Kupang Resources, formerly Chameleon Mining, has acquired additional land in the Belu district on the island of Timor which will enable it to commence production and export of manganese.

The Kupang Joint Venture acquired 95% of the issued capital of Indo Co for a cash payment of Aus$2 million. It now owns a 926-hectare site with an accompanying production licence.

The land is about 175km northeast of the Kupang JV’s current land holding and processing plant which is capable of producing 30,000 tonnes of high grade manganese lump product each month for direct smelter feed.

Kupang’s executive director Tony Sage says the company is fast tracking activities to enable manganese mining and export to occur in coming weeks. “The permit is a crucial milestone in commencing production, as Indonesian law requires such production permits to be in place before processing and exports can commence.

“This will now allow finalization of the permit process. Once this permit is granted to the Kupang Joint Venture, stockpiling and processing of manganese on the Kupang Joint Venture landholding can commence, with processing to occur utilizing the JV-owned processing plant already on site,” he says.

Within the new site, manganese generally occurs as sedimentary sub-units or sedimentary intercalations in carbonate sequences with scaly clay as the matrix. The manganese has been exploited by artisanal miners previously and occurs close to the surface. Within the district, manganese occurrences contain high grades of manganese with low levels of contaminants such as iron, aluminium and phosphorous.

The company has funded the acquisition which was restructured to see the Kupang JV directly purchase Indo Co, rather than Kupang Resources itself, in a bid to speed up the process.

Tony Sage says the remaining 45% JV parties will repay Kupang the value of their pro-rata proportion of the consideration from their cashflow generated by the project.

The Kupang project is in West Timor, in the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur which is renowned as a global source of high-grade manganese ore. The project is 13km by road from the planned processing area which is just 3km from Kupang port.

The JV is proud of establishing an excellent working relationship with the local community, businesses and government in Indonesia, even appointing prominent local, Refafi Gah, to its management committee.

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