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Queensland Pacific Metals Ltd (ASX:QPM) (“QPM” or “the Company”) is pleased to present a summary of activities from the March 2022 quarter
- Conditional finance support received from Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (“K-SURE”) for the provision of debt funding for the TECH Project, reinforcing QPM’s ties with Korea.
- Baseload ore supply contract executed with Société Le Nickel (“SLN”) and approved by New Caledonian government.
- Continuing to advance through the Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”), with extensive testwork being undertaken during the quarter with key vendors to ensure commercial equipment is fit for purpose and optimised.
- First High Purity Alumina (“HPA”) made from New Caledonia ore in testwork with Lava Blue.
- Regulatory approvals required to construct the TECH Project are progressing on schedule
- Residue testwork and discussions with Queensland State Government regarding use as engineered landfill have been positive – pathway to zero solids waste and reinforcement of QPM’s ESG credentials
Ever since the investment and binding offtake agreement signed with LG Energy Solution and POSCO, QPM has targeted Korean export credit agencies as potential financiers of the project. QPM commenced discussions with K-SURE in 2021, culminating in the provision of a formal Expression of Interest letter from K-SURE to QPM.
The Expression of Interest from K-SURE is a significant milestone in their internal consideration for the provision of debt funding. K-SURE has indicated that its participation in the debt syndicate will be in line with the terms and conditions of Export Finance Australia (“EFA”), which has previously provided a letter outlining $250m of conditional financing support. The letter received from K-SURE does not constitute a commitment or an offer and any provision of debt funding will be subject to due diligence and typical terms and conditions.
The Korean and Australian governments have recently focused on formal cooperation regarding critical minerals. In December 2021, the Australian and Korean governments entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) regarding cooperation in Critical Minerals Supply Chains. Following this, both countries’ Export Credit Agencies (K-SURE and EFA) entered into an MOU to strengthen their capacity to work together and undertake joint financings.
QPM’s strong ties to Korea have positioned it well to access financing from both Australian and Korean export credit agencies and strong progress has been made. As the project progresses towards financial close, QPM is confident that these strong Korean-Australian ties will assist in obtaining credit approval for debt funding from these parties