Solway Group :: 2014 YEAR-END RESULTS REFLECT SHAREHOLDER COMMITMENT TO THE GROUP’S DEVELOPMENT
11:38am on Monday 8th June 2015
2014 YEAR-END RESULTS REFLECT SHAREHOLDER COMMITMENT TO THE GROUP’S DEVELOPMENT

2014 Year-End Results Reflect Shareholder Commitment to the Solway Investment Group’s Development

Larnaca, Cyprus 08 June 2015: Solway Investment Group managed to deliver strong financial results compared to 2013, despite challenging market conditions in 2014:

–Sales revenue reached 532 million USD with 3.3% growth year-to-year.
–Production costs decreased to 362 million USD in 2014 from 423 million USD in 2013.
–EBITDA increased 29.4% up 120 million USD from the previous year, net debt/EBITDA ratio was 1.1.
–Group total assets reached 1.472 billion USD.

Highlights:

Considerable management and shareholder effort have been invested into the Groups’ assets in 2014. This has resulted in creating substantial added value through efficient cost reductions and productivity gains:

Fenix Project, Guatemala

–The increase in revenue was primarily generated by the company’s ferronickel development, in particular the successful commissioning of the Fenix Project in Guatemala, the largest new nickel mine and smelter in Central America. This achievement marked a significant milestone to implement the corporate strategic goal to enter the world’s top ten producers of nickel. In 2015 Solway plans to complete its ramp-up phase and reach 25,000 metric tons of annual nickel production. Further expansion at Fenix during Phase 3 could potentially drive production capacity up to 50,000 metric tons. Since acquiring Fenix in 2011, the Group has invested 530 million USD in the asset. Potential expansion options include the construction of an HPAL plant at the Fenix site to treat low-grade overburden below the current cutoff grade of 1.6%.
Pobugsky Ferronickel Plant, Ukraine
–Steady (“on track/on budget”) progress in the facilities modernization program resulted in a sizeable reduction of operating costs at Pobugsky Ferronickel Plant in Ukraine. The key focus of improving operating efficiency was on energy-saving initiatives – total investments in 2013-2014 were 15 million USD. Energy-saving efforts included installing waste heat recovery units and switching to pulverized coal, with the projects set to continue in 2015.

KurilGeo Project, Russia

–As part of the of the Group’s KurilGeo Project, Solway opened a gold production facility at Urup Island (part of the Kuril Islands) in Russia. Upon completing the ramp-up phase in 2015, annual production is expected to reach 48,000 ounces. Commercial operations began at a heap leach plant with a target production capacity of 500,000 metric tons of ore per year. Investment into the asset totaled 40 million USD.SASA DOO Makedonska Kamenica and DOO Buchim Radovish
–Steady improvement of operation efficiency was the key driver for ensuring sustainability of production and improving financial results at Solway-owned SASA DOO Makedonska Kamenica and DOO Buchim Radovish, Macedonia’s largest base metal mines. Total investments in modernizing the SASA mine in 2014 were 11.5 million USD. Investments at Buchim in 2014 reached 4.9 million USD and included upgrading dust collection units, renovating the mining fleet, reclamation of tailings area, and mine ventilation.

San Jorge Project, Mendoza, Argentina

–As part of the Group’s diversification strategy, the Group has acquired stakes in the high-quality porphyry copper gold project in Argentina and is currently evaluating strategic options for its development. San Jorge is a mid-sized deposit with NI 43-101 M&I resources of copper 2.000 Mlb and gold 1.3 Mozs with a straightforward development strategy, low capital, and operating costs.
Aquila Project, Indonesia
–Unlocking potential of its Tier-1 nickel ore projects was the primary objective of management efforts in Indonesia in 2014. The long-term management priorities are to complete a downstream facilities configuration, develop new state-of-the-art processing technologies, and to complete design and construction of the smelter as required by legislation of Indonesia to ensure export of value-added nickel products.
Environment, health and safety remain the “first order” strategic priority for Solway.
–As a responsible employer and neighbor, Solway assists in development of social infrastructure in Guatemalan regions, building up effective communications and providing support to local communities. In 2014 key activities were focused on repairing municipal roads and constructing a multipurpose community center. Social development projects included donations to local schools and pharmacies, supporting sports programs, and sponsoring training programs for local midwives and farmers. The Group’s primary focus is to minimize the environmental impact on the neighborhoods surrounding the Fenix production facilities. Other environment protection initiatives include reforestation, fire prevention strips, water canal maintenance and programs to monitor air, water, soil quality and noise level, local flora and fauna.
–Solway contributed significant funding in 2014 to social development in the neighboring town of Pobugskoe in Ukraine. Efforts included developing local infrastructure, supplying educational grants, low-interest loans, and making donations to local culture, sports, and health care.
–In 2014 substantial investments were made into social infrastructure development in the towns near Buchim, Macedonia. This included maintaining local athletic, cultural, and educational facilities, as well as purchasing medical equipment for local hospitals.
–In addition to programs that support local culture and education in the villages neighboring SASA, Solway adopted the internationally recognized health and safety Equator Principles at SASA. It now adheres to the Principles’ operational health and security protocols that include regular employee health checkups and staff trainings. In June 2014, SASA was certified at the OHSAS 18001:2007 standards.

Dan Bronstein, CEO Solway Investment Group stated:

“Despite difficult market conditions, 2014 was marked by considerable improvement in results, particularly reduction of the debt level and a sharp growth in EBITDA compared to 2013.. Completion of the ProNiCo nickel smelter in Guatemala and launch of the gold production facility at Island of Urup, a part of the Group’s KurilGeo Project, are the highlights of a year of progress at Solway. These achievements mark significant milestones on the way to implementing The Group’s strategic goal – to become one of the world’s top metal producers. In 2015 Solway will keep up its substantial efforts to ramp up new projects, reduce costs, improve productivity and perform its social obligations in the areas of its presence.”