THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Gulf Manganese (ASX: GMC) provided the market with an operational update on the company’s smelter refurbishment activities in South Africa and on the Kupang site works program in West Timor.
Gulf Manganese has the refurbishment of two smelting furnaces underway in Pretoria, South Africa prior to their scheduled shipment to Kupang in Q4 2017.
The company said refurbishment of the furnace equipment is progressing while dismantling of equipment at Transalloy’s site is near completion, with the furnace shells and slipping devices currently being removed with a target completion date of 31 August 2017.
The company has also had contracts for the refurbishment of the equipment components awarded, and all dismantled equipment has been safely transported from Transalloy’s site to the various subcontractors where refurbishment activities has commenced.
In West Timor, Gulf has entered into an agreement with Indonesian-based PT Weltes Energi Nusantara to work under EPCM contractor XRAM Technologies (Pty) Ltd to undertake the construction phase of the Kupang Smelting Hub Facility.
At Kupang, site development works are continuing following the clearing of the Bolok industrial area and connection of site power last month.
While this is happening, Gulf is continuing to work to secure initial manganese supplies from local miners.
“Discussions are progressing well and the company expects to execute binding agreements in the near term,” Gulf Manganese said in its ASX announcement.
“Gulf is also actively progressing permitting requirements for the sale and shipment of manganese concentrates (>49% Mn) under the Indonesian provision for smelting and processing companies to sell concentrate during construction to assist with cash flow.
“The sale of manganese concentrate has the potential to be a significant near-term value catalyst for the business and the Company looks forward to providing further updates in due course.”