15/07/2008 - 12:57

Impact Minerals, Impala form alliance

15/07/2008 - 12:57

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Northbridge-based Impact Minerals Ltd has formed an alliance with the world's second largest platinum producer to explore and develop nickel-platinum deposits in southern Africa.

Impact Minerals, Impala form alliance

Northbridge-based Impact Minerals Ltd has formed an alliance with the world's second largest platinum producer to explore and develop nickel-platinum deposits in southern Africa.

The alliance is designed to allow Impala Platinum Ltd to rapidly expand its platinum output while delivering Impact considerable upside exposure to southern Africa's proven nickel provinces.

The alliance agreement provides for the exploration and development of nickel and platinum group metal (PGM) deposits in many countries in southern Africa.

Under the terms of the agreement, Impala will spend $US800,000 on project generation over the next two years.

The major can then earn 50% of any project selected for development by free-carrying Impact for the first $2 million of project expenditure. Impala has to spend $1 million before being able to withdraw from a project.

Impact said today the alliance was the most significant development in the company's history since it listed on the ASX in November 2006 with a suite of nickel, gold and uranium assets across Australia.

"The alliance is a strong endorsement of Impact's business strategy and technical skills in both project generation and exploration in Africa," Impact's managing director Mike Jones said.

"Nickel is a natural by-product credit from platinum production and Impala is looking to increase its production of both these metals" Mr Jones said.

"It is therefore in Impala's interest to find an exploration partner with proven technological expertise in nickel, such as Impact, to ensure Impala's global platinum objectives can be more readily met.

"In addition, any projects not meeting Impala's requirements revert 100% to Impact.

"From Impact's point of view, it provides our company with significant percentage interest in what will be aggressive exploration campaigns for nickel - one of Impact's core exploration businesses and focuses."

The alliance commences immediately with Impala having first right to earn equity in any projects identified.

Some of the southern African countries included in the alliance's focus are Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Madagascar and Malawi.

Impact in December last year announced its first foray into Africa's resources sector, applying for prospecting licences in Botswana and appointing former Falconbridge group director John Blaine, as its chief operating officer in Africa.

Mr Blaine will now manage the alliance which will headquarter itself in Pretoria in South Africa.

Impala has major interests in and operates numerous mines together with a wholly-owned smelting and refining service near Johannesburg.

The Company currently produces around one million ounces of platinum and 7,000 tonnes of nickel per year

Revenues during the year ended June 30th 2007 were more than the equivalent of $A5 billion with profit after tax of $A1.2 billion.

The Company is listed on the Johannesburg Exchange (IMP), the London Stock Exchange (IPLA) and trades in the US.

"We will commence working with Impala at a time of record prices for platinum, with demand being driven by the auto-catalyst and jewellery industries at a time of decreased supply from South African mines," Mr Jones said

 

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