Minemakers has engaged a financial adviser to assist with securing an Indian partner for its Wonarah phosphate project in central Australia. ICICI Securities will undertake the necessary process to secure a strategic partner to complete a definitive feasibility study and then develop the project.
There has been interest from several parties, with particularly strong interest from Indian companies. ICICI says India is one of the largest markets for imported fertilizers. The securities company has intimate knowledge of the Indian market place and says it can efficiently manage Minemakers’ goal of attracting a partner.
Wonarah is one of the two largest undeveloped rock phosphate projects in the world. It is in the Northern Territory, about 150km east of Tennant Creek, and hosts an estimated resource of almost 800 million tonnes @ 18% phosphate.
Minemakers’ managing director Cliff Lawrenson says a 2011 scoping study considered development of a mine and downstream processing facilities to produce phosphoric acid and finished fertilizer products such as di-ammonium phosphate and mono-ammonium phosphate. “This deposit, coupled with the Namibian Walvis Bay project, has the scale to make Minemakers a world force in phosphates. Their locations underpin a strategy in which Minemakers could efficiently serve the world’s dominant phosphate markets.”
In June 2012, Minemakers and India’s largest mining company NMDC signed an agreement to develop Wonarah as a fertilizer production centre of world significance. Other companies have signed confidentiality agreements to enable them to undertake due diligence at the site. Minemakers says once constructed, the Wonarah processing facility will produce up to one million tonnes of phosphate annually.