Tawana and Alliance Draw in Bald Hill Tantalum Buyers

Tawana and Alliance Draw in Bald Hill Tantalum Buyers

Tawana Resources and Alliance Mineral Assets have set up an offtake agreement with HC Starck Tantalum and Niobium for tantalum concentrate produced at their Bald Hill joint venture.

Tawana Resources (ASX:TAW) and Alliance Mineral Assets (SGX:40F) have set up an offtake agreement for tantalum concentrate produced at their Bald Hill lithium-tantalum joint venture project in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

The agreement entails the two companies selling 20 to 30 dry metric tonnes of high-grade tantalum concentrate (about 30 percent contained tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5)), to German manufacturer HC Starck Tantalum and Niobium in an undisclosed, long-term agreement.

Along with the HC Starck agreement, Tawana and Alliance have also agreed to sell 400 wet metric tonnes of low-grade tantalum concentrate (3 to 4 percent contained Ta2O5) to Global Advanced Metals. The sale is a one-off transaction, with the product having been produced at Bald Hill between April and July 2018.

“Tawana and Alliance are pleased to have finalised the initial sales for its Bald Hill tantalite concentrate stockpiles with two of the world’s leading suppliers of tantalum products,” Tawana Managing Director Mark Calderwood said in a statement.

“Tantalum pricing has been relatively strong in 2018 and we are encouraged by the level of interest in high quality tantalum concentrates with low levels of deleterious elements,” he continued.

“Details of pricing is kept confidential at the request of the purchasers, however premium +30% Ta2O5 concentrates from Bald Hill command prices well in excess of those previously budgeted.”

In June, Tawana and Alliance upgraded Bald Hill’s reserves following a pit design change that was a result of infill drilling completed in 2017. The upgrade bumped Bald Hill’s mine life up to nine years, and increased its ore reserve to 2 million tonnes at 313 parts per million tantalum pentoxide, a 43-percent increase from a 2017 study.

Meanwhile, September saw Tawana lend a helping hand to its joint venture partner by securing a $40-million funding package to get Alliance listed on the ASX.

Of that amount, $20 million went to a debt facility for Tawana, which put $15 million towards advancing Bald Hill’s dense media separation fines circuit and upgrading its tantalum circuit. The money was also used for working capital.

The remaining $5 million was used to repay the company’s Red Coast loan, which was obtained in February for Bald Hill. At close of day Friday (October 26), Tawana’s share price was at AU$0.23.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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