JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Dual-listed iron-ore miner Tawana Resources has signed a port infrastructure memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hong Kong-based miner Wisco Cad, it said on Monday.
Under the terms of the MoU, Tawana would gain access and use of Wisco’s facilities in the Port of Freeport, Monrovia, in Liberia.
The companies would also negotiate a definitive cooperation agreement, as well as the logistics and commercial terms relevant to potentially securing access to the existing working port facilities and infrastructure operated by Wisco.
Wisco, through its related entities, was granted a concession to operate the Bong iron-ore mine, in Liberia, and has developed, built and operated a bulk handling facility at the port for the past two years.
The agreement would be negotiated on the premise of access to stockpiling and ship-loading services during the early-stage development of Tawana’s flagship Mofe Creek iron-ore project, which was situated about 20 km from the coast.
Further, it would provide a negotiating platform for a commercially viable end-to-end logistics solution for the project during its early-stage development and ramp-up.
The production and export of initial smaller-scale tonnages from the Mofe Creek project was designed to establish the company in Liberia, while reducing capital expenditure and creating revenue and employment opportunities for the community.
"Tawana is very pleased to have this opportunity to work closely with Wisco through the MoU. We believe this MoU could promote mutually beneficial cooperation and export opportunities between our companies, as well as create the opportunity to increase the export capacity and revenues of the Freeport facilities,” Tawana CEO Wayne Richards said.
He added that the MoU provided an interim export facility and logistics solution for the initial stage of the Mofe Creek project while its proposed independent haul road and transshipment facility were being designed and built for the incremental production tonnes.
The recent discovery of direct shipping ore on the company’s newly acquired tenement also presented a potential opportunity to mine and supply high-grade feed to an early start-up, low capital intensity project at a significantly reduced operating expenditure cost, owing to simple crushing and screening requirements.