Company Announces Strong Progress in Meeting Construction Milestones
Company Reports Increased Customer Interest Resulting from The Inflation Reduction Act
Centennial, CO – November 10, 2022: Westwater Resources, Inc. (NYSE American: WWR), an energy technology and battery-grade natural graphite development company (“Westwater” or the “Company”), today announced its third quarter results for the period ended September 30, 2022 and provided an update on its Kellyton graphite plant currently under construction in east-central Alabama.
During the third quarter of 2022, Westwater continued construction activities related to Phase I of its Kellyton graphite plant, including receipt of additional long-lead equipment items and continued work on underground utilities, fire loop, foundations, and the manufacturing of plant buildings.
In October, the Company began erecting the first of five primary buildings, and members of management inspected and oversaw the testing and validation of critical long-lead equipment in advance of shipment.
Westwater continues its engagement with potential customers. The Company is working with approximately 40 potential customers across a number of markets including automotive companies and lithium-ion battery manufacturers. Westwater continues to provide new or additional samples at the request of potential customers. To date Westwater has sent samples to 27 potential customers. Westwater believes that the Inflation Reduction Act which sets a minimum domestic content threshold for the percentage of the value of applicable critical minerals contained in the battery of the electric vehicles, is beneficial to the domestic graphite industry and will provide additional benefit to the Company as it continues to engage with potential customers. Since the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act in August, the interest of Westwater’s potential customers has intensified as Westwater moves towards its domestic production of battery-grade natural graphite materials.
“The Westwater team continues its strong progress related to the construction of Phase I of our Kellyton graphite plant and is planning to begin testing and commissioning of Phase I mid-year 2023 and continuing into the second half of next year,” said Chad Potter, President and CEO.
“I am encouraged by the progress during the quarter, and I am especially proud that all this progress was accomplished by our team without a lost time safety incident.”
“We finished the third quarter with a cash balance of $100.3 million and a working capital balance of $80.1 million and remain on budget for Phase I of the Kellyton graphite plant at $202 million” said Steve Cates, CFO and VP-Finance. “Since beginning construction of Phase I of the Kellyton graphite plant in the fourth quarter of 2021, we have incurred approximately $50.5 million of costs, comprised of $34.6 million in cash spent and the remainder included in the Company’s working capital liabilities as of September 30, 2022.”
|($ in thousands, Except Share and Per Share Amounts)||Q3 2022||Q3 2021||Variance|
|Net Cash Used in Operations*||$(8,589)||$(13,040)||(34%)|
|Net Cash Used in Investing Activities*||$(31,968)||$(31)||n/m|
|Net Cash Provided by Financing Activities*||$25,572||$81,715||(69%)|
|Product Development Expenses||$(257)||$(1,834)||(86%)|
|General and Administrative Expenses||$(2,611)||$(2,189)||19%|
|Net Loss Per Share||$(0.07)||$(0.13)||(46%)|
|Avg. Weighted Shares Outstanding||47,462,656||34,331,778||38%|
* Presented on a year-to-date basis.
- Net cash used in operations decreased $4.5 million during the nine months ended September 30, 2022, compared to the same period of 2021, due primarily to lower product development expenses and arbitration costs; partially offset by a foreign exchange loss on our Euro denominated bank account and higher general and administrative expenses.
- Net cash used in investing activities of $32.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, relates to construction spend for Phase I of the Kellyton graphite plant.
- Net cash provided by financing activities decreased $56.1 million during the nine months ended September 30, 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, due to lower sales of shares under our equity financing facilities.
- Product development expenses for the third quarter 2022, decreased $1.6 million compared to the same quarter in 2021. Product development costs for the current quarter pertain to continued product development and optimization costs, and continued customer sample production of our battery-grade graphite products. Third quarter 2021 product development expenses are related to the Definitive Feasibility Study for Phase I of the Kellyton graphite processing facility and the Company’s pilot program, both of which were completed in the fourth quarter of 2021.
- General and administrative expenses for the third quarter 2022 increased by $0.4 million compared to the same 2021 period, due primarily to higher personnel costs as the Company continues to build out its team.
- Consolidated net loss for the third quarter of 2022 was $3.5 million, or $0.07 per share, compared to a net loss of $4.6 million, or $0.13 per share, for the same quarter in 2021. The $1.1 million reduction in net loss was due primarily to lower product development, arbitration, and exploration costs; partially offset by an increase in general and administrative expenses, and a foreign exchange loss adjustment related to our Euro denominated bank account, and no unrealized gain on equity securities, which were sold in the fourth quarter of 2021.
- Cash and working capital as of September 30, 2022, were $100.3 million and $80.1 million, which represent respective decreases of $15.0 million and $30.2 million, compared to December 31, 2021. The decreases in cash and working capital were due primarily to capital expenditures of $32.0 million and cash used in operations of $8.6 million, as well as an increase in working capital liabilities due primarily to Phase I construction of $15.4 million. These decreases were partially offset by cash provided from financing activities.
Management will host a conference call to discuss these results on November 10, 2022, at 11:00 AM EST.
The dial-in numbers are:
Canada/USA TF: 1-800-319-4610
International Toll: +1-604-638-5340
Callers should dial in 5-10 min prior to the scheduled start time and simply ask to join the call.
A live webcast of the conference call presentation will also be available at www.westwaterresources.net
For a replay of the call:
Canada/USA TF: 1-855-669-9658
International Toll: +1-412-317-0088
Replay Access Code: 9457
About Westwater Resources, Inc.
Westwater Resources, Inc. (NYSE American: WWR), an energy technology company, is focused on developing battery-grade natural graphite. The Company’s primary project is the Kellyton graphite processing plant that is under construction in east-central Alabama. In addition, the Company’s Coosa graphite deposit is the most advanced natural flake graphite deposit in the contiguous United States and located across 41,965 acres (~17,000 hectares) in Coosa County, Alabama. For more information, visit www.westwaterresources.net.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are identified by words such as “expects,” “estimates,” “projects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “intensified”, “scheduled,” “targets” and other similar words. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the construction and operation of the Company’s Kellyton graphite plant, the Company’s Coosa graphite deposit, and the costs and schedules associated with them. The Company cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of the Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Westwater’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: (a) the spot price and long‑term contract price of graphite (both flake graphite feedstock and purified graphite products) and vanadium, and the world-wide supply and demand of graphite and vanadium; (b) the effects, extent and timing of additional competition in the markets in which we operate; (c) the ability to obtain contracts with customers; (d) available sources and transportation of graphite feedstock; (e) the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns during the development, construction and operation of the Kellyton graphite plant; (f) the ability to construct and operate the Kellyton graphite plant in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives; (g) effects of inflation and rising interest rates; (h) the availability and supply of equipment and materials needed to construct the Kellyton graphite plant; (i) stock price volatility; (j) government regulation of the mining and manufacturing industries in the United States; (k) unanticipated geological, processing, regulatory and legal or other problems we may encounter; (l) the results of our exploration activities at the Coosa graphite deposit, and the possibility that future exploration results may be materially less promising than initial exploration results; (m) any graphite or vanadium discoveries at the Coosa graphite deposit not being in high enough concentration to make it economic to extract the metals; (n) our ability to finance growth plans; (l) the potential effects of the continued COVID-19 pandemic; (o) currently pending or new litigation or arbitration; and (p) our ability to maintain and timely receive mining, manufacturing, and other permits from regulatory agencies.
Westwater Resources, Inc.
Product Sales Contact:
Jay Wago, Vice President – Sales and Marketing
Porter, LeVay & Rose
Michael Porter, President