Eurasia, the platinum, palladium, iridium, rhodium and gold production and development company, reports progress towards submission of the production license application for its Monchetundra Project, following the issue of the discovery certificate for the project’s 1.9 million ounce palladium equivalent (platinum and palladium) Reserves and Resources, announced on 17 July 2017.
- All necessary contracts covering mine design, blasting, mine surveying, ecological monitoring and land rehabilitation have now been assigned to third parties. Assigning these contracts is a necessary step towards a successful mining license application.
- The application for a mining license is expected to be officially lodged, on schedule, in September.
- Off-take agreement negotiations are progressing with Glencore (the third largest international commodity trader and resource project investor), Sinosteel (China’s state owned EPC contractor and a major mining investor and commodities importer into China) and other major players that cannot be disclosed at this stage, for the entirety of the life of mine output. It is hoped an agreement will be reached with one of these parties in the near future and this agreement will integrate with Eurasia’s already agreed, and signed, Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Financing (“EPCF”) contract with Sinosteel which includes financing of $150 million as a 10 year facility at 6m LIBOR plus 3.5 per cent.
- Mining at West Kytlim, Eurasia’s operating platinum, gold, iridium and rhodium mine in the Ural Mountains is progressing.
- An increase in reserves was calculated over the mining area at Malaya Sosnovka owing to higher than expected mining grades and ore body extensions discovered in the 2016 mining season. These reserves increases have been approved and are being developed as part of the 2017 mining season.. Separately a mining allotment and quota has been agreed over the Kluchiki Area for the next season of production in 2018.
- A total of 1,490 metres of resource upgrade drilling was completed earlier in the year, at the Bolshaya Sosnovka and Kluchiki areas. All of these samples have now been processed to allow conversion of C2 category reserves to C1 category reserves. This work, managed by Eurasia but funded by Eurasia’s contractor Region Metall, ensures mineable reserves for the 2018 and 2019 mining seasons.
- A further 390 metres of large diameter infill sampling is planned for the autumn of this year.
- In addition, revenue from the sale of metals has commenced from the refinery at Ekaterinburg, with shipments now occurring on a regular basis.
Background to Monchetundra Project off-take agreement negotiations
Eurasia notes an increased interest from refineries seeking Platinum Group Minerals (“PGM”) and copper/nickel concentrates fueled by a tightening in the international supply of quality concentrates. The status-quo situation of recent years is reversing and refineries, reacting to a looming shortage of quality feedstocks, are reaching for quality upstream assets. This is well demonstrated by a recent transaction in the PGM and copper/nickel refining space over the Kevitsa Mine in Finland (270 kilometres West of Monchetundra) purchased by Boliden for a cash consideration of $712 million. The Kevitsa Mine is considerably lower grade than Monchetundra, although of larger tonnage.
2017, to date, has seen solid performance by all metals in the Monchetundra Project concentrate, namely palladium (an increase of 36.73 per cent year to date (“YTD”)*), platinum (increased 9.88 per cent YTD), gold (increased 13.6 per cent YTD), copper (increased 31 per cent YTD) and nickel (increased 19 per cent YTD). This price environment has benefited the negotiations regarding the off-take of mine product at the Monchetundra Mine, as well as the sale of platinum and palladium at the West Kytlim mine.