WESTERN Mining Network Limited, an ASX-listed company, has formed an alliance with Aleph Advisors Asia to find, explore and secure viable mining exploration tenements in Malaysia. The alliance is part of Western Mining’s objective of acquiring interests in quality resource exploration projects.

Aleph is a firm which provides advisory services on finance and investment in Asia to strategic and financial investors. It brings to Western Mining its experienced staff team backed by a strong and well-established network of Malaysian government, business and community alliances.

Aleph’s managing director Richard Lee has extensive experience in legal and project management and was formerly head of Asia Legal and Apollo Global Management Singapore where he led transaction structuring and execution for Apollo’s US$600 million Asian Mezzanine Credit Fund. He was also involved in Apollo’s business development in China.

Aleph has a number of exploration and development projects for Western Mining to review, including iron ore projects in Perak, Kelantan and Johor, and a tungsten project in Terengganu. Through the alliance agreement Western Mining also acquired the right to review every additional exploration project opportunity which may arise through Aleph’s pipeline for the next two years.

Malaysia has relatively abundant iron ore resources that remain unexplored. The Malaysian Geological Survey has identified 82 iron ore deposits throughout Malaysia, although this is not exhaustive without further exploration. There is no firm estimate of the total reserves and resources of iron ore in Malaysia although historical literature from the Geological Survey of West Malaysia suggests resources in excess of 1 billion tonnes.

Chinese demand for Malaysian iron ore has grown consistently over the last six years. According to statistics from the Malaysian Department of Minerals and Geoscience, Malaysia produced 800,000 tonnes of iron ore in 2007, increasing to 8 million by 2011. According to Chinese research statistics from Mysteel.net, China imported 8.1 million tonnes of iron ore in 2012 valued at US$730 million. For the period from January to October 2013, Mysteel.net reported that China imported 9.4 million tonnes of iron ore valued at close to US$800 million.

Despite the lack of exploration and clearly defined iron ore resource in Malaysia, Chinese steel mills continue to have interest in Malaysia due to the lower cost of production and to its proximity to China.

Western Mining Network is an Australian-based, Indonesia-focused exploration company with the primary focus to identify and secure quality projects throughout Indonesia and Asia. It currently holds the rights to a gold tenement in Buol and a manganese tenement in Toli-toli, both in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

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