Kupang manganese smelter work starts

Following a ground blessing ceremony last week, the civil works land clearance program at Gulf Manganese Corporations Kupang Smelting Hub site in the Bolok Industrial Estate in West Timor, Indonesia, has commenced.

The ASX-listed company advised this week that the site clearance should be completed in the next week. It will be followed by detailed survey works and further construction activities, including site fencing, foundation preparations and construction of factory buildings.

Gulfs operational team is managing site clearing while EPCM contractor XRAM continues to provide engineering and pyrometallurgical support.

Gulf has entered a binding Land Lease Agreement with the Government of East Nusa Tenggara Province for land in the Bolok Industrial Estate in Kupang. The 23.5-hectare block of land is directly adjacent to the government-owned power station and only 5km from the main Tenau port.

Following a recent capital raising, Gulf has the required funding to execute the next phase of development work at the Kupang Smelting Hub Facility.

A priority near-term focus is completing the refurbishment and shipment of the first two smelting furnaces to the Kupang site. Stripping and refurbishing of the smelters in South Africa will start imminently and will take about 12 weeks before shipment to Kupang.

As a result, construction and commissioning of the first two smelters is on track to be completed in Q1 2018, with the company expecting early cash flows to be generated from initial ferromanganese alloy sales in mid-2018.

Gulfs strategy is to develop and ASEAN focused manganese alloy business based in Kupang, taking advantage of the low operational and ore costs, combined with modest power costs.

Targeted production will be a premium quality 78% ferromanganese alloy resulting from the unique qualities of the Indonesian high grade, low impurity manganese ore.