JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Aim-listed AfriTin Mining has signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Swiss precious metals distributor MRI Trading regarding the establishment of an artisanal buying operation for tin concentrate in Namibia.
AfriTin intends to explore, with MRI, the possibility of sourcing cassiterite concentrate from local artisanal miners to establish early cash flows for its Uis tin mine.
This proposal could also add value to the people of Damaraland, in Namibia, by providing economic opportunities to the community.
Additionally, AfriTin and MRI will explore establishing a buying station, which would allow for the analysis of the material offered by the artisanal miners. The results of the analysis from such a buying station will determine whether material is bought or rejected.
The terms of the nonbinding MoU are still subject to further discussion and negotiation, but include MRI providing funding of up to $200 000 for the set-up and operation of the proposed buying station for an initial 12-month period, which will include the required equipment, working capital and employing an on-the-ground trader or manager.
Conditional execution of an offtake contract is also included in the MoU terms, whereby MRI will have exclusive right to all material bought from the artisanal miners through the buying station. AfriTin will receive 50% of the net profits received by MRI resulting from the on-sale of the artisanal material.
“The relationship with MRI enables AfriTin to explore a number of objectives for the company. First and foremost, we believe that by buying from local artisanal miners, we will increase the economic activity in the region and as a result contribute to the upliftment of the poverty-stricken Damaraland,” commented AfriTin CEO Anthony Viljoen.
He added on Monday that the sale of tin concentrate from the area into the global market will signify the first steps in the return of Namibia as a global player in the world tin market.
“The collaboration between ourselves and MRI, and the commitment made by MRI to the establishment of an artisanal buying network demonstrates significant support for our belief that there is going to be an increasing demand for tin in the future, coupled with a global decrease in supply. The potential also exists to expand this relationship as the company continues on its expansion path.”
MRI concentrates trader Hadley Natus added that MRI is pleased to have concluded this transaction with AfriTin.
“We look forward to working with AfriTin over the long term as it becomes a major player in the African tin market,” he said.