Verde AgriTech Advances into phase 2 of Musk-Backed $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal Challenge

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SINGAPORE, Oct. 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Verde AgriTech Ltd (TSX: “NPK”) ("Verde” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has successfully advanced to Phase 2 of the largest incentive prize in history, XPRIZE "$100M Carbon Removal" Challenge (the “Challenge”). This challenge seeks innovative solutions to extract and sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle.

Verde has delivered an ambitious proposal to develop one of the world’s largest carbon capture projects through Enhanced Rock Weathering (“ERW”) - a natural weathering process that involves the sequestration of carbon dioxide (“CO2”) from the atmosphere by crushing and spreading reactive rock material on land.

Verde has developed partnerships with British universities, leaders in Soil Science1, that have proven Verde’s K Forte® and Super Greensand® (“Products”) have the potential to capture CO2 from the atmosphere through ERW. As detailed by an independent study conducted at Newcastle University under the leadership of Prof. David Manning, PhD, a renowned soil scientist, the carbon dioxide capture properties of the Products are estimated at 120kg per tonne.

The Company has combined measured and indicated mineral resources of 1.47 billion tonnes at 9.28% K2O and an inferred mineral resource of 1.85 billion tonnes at 8.60% K2O, compliant with the Canadian National Instrument 43-101.2 Its total 3.32 billion tonnes of resources put Verde in a unique position of potential scalability to sequester up to 0.40 gigatons of CO2.

XPRIZE is known for its global competitions that drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Backed by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, XPRIZE launched the Challenge to inspire and help scale efficient solutions to combat climate change, restoring the Earth's carbon cycle. The Challenge seeks innovative methods to capture carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or ocean and lock it away permanently in an environmentally benign way.

The competition has drawn attention from around the world, with numerous companies vying for the opportunity to showcase their carbon removal solutions. Verde's selection to Phase 2 stands as a testament to its innovative approach, commitment to sustainability and potential to contribute meaningfully to a more sustainable future through its carbon capture technology.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by XPRIZE for our pioneering efforts in carbon removal. It is not just a recognition of our diligent efforts, but also emphasizes the transformative potential of our technology to create a profoundly positive effect on our planet. We have an established annual production capacity of 3.00 million tonnes, and with this, Verde has the potential to capture up to 0.36 million tonnes of CO2 annually. We are confident that Verde is an outstanding candidate within the XPRIZE Carbon Removal Challenge, not only to our innovative solution, but for the potential of massive scalability”, stated Cristiano Veloso, Verde’s Founder and CEO.

About XPRIZE Carbon Removal

XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling the biggest threat facing humanity - fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. Funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, this $100M competition is the largest incentive prize in history.‎

The climate math is becoming clear that we will need gigaton-scale carbon removal in the coming decades to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates the need at approximately 10 gigatonnes of net CO2 removal per year by the year 2050 in order to keep global temperature rise under 1.5 or 2C. As governments, companies, investors, and entrepreneurs make plans to meet this challenge, it is clear that we will need a range of carbon removal solutions to be proven through demonstration and deployment to complement work that is already underway. If humanity continues on a business-as-usual path, the global average temperature could increase 6˚(C) by the year 2100.

For further information see: https://www.xprize.org/prizes/carbonremoval

About Verde AgriTech

Verde is an agricultural technology company that produces potash fertilizers. Its purpose is to improve the health of all people and the planet. Rooting our solutions in nature, it makes agriculture healthier, more productive, and profitable.

Verde is a fully integrated Company: it mines and processes its main feedstock from its 100% owned mineral properties, then sells and distributes the Product.

Verde’s focus on research and development has resulted in one patent and eight patents pending. Among its proprietary technologies are Cambridge Tech, 3D Alliance, MicroS Technology, N Keeper, and Bio Revolution.3 Currently, the Company is fully licensed to produce up to 2.8 million tonnes per year of its multinutrient potassium fertilizers K Forte® and BAKS®, sold internationally as Super Greensand®. In 2022, it became Brazil's largest potash producer by capacity.4 Verde has a combined measured and indicated mineral resource of 1.47 billion tonnes at 9.28% K2O and an inferred mineral resource of 1.85 billion tonnes at 8.60% K2O (using a 7.5% K2O cut-off grade).5 This amounts to 295.70 million tonnes of potash in K2O. For context, in 2021 Brazil’s total consumption of potash in K2O was 6.57 million6.

Brazil ranks second in global potash demand and is its single largest importer, currently depending on external sources for over 97% of its potash needs. In 2022, potash accounted for approximately 3% of all Brazilian imports by dollar value.7

Corporate Presentation

For further information on the Company, please view shareholders’ deck:

https://verde.docsend.com/view/mjxisb9by2xbt5y2

Investors Newsletter  

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The last edition of the newsletter can be accessed at: https://bit.ly/InvestorNL_August2023

Cautionary Language and Forward-Looking Statements

All Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resources estimates reported by the Company were estimated in accordance with the Canadian National Instrument 43-101 and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum Definition Standards (May 10, 2014). These standards differ significantly from the requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

This document contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This information and these statements, referred to herein as "forward-looking statements" are made as of the date of this document. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect current estimates, predictions, expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to:

  1. the estimated amount and grade of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves;
  2. the estimated amount of CO2 removal per tonne of rock;
  3. the PFS representing a viable development option for the Project;
  4. estimates of the capital costs of constructing mine facilities and bringing a mine into production, of sustaining capital and the duration of financing payback periods;
  5. the estimated amount of future production, both produced and sold;
  6. timing of disclosure for the PFS and recommendations from the Special Committee;
  7. the Company’s competitive position in Brazil and demand for potash; and,
  8. estimates of operating costs and total costs, net cash flow, net present value and economic returns from an operating mine.

Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "expects", "anticipates", "plans", "projects", "estimates", "envisages", "assumes", "intends", "strategy", "goals", "objectives" or variations thereof or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved, or the negative of any of these terms and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements.

All forward-looking statements are based on Verde's or its consultants' current beliefs as well as various assumptions made by them and information currently available to them. The most significant assumptions are set forth above, but generally these assumptions include, but are not limited to:

  1. the presence of and continuity of resources and reserves at the Project at estimated grades;
  2. the estimation of CO2 removal based on the chemical and mineralogical composition of assumed resources and reserves;
  3. the geotechnical and metallurgical characteristics of rock conforming to sampled results; including the quantities of water and the quality of the water that must be diverted or treated during mining operations;
  4. the capacities and durability of various machinery and equipment;
  5. the availability of personnel, machinery and equipment at estimated prices and within the estimated delivery times;
  6. currency exchange rates;
  7. Super Greensand® and K Forte® sales prices, market size and exchange rate assumed;
  8. appropriate discount rates applied to the cash flows in the economic analysis;
  9. tax rates and royalty rates applicable to the proposed mining operation;
  10. the availability of acceptable financing under assumed structure and costs;
  11. anticipated mining losses and dilution;
  12. reasonable contingency requirements;
  13. success in realizing proposed operations;
  14. receipt of permits and other regulatory approvals on acceptable terms; and
  15. the fulfilment of environmental assessment commitments and arrangements with local communities.

Although management considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect. Many forward-looking statements are made assuming the correctness of other forward looking statements, such as statements of net present value and internal rates of return, which are based on most of the other forward-looking statements and assumptions herein. The cost information is also prepared using current values, but the time for incurring the costs will be in the future and it is assumed costs will remain stable over the relevant period.

By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and risks exist that estimates, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved or that assumptions do not reflect future experience. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements as a number of important factors could cause the actual outcomes to differ materially from the beliefs, plans, objectives, expectations, anticipations, estimates assumptions and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These risk factors may be generally stated as the risk that the assumptions and estimates expressed above do not occur as forecast, but specifically include, without limitation: risks relating to variations in the mineral content within the material identified as Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves from that predicted; variations in rates of recovery and extraction; the geotechnical characteristics of the rock mined or through which infrastructure is built differing from that predicted, the quantity of water that will need to be diverted or treated during mining operations being different from what is expected to be encountered during mining operations or post closure, or the rate of flow of the water being different; developments in world metals markets; risks relating to fluctuations in the Brazilian Real relative to the Canadian dollar; increases in the estimated capital and operating costs or unanticipated costs; difficulties attracting the necessary work force; increases in financing costs or adverse changes to the terms of available financing, if any; tax rates or royalties being greater than assumed; changes in development or mining plans due to changes in logistical, technical or other factors; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; risks relating to receipt of regulatory approvals; delays in stakeholder negotiations; changes in regulations applying to the development, operation, and closure of mining operations from what currently exists; the effects of competition in the markets in which Verde operates; operational and infrastructure risks and the additional risks described in Verde's Annual Information Form filed with SEDAR in Canada (available at www.sedar.com) for the year ended December 31, 2021. Verde cautions that the foregoing list of factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive.

When relying on our forward-looking statements to make decisions with respect to Verde, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. Verde does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by Verde or on our behalf, except as required by law.

For additional information please contact:

Lucas Brown, Vice-President of Corporate Development

Tel: +55 (31) 3245 0205; Email: investor@verde.ag

www.verde.ag | www.investor.verde.ag

1 See “Verde’s Products Remove Carbon Dioxide From the Air” and “Verde’s Products Remove Carbon Dioxide from Air in Mere Months of Application”.

2 Resource Estimate Effective Date: May 12, 2022. Responsible QP: Bradley Ackroyd, B. Sc (Geo), MAIG. Cutoff Content: 7.5% K2O. For further details see the Pre-Feasibility Study: investor.verde.ag/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NI-43-101-Pre-Feasibility-Technical-Report-for-the-Cerrado-Verde-Project.pdf  

3 Learn more about our technologies: https://verde.docsend.com/view/yvthnpuv8jx6g4r9  

4 See the release at: https://investor.verde.ag/verde-starts-ramp-up-of-plant-2s-second-stage-to-reach-production-of-2-4mtpy/

5 As per the National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects within Canada (“NI 43 -101”), filed on SEDAR in 2017. See the Pre-Feasibility Study at: https://investor.verde.ag/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/NI-43-101-Pre-Feasibility-Technical-Report-Cerrado-Verde-Project.pdf

6 Source: Brazilian Fertilizer Mixers Association (from "Associação Misturadores de Adubo do Brasil", in Portuguese).

7 Source: Brazilian Comex Stat, available at: http://comexstat.mdic.gov.br/en/geral

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Source: Verde AgriTech Ltd

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