Strandline Resources Limited has announced further progress in its strategy to develop the Coburn Heavy Mineral Sands Project in Western Australia, with the execution of a Port Access and Services Agreement with Mid-West Ports Authority (MWPA) for the export of Coburn’s products at the Port of Geraldton.
The Agreement allows Strandline to export approximately 230,000 tonnes per annum of mineral sands product, including heavy mineral concentrate, premium zircon (finished), zircon concentrate, chloride grade ilmenite and rutile products.
MWPA is the operator and manager of the Port of Geraldton facilities and has had experience handling similar mineral sands products through the port for many years.
Under the Agreement, MWPA will provide access to the port facilities and manage the loading of Coburn’s mineral sands product into vessels on a campaign basis.
The initial term of the Agreement is for 10 years. The Agreement is subject to customary conditions precedent for a port services agreement of this nature, as well as Strandline making a final investment decision relating to the development of Coburn.
Earlier this year, Strandline announced the completion of major binding offtake contracts with some of the world’s leading consumers across Europe, America and China (see ASX releases 20 April 2020 and 2 July 2020).
The offtake agreements cover roughly 72 per cent of Coburn’s forecast revenue with the remaining high-value products of rutile and premium zircon retained to sell in the spot market.
Strandline advises that since then, it and Coburn’s majority lender, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) , have made substantial progress towards completion of loan facility documentation and satisfaction of customary conditions precedent to drawdown.
The company is now moving to finalise the balance of Coburn’s funding requirement, which is expected to comprise a combination of commercial debt (alongside the NAIF A$150 million tranche) and equity financing.
Strandline’s Managing Director, Luke Graham, said establishing the port agreement with MWPA provides Strandline long-term certainty to export its mineral sands products and represents another strong endorsement of the Coburn project.
“Coburn is a world-class critical minerals project and benefits greatly from its proximity to established infrastructure and mining services in the Mid-West region of Western Australia,” Mr Graham said.
“Strandline is rapidly meeting the key conditions required to finalise our project funding. Coburn’s technical and financial quality is reflected in the top-shelf calibre of our suppliers, contractors and our customers, as well as the $150 million loan facility secured with NAIF, which has conducted extensive due diligence on the project.”
MWPA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Rochelle Macdonald, also commented: “On behalf of MWPA, I congratulate Luke Graham and his team at Strandline on the signing of a Port Services Agreement with MWPA which brings the Coburn project a step closer to development.”
“Strandline’s investment in the Coburn project is another important step in the development of the Mid West region, creating significant economic benefit for the local community.”
“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Strandline and ultimately the facilitation of exports of Coburn’s mineral sands product through the Port of Geraldton,” Dr Macdonald said.
About the Coburn Heavy Mineral Sands Project
Coburn is situated 240 kilometres north of the Port of Geraldton and contains a rich zircon-titanium HM assemblage, with 20 Million tonnes (Mt) of in-situ HM, low slimes, low oversize and strong geological continuity across and along strike.
The Project straddles the eastern boundary of the Shark Bay World Heritage Property but all exploration to date has been to the east of the Shark Bay Property.
Since 2000, drilling has outlined a major heavy mineral sand deposit known as the Amy Zone which is over 35 kilometres long, up to 3 kilometres wide and between 10 and 50 metres thick.
Large Ore Reserve of 523Mt at 1.11 per cent Total Heavy Mineral underpins an initial mine life of 22.5 years at the planned mining rate of 23.4Mtpa of ore.
An updated Definitive Feasibility Study released on 5 June 2020 confirms the strong outlook for the project.
 The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) made an investment decision to provide a A$150m loan facility for the development of Coburn, subject to finalisation of finance documents and satisfaction of customary conditions precedent to first drawdown – refer ASX announcement 22 June 2020.