Odyssey chief executive officer.
“Offshore operations cannot commence until the environmental permit is issued. The project will use standard dredging ships and equipment that have been operating for decades in Mexican waters with a proven track record of minimal environmental impacts. Additionally, the monitoring and mitigation programs, confirmed through extensive testing and modeling by independent experts, assure minimal impact to and rapid recovery rates of the environment throughout the process.
“In addition to planning activities for the ‘Don Diego’ project, our marine operations team continues to deliver results in the deep ocean. In our November update we noted that a major project would commence after delivery and testing of specialized equipment. That testing has been completed, and our team is currently actively engaged in offshore operations on a contracted project in which we have a significant back-end interest.