Kupang Resources gets final nod for manganese Joint Venture

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Kupang Resources (ASX: KPR) has announced its Kupang Joint Venture (KPR: 55 per cent) in the Indonesian province of Nusa Tenggara Timur in West Timor has obtained the necessary approvals to allow crushing, screening, blending and stockpiling of raw manganese ore at its Kupang processing site.

Approval has been given by the Governor of Kupang to clear and prepare a processing area for site set up and the commissioning of recently acquired processing equipment.

“With this final approval now in place the Kupang JV is poised to ramp up activities towards the commencement of production in the coming months,” Kupang Resources head of operations Simon Youds said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The receipt of this approval is a credit to all involved, from the Company and its advisors, to the local authorities in Kupang.”

 

Location of Kupang project and local infrastructure. Source: Company announcement

 

Kupang said receiving the final approval meant it can now assemble processing equipment it already has on site once site preparation expected is completed in the coming weeks.

The purchase of locally mined and stockpiled ore by the Manganese Society of Kupang (Mn Society) can now be initiated by the Kupang JV in line with a Supply Agreement the company announced in January.

The Mn Society represents the interests of local manganese miners in Kupang and is currently comprised of 52 members.

Under the Supply Agreement, the Mn Society will, on a best endeavours basis, undertake to procure the supply of a minimum of 30,000 tonnes of raw high-grade ore per month to the Kupang JV.

Kupang expects site establishment and commissioning of the plant will be complete early in the April/June quarter allowing the sale and export of high-grade Manganese ore into the global manganese smelting industry soon after.

“The operations of the Kupang JV will create cash flow to the company, and at the same time provide significant opportunities to the people of Kupang, which is very important to the company and its joint venture partners,” Youds said.

The Kupang JV signed a formal Joint Operation Agreement in February for access to the port facilities for the export of manganese by direct ship loading from the wharf.

The JV’s ship loading equipment can utilise the facilities to export in the region of 80,000 tonnes per month of processed manganese oxide from the deep water port.

The Joint Operation Agreement allows for five days per month priority loading to a shared wharf at the deep water Tenau port in the Kupang harbour.

The facility is capable of taking vessels up to the Handymax 55,000 tonnes size and is provided to the Kupang JV for the period during which a permanent manganese only export facility is being constructed and funded by a third party at the port adjacent to the Kupang Port manganese stockpiling facility.

Once constructed, the Joint Venture’s manganese loading operation intends to move to the new facility freeing up the general cargo wharf.