Largo Reports First Quarter 2023 Operational And Sales Results; Installation Of Its 6.1 MWH Vanadium Flow Battery And Construction Of Its Ilmenite Plant Nears Completion

Q1 2023 and Other Highlights
Quarterly V2O5 production of 2,111 tonnes (4.6 million lbs1) in Q1 2023 vs. 2,442 tonnes produced in Q1 2022; In the upper range of Company’s quarterly production guidance of 1,900-2,200 tonnes for Q1 2023
Quarterly sales of 2,849 tonnes of V2O5 equivalent (inclusive of 245 tonnes of purchased material) in Q1 2023, a 28% increase over the 2,232 equivalent tonnes sold (inclusive of 79 tonnes of purchased material) in Q1 2022 and well above the Company’s quarterly guidance range of 2,300-2,500 tonnes for Q1 2023
Construction of the Company’s ilmenite concentration plant progressed as planned in Q1 2023; The Company expects to complete commissioning in Q2 2023 and initiate a gradual ramp up of ilmenite concentrate production in early Q3 2023 as a new by-product of its vanadium operations in Brazil
Largo Clean Energy (“LCE”) continued with the installation of its 6.1-megawatt hour (“MWh”) vanadium redox flow battery (“VRFB”) for Enel Green Power España (“EGPE”) in Q1 2023 with a majority of the site equipment installed
In April 2023, Largo completed its registration to become a member of the Long Duration Energy Storage Council, a global non-profit working group to accelerate the decarbonisation of the world through the acceleration of long duration energy storage
LCE and Ansaldo Green Tech (“Ansaldo”) continue to explore business opportunities to address the identified needs in the European energy sector. Discussions between LCE and Ansaldo have progressed beyond the stage of a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) to the stage of final agreement negotiations. While the exclusivity period contained in the previously announced non-binding MOU has expired, both parties continue negotiations and an update will be provided at the appropriate time
Largo Inc. (“Largo” or the “Company”) (TSX: LGO) (NASDAQ: LGO) today announces quarterly production of 2,111 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide (“V2O5”) equivalent from its Maracás Menchen Mine and sales of 2,849 tonnes V2O5 equivalent in Q1 2023.
Daniel Tellechea, Interim CEO and Director of Largo, stated: “As expected, effects from heavy rains and reduced high-grade massive ore availability impacted production in Q1 2023 and the Company has been diligently working to rebuild the necessary stockpiles to maintain steady-state operations going forward. Despite these challenges, I am pleased to report that we are tracking in line with our 2023 production and sales guidance as of Q1 2023.” He continued: “We expect to reach a number of significant milestones in 2023, including the successful delivery of the Company’s first VRFB system in Spain, the inauguration of its ilmenite concentration plant as well as finalizing negotiations with Ansaldo, which remain ongoing. As the vanadium sector continues to exhibit steady demand, our focus remains on delivering these milestones over the course of the year in an effort to maximize shareholder value.”
Q1 2023 Operational and Sales Overview
Heavy Rains and Low Massive Ore Availability Impacts Quarterly Production Results in Q1 2023: V2O5 production in January was 354 tonnes, with 843 tonnes produced in February and 914 tonnes produced in March, for a total of 2,111 tonnes produced. Production in Q1 2023 was largely impacted by low ore availability due in part to the heavy rains at the mine in December 2022. Consequently, the Company performed its planned kiln maintenance and refractory refurbishment in January 2023. In Q1 2023, global recoveries3 averaged 83.0%, being 7% higher than the 77.5% averaged in Q1 2022 and 11% higher than the 74.7% achieved in Q4 2022. In Q1 2023, a transition of the Company’s mining contractor was completed and the Company mined 341,967 tonnes of ore with an effective V2O5 grade2 of 0.81% compared to 303,652 tonnes with an effective V2O5 grade2 of 1.27% in Q1 2022. The impact to ore grade mined was due in part to the effects of low massive ore availability due to the heavy rains as noted previously.
Strong Sales Results in Q1 2023 Supported by Strong Spot Market Demand – China Leading the Way with VRFBs: In Q1 2023, the Company sold 2,849 tonnes of V2O5 equivalent (inclusive of 245 tonnes of purchased material), representing an increase of 28% over the 2,232 tonnes (inclusive of 79 tonnes of purchased material) sold in Q1 2022. In Q1 2023, spot demand for vanadium remained strong, primarily due to higher-than-expected demand from the aerospace sector. At Vanitec’s 12th Energy Storage Committee meeting in Chengdu, China in March, several announcements were made regarding the Chinese VRFB sector, including demand forecasts for expected VRFB manufacturing capacity. The cumulative installed capacity of electrochemical energy storage in China is expected to reach 100 gigawatts (“GW”) by 2030, with VRFBs expected to represent 30% of this capacity or approximately 180 gigawatt hours (“GWh”) using an average duration of 6 hours. It is estimated that 180 GWh of vanadium electrolyte would require approximately 1.5 million tonnes of V2O5 or approximately 7.5x current global production levels.
Inaugural VCHARGE VRFB Installation in Spain Nears Completion in Q1 2023: LCE continued to progress with the delivery of its VRFB system for EGPE during Q1 2023. All required hardware for the installation was delivered and LCE’s field service team completed a significant portion of the system installation, including the alternating current (“AC”) power systems, chiller system, LCE’s power containers and electrolyte storage containers. The Company expects hot commissioning of the VRFB system to be completed in June 2023, however provisional acceptance by EGPE is now expected in Q3 2023 due in part to delays associated with the finalization of certain agreements and the receipt of government documentation required for the provision of services by qualified technicians.
Ramp Up of Ilmenite Concentrate Production Expected in Early Q3 2023: Following the anticipated completion of construction and commissioning of its ilmenite concentration plant in Q2 2023, the Company expects to begin producing ilmenite concentrate in early Q3 2023. The Company expects a gradual ramp up of ilmenite production in Q3 2023 with the expectation of building sufficient stockpiles of produced material for sale in early 2024. The Company continues to explore alternative debt financing or strategic association options with regard to developing its titanium dioxide (“TiO2”) pigment plant. Currently, there are no capital expenditure obligations for this plant in 2023, and the Company will provide further updates as required.
About Largo
Largo has a long and successful history as one of the world’s preferred vanadium companies through the supply of its VPURETM and VPURE+TM products, which are sourced from one of the world’s highest-grade vanadium deposits at the Company’s Maracás Menchen Mine in Brazil. Aiming to enhance value creation at Largo, the Company will be implementing a titanium dioxide pigment plant using feedstock sourced from its existing operations in addition to advancing its U.S.-based clean energy division with its VCHARGE vanadium batteries. Largo’s VCHARGE vanadium batteries contain a variety of innovations, enabling an efficient, safe and ESG-aligned long duration solution that is fully recyclable at the end of its 25+ year lifespan. Producing some of the world’s highest quality vanadium, Largo’s strategic business plan is based on two pillars: 1.) leading vanadium supplier with an outlined growth plan and 2.) U.S.-based energy storage business support a low carbon future.