Canyon Resources Ltd (ASX:CAY) has received interest from companies looking to secure long-term bauxite supply and who acknowledge the scale and quality of its Minim Martap Bauxite Project in Cameroon, West Africa.
This interest stems from the appointment in March of a new chief development officer in Rick Smith, who has connected the company with potential strategic offtake, equity and development partners.
Smith, who is well known within the bauxite, alumina and aluminium industries following his success as project director for the US$1.4 billion GAC bauxite mine in Guinea, has introduced Canyon to senior decision-makers within some of the world’s leading and largest bauxite, alumina and aluminium producers.
Bulk shipping samples
Managing director Phillip Gallagher said: “The project has been well received by major organisations within the bauxite, alumina and aluminium industry, with many expressing an interest to be involved in the project as partners with Canyon.
“Some of the parties requested the opportunity to conduct independent analysis on the Minim Martap bauxite.
“We are currently shipping representative bulk samples to their nominated laboratories.”
“Strategic long-term offtake”
Ongoing data sharing and positive dialogue following Canyon’s meetings with potential strategic partners, including groups planning construction of new alumina refineries, has highlighted the strategic value of the anticipated product quality from Minim Martap as well as the opportunity for strategic geopolitical diversification from existing supply jurisdictions.
Gallagher said: “The Minim Martap Project has the capacity to export a large quantity of the world’s highest grade bauxite with extremely low silica, with a stable grade profile for many decades making the project a strategic long-term option for alumina producers looking to secure long-term, high-grade offtake.
“With approximately 50% of all global seaborne bauxite currently being exported from Guinea, and more than half of China’s bauxite imports also coming from Guinea, we believe that major alumina producers are now considering Cameroon bauxite from Minim Martap as a geopolitical hedge and a means of diversifying the concentration of supply of the West African very high-grade bauxite and reliance on one country.”
PFS a platform to secure partnerships
Gallagher said: “The organisations we have engaged with include state-owned and private companies, encompassing major investors and project funding providers, alumina and aluminium producers and major infrastructure construction companies with direct African experience.
“The discussions with potential strategic, offtake and construction partners are ongoing, and we are confident that the PFS will be the catalyst to further enhance discussions and provide the platform for securing strategic project partnerships.”
The PFS is on track, due before the end of June 2020, and is underpinned by the 2019 mineral resource estimate of 892 million tonnes at 45.1% aluminium oxide and 2.8% silica at a 35% aluminium oxide cut-off including 431 million tonnes at 48.8% aluminium oxide and 2.6% silica.
Shares last traded at 12 cents, more than double the March 24, 2020, close of 5.4 cents.