Bracken International Mining has signed a $260 million offtake agreement to supply 30,000 tonnes of manganese ore per month to Sanit Trading of Qingdao China. The ore will be supplied from its Big George mine in Indonesia’s West Timor through the nearby Kupang Port, starting from late November 2012.
Production at Big George is scheduled to begin during this quarter following the arrival of a new ship loader at the port. Staff and equipment are already on site.
Bracken says the contract will put the company in a cash positive position in the final quarter of the calendar year and make it possible to fast track development of its employment training and health facilities in Kupang.
The company’s executive chairman Luke Bracken says, “Bracken International Mining is committed to maximizing opportunities and benefits for the community at Kupang near the Big George Mine and has been engaging with local organizations and building partnerships where its expertise can be beneficial. Bracken is committed to raising education levels, improving biodiversity, land management and the ecology of the local environment.”
Development of the manganese smelter at Kupang is on track for construction to begin mid-2013. Bracken is in negotiations with construction companies for its design and build.
Luke Bracken says, “We are breaking into the Chinese market as China continues to grow into a world dominating force. “Sanit Trading is a major iron ore buyer and manganese is essential to iron and steel production. Most of the demand for manganese comes from steelmaking, and ironmaking, accounting for up to 90% of today’s global demand.”
The company owns six mine licences covering 8,208 hectares in West Timor with combined reserves of more than 300 million tonnes. The Big George mine is 35km from Kupang’s main export loading port and is strategically located to take full advantage of China’s growing demand for steel, of which manganese is an essential component.
Tests have confirmed the average manganese content at the project is between 50% and 68%. The company also has a licence to build a refinement smelter, which will produce silicon and ferrous manganese end use products.
Another letter of intent for an offtake agreement has been signed with Shandong Coking Coal with the companies expecting to finalize a contract in the near future.