Joint venture partners TVI Pacific and Mindoro Resources advise that shipping of high-iron/low-nickel direct shipping ore (DSO) material has commenced at the Agata project in northern Mindanao.

Loading of 55,000 wet metric tonnes (WMT) of material, grading minimum 48% iron and 0.6% nickel, commenced on October 12 and is expected to take 10 to 12 days to complete. It is anticipated that future shipments of 55,000 WMT high-iron/low nickel DSO will continue approximately every three to four weeks with shipping rates expected to accelerate to 2.5 million WMT per year in 2015.

An initial offtake agreement was signed in June 2014 by Agata Mining Ventures, a JV company held by Mindoro’s Philippine subsidiary, MRL Nickel Phils, and partner TVI Resource Development Phils (TVIRD), with Tewoo Hoperay (Singapore) Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Tianjin Hoperay Mineral Limited Company, a major Chinese state-owned enterprise, to sell 1 million WMT of high-iron/low nickel DSO. A second agreement was signed in August 2014 to sell 500,000 WMT.

Advance payments of US$2 million have been received by the JV against the initial agreement to fund initial operating costs and a further US$1 million advance is expected in connection with the second agreement.

Mindoro also advises that its JV partner and operator of the Agata project, TVIRD, an affiliate of TVI Pacific, has fulfilled its earn-in obligations under the Agata Mining Joint Venture agreement and has acquired a 60% interest in the Agata DSO Project.

Agata is in Agusan del Norte province, within the Surigao mining region on the island of Mindanao. The Surigao region is a major nickel producing region providing ore to processing plants in Australia, China, Korea and Japan. The region has hosted between 13 and 15 DSO operations since 2011 and exported 27 million WMT in 2013.

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