Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC) has signed a funding and offtake agreement with GMA Group member company Garnet International Resources for the Tormin Mineral Sands Operation in the Western Cape of South Africa.
Under the agreement, Mineral Sands Resources, which is 69% owned by Mineral Commodities, will supply GMA with 80,000 tonnes per annum of finished garnet product from 2024 to 2025, 105,000 tonnes per annum from 2026 to 2028, and 125,000 tonnes per annum from 2029-2033, subject to renewal at GMA’s election.
In return, GMA will provide Mineral Sands Resources with US$10 million in loan funding, repayable over 5 years from 1 January 2024, on commercial terms to fund the design and construction of a mineral separation plant (MSP) in the Western Cape region of South Africa.
Mineral Commodities reports the size and scope of the MSP, in terms of capacity and product type (garnet, ilmenite, zircon, or rutile), are at its discretion, with a minimum garnet concentrate feed of 200,000 tonnes per annum being the only specified requirement under the agreement. The company intends for all garnet and ilmenite concentrate feedstock to be processed through the MSP.
The agreed-upon offtake pricing is subject to existing rise and fall mechanisms and is ‘commercial in confidence’. GMA Group will also have first right of refusal on any finished garnet product beyond the minimum offtake.
Additionally, GMA’s loan will be secured against MSP and a guarantee provided by Mineral Commodities.
Commenting on the agreement, Mineral Commodities Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adam Bick says: “We are very pleased to finalise the GMA agreements, crystallising our long-term partnership with GMA Group and Tormin’s transition from concentrate to higher-margin finished product sales.
This offtake agreement forms the foundation of expanding our revenue base, profitability, and cash flows at Tormin. To provide context, the Tormin operation produced 179,000 tonnes of garnet concentrate in 2022, highlighting that this minimum offtake agreement will cover a significant portion of the available finished garnet produced from current operations.
The GMA funding agreement also allows construction of an ilmenite MSP, with ilmenite finished product to be sold into the lucrative, well-established ilmenite market. We welcome the opportunity to renew and formally extend our long-standing relationship with GMA and explore new opportunities to expand our mutually beneficial commercial interests.”
Mineral Commodities reports the agreements align with its strategic plan to transition into ‘higher-value’ finished products, with the company aiming to complete construction of the MSP in the December 2023 quarter.
This strategic plan aims to bolster the value of Mineral Sands Resources’ mineral sands operations by maximising final product value through transitioning from mixed concentrates to finished garnet and ilmenite mineral products.
Mineral Commodities is a global mining and development company primarily focused on developing ‘high-grade’ mineral deposits within the industrial and critical minerals sector. The company recently entered into agreements to increase its interest in Mineral Sands Resources, which wholly owns the Tormin Mineral Sands Operation, from 50% to 69%.
Additionally, Mineral Commodities holds the Skaland Graphite Operation in Norway and is planning to develop the Munglinup Graphite Project in Western Australia.
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