PERTH (miningweekly.com) - Iron-ore developer Sundance Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with fellow listed Equatorial Resources to share iron-ore infrastructure.
Under the MoU, the two companies would examine how Equatorial, which owns the Badondo iron-ore project in the Republic of Congo (RoC), could use the port and rail infrastructure associated with Sundance’s Mbalam project, in West Africa,
The MoU also covers other opportunities for regional cooperation between the two Australian firms.
As part of the MoU, Sundance would advance its discussions with Equatorial regarding the potential for access to the Mbalam infrastructure by way of a direct investment or alternatively by a haulage services agreement.
The two companies would also advance their discussions regarding other possible infrastructure solutions.
“The development of transport infrastructure is the key to unlocking the massive value of the iron-ore projects in the Congo basin region,” said Equatorial MD and CEO John Wellborn.
“Sundance’s well documented progress on the development of their Mbalam project and the proposed construction of associated integrated rail and port facilities provide Equatorial, and potentially other iron-ore projects in the region, with a valuable opportunity.”
Wellborn noted that Equatorial's agreement with Sundance had mutual benefits for both companies in providing further development scenarios and potentially a broader base for the funding and operation of new transport infrastructure.
“It makes a lot of sense for Equatorial to work together with Sundance, and we are looking forward to this agreement assisting the progress of our development plans for Badondo.”
Sundance currently plans to transport ore from its Mbalam deposit in the RoC and Cameroon through a dedicated rail line to a custom-built iron-ore export terminal at the port of Lolabe, in Cameroon. Both the rail and port would be constructed by Sundance.
Sundance chair George Jones said on Tuesday that the Mbalam project was strategically located in the heart of an emerging iron-ore province in Central Africa, with the potential for long-term iron-ore production of up to 100-million tons a year.
He noted regional cooperation by way of infrastructure sharing was a logical and pragmatic approach to fast-tracking development for the benefit of all stakeholders, including the governments and people of these countries.
“Sundance has now formalised discussions on this issue with three neighbouring project operators, Legend Mining, Core Mining and Equatorial Resources, and we are in talks with others.”
Jones noted that the discussions highlighted the growing number of options coming onto the table in respect to project development scenarios and the funding and use of related infrastructure that Sundance was planning to build in the foreseeable future.