Vancouver, B.C.,December 24, 2018 - Centurion Minerals Ltd. (CTN: TSX-V) ("Centurion", or the "Company") reports on key activities during the year:
Following the exceptionally heavy rainfall and protracted flooding in 2017, the agricultural region in north-central Argentina was subjected to severe drought, which curtailed planting and fertilizer sales through the first half of 2018. Adding to these challenges, Argentina was subjected to a national currency crisis resulting in dramatic increases in domestic inflation, a devaluation of the Peso and severe disruption of credit markets for farmers and fertilizer distributors. Management believes the current credit challenges in Argentina have stabilized and will abate in the near term, however at present, Centurion’s operating partner, Demetra Fertilizantes (“DFSA”) is unable to provide credit terms to Argentine fertilizer distributors, and therefore has focused on the Paraguayan market.
Paraguay -- Status of material orders:
In September, DFSA secured a purchase order for 7,500 tonnes of fertilizer material from a Paraguayan distributor and was successful in obtaining export permits shortly thereafter. DFSA has been in regular communication with the distributor who has confirmed the continued demand from their clients, one of which is a large vertically integrated food and beverage manufacturer. The client has now scheduled pickup of materials to commence by mid-January 2019. The order consists of premium powder and granular materials, as well as a blended agri-gypsum fertilizer product and is valued at approximately $650,000. Additional domestic and export orders are currently in negotiation and will be announced upon execution.
“Due primarily to external factors in 2018, the demand for fertilizers has dramatically lagged that of previous years, in north-central Argentina and Paraguay. Despite this, our Argentinian team has been able to secure a significant contract (for delivery in early 2019) as well as launch the Optamagro land revitalization division. We intend to aggressively advance this new division in 2019.” Centurion’s President & CEO, David Tafel, commented.
Agricultural Land Revitalization Project:
The Company formed the Optamagro Argentina (“Optamagro”) division, to focus on revitalizing, underutilized and distressed agricultural land. To achieve this, Optamagro is integrating Centurion’s current agri-gypsum fertilizer operations with cutting edge satellite imagery and on the ground soil testing. Optamagro will procure and oversee the application of agri-gypsum, and other organic minerals, fertilizers and seeds. Approximately 10 million hectares of agricultural land in Argentina has been adversely affected by adverse weather patterns in the last 2 years. Several land acquisition and profit-sharing opportunities have been sourced and are presently being negotiated.
Optamagro has implemented a pilot project in partnership with the Cotton Growers Association of Santiago del Estero, to treat an under-producing parcel of land containing compacted and semi-salinated soils. Approximately 25,000 hectares of land controlled by members of the association are estimated to require revitalization and optimization services. Optamagro is well positioned to take advantage of this potential revenue generating opportunity.
ABOUT THE ANA SOFIA PROJECT
The Project includes an agri-gypsum mine and complete processing facility having a current design capacity of 4,000 tonnes/month. Gypsum is extracted from near-surface, flat-lying beds within the sedimentary formation that extends throughout the Ana Sofia Property, located in Santiago del Estero Province, Argentina. The plant is designed to produce a pellet-sized granular product and a fine powder product (comprised of a minimum 85% gypsum content) that are each packaged into one tonne tote bags. Agricultural gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate) is a valuable plant nutrient and plays a vital role in maintaining soil structure and nutrient balance in South American soils, resulting in enhanced crop yields.
The Project comprises two mining concessions totalling 50 hectares (ha) in size within a larger (approximately 600 ha) exploration permit area. The Project is well situated within a region where other small producers are currently extracting agricultural gypsum and selling to fertilizer distributors and farmers. An initial inferred gypsum resource for the Project was estimated (news releases -- October 31, 2016 and December 16, 2016) to comprise 1.47 million tonnes averaging 94.1% gypsum, using an 85% cut-off grade that is the minimum required gypsum content for commercial-quality agricultural gypsum products in Argentina.
Centurion Minerals Ltd. is a Canadian-based company with an international focus on the development of agri-mineral fertilizer projects. For additional information on the Ana Sofia project and applications of agri-gypsum, visit our website: www.centurionminerals.com, including:
Centurion Minerals - Twitter Account and Demetra Fertilizantes - Instagram Account
“David G. Tafel”
President and CEO