VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AsiaBaseMetals Inc. (the “Company”) (TSX-V: “ABZ”) is pleased to provide, subject to the Company’s confidentiality obligations, an update regarding the progress made under the cooperation agreement (the “Agreement”) between the Company and a city (the “City”) in the cannabis sector (the “Cannabis Sector”) in the Republic of Croatia (the “Country” and/or “Croatia”), a member country of the European Union (the “EU”), as previously announced on June 19 and 26, 2019.
The Cannabis Sector
As previously announced, the Agreement provides for the City to apply for a license for growing, importing, exporting and selling cannabis for medical purposes (“Medical-Cannabis-Permit”) through a limited company to be incorporated by the City (“City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd.”). Upon City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd. obtaining a Medical-Cannabis-Permit, the City has agreed to transfer all or majority of shares of City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd. to the Company.
Medical Cannabis Permit: With Croatia having legalized Cannabis for limited medical use on October 15, 2015 and decriminalized it for personal use in 2013, a bill to legalize recreational marijuana was introduced into parliament on February 10, 2020 for debate. As such, the City upon complete review of the national licensing process has decided to submit the required documents to incorporate City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd. for the purposes of applying for a medical laboratory permit (the “Medical Laboratory-Permit”), a permit required pursuant to the current legislative rules of Croatia to apply for and obtain a Medical-Cannabis-Permit. The City having informed the Company that the incorporation documents for City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd. will be filed with the authorities by February 26, 2020 and the Company expects incorporation of City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd. to be completed by March 11, 2020. The City has commenced the construction of a 3,000 square foot (Sq-Ft) laboratory (the “Lab”) within a new 250,000 Sq-Ft building (the “Building”) being constructed by the City in anticipation of the completion of incorporation of City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd. The City has informed the Company that the Lab is now 80% completed within the Building which is now 90% completed. The building is expected to receive occupancy permit by April 30, 2020.
“It is interesting to note that in the cannabis sector, the largest market within western cultures is represented by Europe, having an approximate population of 740 million people (with EU representing approximately 512 million), when compared to North America having an approximate population of 579 million (with USA representing approximately 327 million). Croatia, having already previously passed legislation for growing and selling cannabis for medical consumption (2015) is awaiting the completion of the required regulations (the “Regulations”) for full implementation. The City expects the Regulations which are currently being finalized to be implemented by March 31, 2020. Croatia, especially within the Dalmatia region where the City is located has one of the best climates and agricultural conditions within the EU. The region has advanced experience in both outdoor and greenhouse cultivation of products including tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, other vegetables and vegetation. Further, the City is a coastal city that has access to freeways/highways, international airports, ports, marinas, power, and all other essential required infrastructure and other needs to service agriculture, industry and tourism. Croatia, which has a premium pharmaceutical industry in the EU and globally, pursuant to the City’s estimates, hosted approximately 20 million tourist/business visitors in 2019, who came to the Country to enjoy its rich history, culture, people, cuisines & wines, extensive coastline (mainland having over 1,700 km of coastline and islands having over 4,000 km of coastline), beaches, leisure activities and recreation. Upon full implementation, this opportunity is expected to provide AsiaBaseMetals Inc. a true first mover advantage in the EU from its operation in Croatia (which is also expected to join the border-free Schengen Zone in 2020 having been EU’s 28th member state since July 1, 2013) with its planned EU head office to be opened in the City. The Company is continuing to consider additional opportunities and acquisitions in the cannabis sector, especially in Europe, only in fully legal jurisdictions,” stated Raj Chowdhry, CEO.
The Company, subject to required approvals, intends to retain business and commodity focus for both the cannabis, mining, and any other business sectors (see About AsiaBaseMetals Inc. below) by plan of arrangement spin-out transaction(s) (“Spin-Co’s”) as projects are identified and acquired, in the same manner as when AsiaBaseMetals Inc. was originally formed via the creation of a Spin-Co from Sandfire Resources America Inc. (name changed from Tintina Resources) while it was still under the guidance of its founder Raj Chowdhry as CEO and Chairman. Spin-Co’s result in the Company retaining commodity/business focus and the shareholders of the Company, as of the record date for the Spin-Co creation, automatically receiving additional shares in a new company while retaining the shares in AsiaBaseMetals Inc.
“With the recent addition of Jakša Mrčela to the Board of Directors and Mr. Goran Ivanišević to the Advisory Board of the Company (as previously announced on February 6, 2020), the Company looks forward to completing its pursuit in the Cannabis sector focusing on the European Union and reviewing opportunities in other non-mining sectors, including real estate and casino opportunities especially in Croatia. The Company intends to retain the services of an international consulting firm in Croatia to assist the Company in its evaluation of opportunities, subject to agreement on terms of engagement” stated Raj Chowdhry, President and CEO of the Company.
Stock Option Grant
The Company is also pleased to announce, subject to TSXV approval, that it has granted 20,000 stock options under its stock option plan to a consultant of the Company. Such options will be exercisable at $0.40 for a period of two years from the date of grant. Of the total stock options granted, 50% will be fully vested upon grant; with 25% of the stock options vesting on August 20, 2020 and the remaining 25% vesting on February 20, 2021.
About AsiaBaseMetals Inc.
AsiaBaseMetals Inc., a company focused on advancing its projects in the mining sector and developing and evaluating additional opportunities in the cannabis sector, is led by an experienced and successful business and mining team. The Company is advancing its 100% owned Gnome Zinc/Cobalt Project and its 100% owned Jean Iron Ore Project in world-class mining districts in Canada, one of the safest and mining friendly districts in the world. The Company is advancing current opportunities and exploring additional opportunities in the cannabis sector, with emphasis in Europe, and is reviewing other non-mining opportunities, including real estate and casino opportunities in Croatia. In addition, the Company is seeking to further diversify its portfolio, with special attention directed to advanced acquisition targets in the Americas, Asia and Africa for base metals [Copper (Cu)], alkali metals [Cobalt (Co)] / Lithium (Li)] and precious metals [Gold (Au) / Silver (Ag)]. The Company is awaiting the grant of exploration permits for lithium (the “Thazi Project”) pursuant to a submitted application in Myanmar.
The Gnome Project, 100% owned by AsiaBaseMetals Inc. (12 mineral claims encompassing approximately 5,868 hectares) is located 35 Km southeast (“SE”) from Teck Resources Limited (“Teck”) & Korea Zinc’s (“KZ”) joint ventured (“T-KZ-JV” – 50% each) Cirque Deposit and 15 Km SE of the Cardiac Creek deposit – Akie Project (ZincX Resources Inc. – announced results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) of Cardiac Creek deposit hosted within the Akie Project – June 20, 2018). The Cirque Deposit, the Cardiac Creek deposit, Pie, Cirque East and Yeun properties (51% interest in the Pie, Cirque East and Yeun properties that were originally optioned by Teck from ZincX Resources Inc, (formerly Canada Zinc Metals Corp.) (“ZincX”) now held as part of the T-KZ-JV), the Cirque Property and Gnome property are all in the same geological belt, northeast (“NE”) of Williston Lake, in north western British Columbia, Canada, within a north-northwest-south-southeast (N-NW-S-SE) oriented geological trend in the southernmost part (“Kechika Trough”) of the regionally extensive Paleozoic Selwyn basin, one of the most prolific sedimentary basins in the world for the occurrence of SEDEX zinc-lead silver and stratiform barite deposits. Mineralization hosted on the Cirque and Cardiac Creek properties is not indicative of the mineralization hosted on the Company’s Gnome Project at its current stage of exploration.
The Company, subject to required approvals, intends to retain business and commodity focus for both the mining, cannabis and other commodity/business sectors by plan of arrangement spin-out transaction(s) (“Spin-Co’s”) as projects are identified and acquired, in the same manner as when AsiaBaseMetals Inc. was originally formed via the creation of a Spin-Co from Sandfire Resources America Inc. (name changed from Tintina Resources) while it was still under the guidance of its founder Raj Chowdhry as CEO and Chairman. Spin-Co’s result in the Company retaining commodity/business focus and the shareholders of the Company, as of the record date for the Spin-Co creation, automatically receiving additional shares in a new company while retaining the shares in AsiaBaseMetals Inc.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
The PEA is considered preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves have not yet demonstrated economic viability. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of a mineral resource will be upgraded to mineral reserves. Therefore, there is no certainty that the results concluded in the PEA will be realized. Mineralization hosted on the Cirque and Cardiac Creek Properties is not indicative of the mineralization hosted on the Company’s Gnome Project at its current stage of exploration.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: Certain disclosure in this release, including statements regarding the Agreement, the transactions contemplated thereby and activities in respect thereof, including the incorporation of City-New-Sub-Co. Ltd., the Company’s pursuit of opportunities in the cannabis sector and other non-mining opportunities in Europe, the grant of the Thazi Project permits, the Company’s plans for future exploration programs in Myanmar, the Gnome Project (Cobalt & Zinc), possible acquisitions and spin-out transactions and the Company’s exploration and other plans, including timing and expected outcomes, may constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. In making the forward-looking statements in this release, the Company has applied certain factors and assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable, including that the necessary regulatory approvals for the transactions contemplated by the Agreement will be obtained, that the Company will obtain the necessary regulatory approvals for the grant of the Thazi Project permits and exploration in Myanmar, the Medical-Cannabis-Permit will be obtained, the acquisition of City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd. by the Company will be completed as expected and will have the benefits expected by management, the Lab and the Building will be completed as expected, that the Company will receive necessary approvals for possible acquisitions and spin-out transactions, that the Company will be able to carry out future exploration or work programs as planned, that the Company will obtain the necessary personnel, supplies and equipment and be able to carry out future exploration or work programs as planned, the Company’s planned exploration will achieve the results expected by management, that the Company will obtain any required financing, that the Company’s exploration and development activities on the Gnome Project will not be affected by actions of special interest groups, and that the results of exploration activities will be consistent with management’s expectations, that no unforeseen accident, fire, ground instability, flooding, labor disruption, equipment failure, metallurgical, environmental or other events that could delay or increase the cost of development will occur, that general business and economic conditions will not change in a materially adverse manner, and the continuity of economic and political conditions and operations of the Company. However, the forward-looking statements in this release are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Such uncertainties and risks include, among others, financing risks, delays in obtaining or inability to obtain required regulatory approvals for the Thazi Project permits, the Medical-Cannabis-Permit will not be obtained, the acquisition of City-New-Sub-Co-Ltd. by the Company will not be completed or will not have the benefits expected by management, the Lab or the Building will not be completed as expected, all of the other risks generally associated with the pursuit of opportunities in the cannabis sector and other non-mining opportunities in Europe, delays in obtaining or inability to secure possible acquisitions and spin-out transactions, results of exploration and development activities will not be consistent with management’s expectations, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, the risk of accidents, labor disputes, inclement or hazardous weather conditions, unusual or unexpected geological conditions, earthquakes, flooding, interference with the Company’s exploration activities by environmental activists or other special interest groups, inability to procure equipment and supplies in sufficient quantities and on a timely basis, and all of the other risks generally associated with the pursuit of opportunities in the Cannabis sector and exploration of mining properties, and changes in the Company’s plans. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
CONTACT: For more information please email email@example.com. Contact Information AsiaBaseMetals Inc. Raj Chowdhry, Chief Executive Officer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org