PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Australian copper producer Austral Resources has signed a binding offtake and prepayment facility with mining major Glencore.
Under the offtake agreement, Glencore has offtake rights for up to 40 000 t of copper cathode production from the Anthill mine, starting in the second half of 2022. In addition, Glencore will also provide Austral with a A$21-million prepayment facility, which will allow the ASX-listed company to immediately expedite exploration and development activities through 2022.
“We are delighted to have Glencore marketing 40 000 t of Austral’s Anthill copper production. Together with this offtake agreement, a A$21-million prepayment facility enables us to accelerate our planned exploration programme and importantly, provides a solid financial buffer for Anthill’s startup phase over the next five months,” said Austral CEO Steve Tambanis.
“Glencore underwent a lengthy due diligence process to assess our production capabilities and is pleased with the high quality of Austral’s copper cathode. Going forward, there is potential to review other copper development opportunities in the region. Austral is on track to achieve a planned copper production rate of 10 000 t/y from mid-2022 for a four-year period.
“Exploration and development activities are being significantly expanded with the intention of fast-tracking discoveries. We have engaged a first-class team of explorationists to undertake this work, have a detailed exploration strategy in place and have funding to enable these programmes. We look forward to further updating shareholders as we prepare to commence maiden production at Anthill and commence exploration and development activities,” said Tambanis.
The Anthill oxide copper mine has an ore reserve of 5.06-million tonnes at 0.94% copper, and Austral expects to produce 40 000 t of copper cathode over a four-year period from mid-2022.