TAMPA, Fla., March 31, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NASDAQ:OMEX), a deep-ocean exploration pioneer engaged in the discovery, validation and development of subsea minerals deposits in an environmentally responsible manner, reported results for the full year ended December 31, 2020, and provided an update on current projects and future plans.
“While 2020 was challenging for companies around the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Odyssey team was able to achieve, and in some cases surpass, the aggressive goals we set for ourselves,” reported Mark D. Gordon, Odyssey Chairman and CEO. “Odyssey’s business is focused on building a portfolio of subsea mineral assets that hold the potential to produce meaningful societal and economic impacts for host countries and tremendous asymmetric returns for investors.
“A key objective in 2020 was identifying and securing capital to fund the needs of the company and our subsidiaries through 2021 and into 2022. An $11M registered direct offering in August of 2020 provided operating capital to execute Odyssey’s strategic plans in 2021 and beyond and allowed Odyssey to further invest and increase our ownership interest in the subsidiary controlling the ExO deposit,” continued Gordon.
“Another key objective for 2020 was continuing to progress the NAFTA action to recover the value of our ExO Phosphate Project in Mexico. In September, we filed a strong and compelling First Memorial in the NAFTA case, which is available at https://www.odysseymarine.com/nafta. It was the culmination of many months of work by our legal team at Cooley, supported by our internal project development and research teams, to gather documentary evidence and 20 expert reports and witness statements that demonstrate the merits of the case, the strategic size and grade of the resource, the operational viability of the project, and the project’s value. We are extremely confident in our case and, with the additional litigation funding commitment from, Poplar Grove LLC, we are prepared to take the case through to its final conclusion to realize the significant value of this asset.
“Our accomplishments in 2020 have set the foundation for achievement of our 2021 strategic goals, which include further increasing the value of our expanding mineral portfolio. This encompasses not only moving current projects up the value curve including our Lihir Subsea Gold and CIC projects, but also adding new mineral projects to our portfolio.
“We recently restructured our executive team and work streams to align with our strategic goals. In order to allow John Longley, our President and COO to focus on growing and increasing the value of our mineral portfolio, we’ve asked long-time Odyssey employee and Director, Laura Barton, to take on the role of Chief Business Officer to lead strategic and business operations initiatives that support the project development goals.
“In addition, earlier this month, the Odyssey Board reinstated the seventh seat on the Board of Directors and appointed Todd Siegel to fill the seat. We’re looking forward to benefitting from Todd’s significant experience leading public companies in CEO and Director roles as we take our business to the next level of growth,” concluded Gordon.
Increasing Portfolio Value
Odyssey increases the value of its mineral portfolio in multiple ways: adding new projects through development or acquisition, gaining or increasing equity ownership in mineral projects through investment or a leveraged contracting model, and by de-risking projects through exploration and assessment and moving them up the value curve toward full operating production.
During 2020 Odyssey worked on further developing the value of two highly prospective subsea mineral projects, CIC and Lihir Subsea Gold. The company is also actively developing new projects through its proprietary Global Prospectivity Program, with the goal of identifying new, highly valuable, and societally significant subsea resources.
In 2021, we expect to receive regulatory outcomes providing permits enabling us to carry out planned exploration programs that could significantly enhance the value of one or more of our portfolio projects.
CIC: Odyssey is a member of the CIC Consortium, which is seeking a mineral exploration license in an island nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The CIC Consortium was founded and is led by Odyssey co-founder and former CEO, Greg Stemm, and includes Royal Boskalis Westminster NV and Odyssey Marine Exploration.
Through a wholly owned subsidiary, Odyssey Marine Minerals, Odyssey has already earned 16 million shares (representing more than 12% of current outstanding shares of this project) through the provision of services related to resource assessment, project planning, research and project management, and Odyssey has an option to acquire an additional four million shares.
Lihir Subsea Gold: The project’s license area is adjacent to Lihir Island in Papua New Guinea where one of the world’s largest known terrestrial gold deposits is currently being mined and processed by Newcrest Mining. The license area includes at least five prospective exploration targets in two different mineralization types: seamount-related epithermal and modern placer gold. Odyssey owns approximately 80% of Bismarck Mining Corporation, Ltd, the Papua New Guinea company that holds the exploration license.
While the COVID-19 pandemic delayed plans for additional offshore exploration work in 2020, presentations to the public were made in December 2020 in compliance with and in support of the regulatory process in PNG. Upon renewal of the exploration license, we intend to conduct offshore operations work in 2021. “We are extremely excited to complete the exploration program to verify and quantify the mineralization of this potentially valuable resource and to fully understand the environmental setting in which it lies. We were on the cusp of executing this program in 2020 when the pandemic hit, making marine operations impossible to execute. The renewal will allow us to execute the same exploration program that was approved in the last license period,” said John Longley, President & COO of Odyssey.
2020 Financial Results
Consolidated financial statements as well as Odyssey's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2020, are available on the company's website at www.odysseymarine.com as well as at www.sec.gov.
About Odyssey Marine Exploration
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) is engaged in ocean exploration using innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to provide access to critical resources worldwide. Our core focus is the discovery, validation and development of subsea mineral resources. Odyssey also provides marine services for private clients and governments. For additional details, please visit www.odysseymarine.com.
Forward Looking Information
Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 31, 2021. The financial and operating projections as well as estimates of mining assets are based solely on the assumptions developed by Odyssey that it believes are reasonable based upon information available to Odyssey as of the date of this release. All projections and estimates are subject to material uncertainties and should not be viewed as a prediction or an assurance of actual future performance. The validity and accuracy of Odyssey's projections will depend upon unpredictable future events, many of which are beyond Odyssey's control and, accordingly, no assurance can be given that Odyssey's assumptions will prove true or that its projected results will be achieved.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this press release, such as "measured", "indicated," "inferred" and "resources," which the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in our filings with the SEC. "Inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of the inferred mineral resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable, and are urged to consider closely the disclosures in our Form 10-K which may be secured from us or from the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.
(813) 876-1776 x 2562
Source: Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.