Consolidated firms position

AFTER successfully relisting on the Australian Stock Exchange, Consolidated Minerals Limited has unveiled a deal that brings all prospective manganese mining ground within the Woodie Woodie mining centre in Western Australia’s Pilbara region under the control of a single company for the first time.

Consolidated, which relisted on the ASX on 29 June following the twenty month suspension of predecessor Valiant Consolidated Limit-ed, has entered into an agreement with Boral Contracting Pty Ltd to purchase tenements which will increase its manganese resource tonnage by 872,000 tonnes.

The two mining leases that form the agreement are known as ‘the Bell’s leases’ and include the old Bell’s pit mine.

The leases contain an indicated resource of 531,000t at 45 per cent manganese and an inferred re-source of 341,000t at 44 per cent manganese.

The purchase consideration is $2.5 million complemented by a limited vendor royalty agreement.

Consolidated managing director Michael Kiernan said the deal is important because it will boost the company’s existing mine life and give it further potential to negotiate lucrative export contracts.

The company, which is budgeting to produce 250,000t of high-grade manganese a year, has export contracts for 225,000t of its l999/2000 production to China, Europe and Japan.

“This agreement will enable us to consolidate our position as the only supplier of high quality Pilbara manganese ore and ensure longer term supply to our customers,” he said.

“We will be funding the acquisition from our own cash reserves and cash flow generated from our existing operations. Ore from the Bell’s leases will be processed through our established production facilities.”

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