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Consolidated rejoins market

Consolidated Minerals Limited, the ASX-listed Pilbara-based manganese ore producer, has signalled its return to the international marketplace by shipping 38,500 tonnes of lump manganese ore.

The shipment, which departed at the end of August, is destined for the Nikopol ferro alloy plant in the Ukraine. It represents the first time ore from the Pilbara has been exported to Europe.

The high-grade ore, with low levels of phosphorous and iron impurities, is an ideal blending ore for Nikopol and ongoing sales are anticipated.

In early August Consolidated Minerals signed a contract for a trial shipment of 30,000t of lump manganese ore to Japan’s largest steel maker, Nippon Steel. This is due for delivery in the first quarter of 2000.

Sales contracts are now in place with customers in Japan, China, and Europe accounting for 90 per cent of the forecast 1999/2000 production from the Woodie Woodie operations.

Negotiations with Korean manganese ore buyers have commenced, providing an opportunity for the company to achieve total capacity sales.

Consolidated Minerals managing director Michael Kiernan is enthusiastic about the company’s export prospects.

“We couldn’t have wished for a better start with a ground-breaking first shipment to Europe, sales contracts for 125,000t to China and a trial shipment to Japan.”

He said the recent acquisition of the Bells Pit manganese lease at Woodie Woodie has added about 900,000t of high grade ore to its reserves.

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