Mayur Sands Come To The Market
In a variation of the coals-to-Newcastle theme, this eclectic multi-commodity resource house plans to ship one million tonnes of sand from PNG to Sydney.
Don’t we have a surfeit of the stuff already - and not just on Bondi Beach?
Apparently not: Mayur’s sand is the high quality fine-grained variety, valued by the cement makers and it’s short supply in the Sydney region.
According to Mayur CEO Paul Mulder, most of the construction sand is supplied from quarries in the Newcastle region and then trucked to Sydney at great cost.
It’s cheaper to ship the stuff from PNG, where the sand will be an otherwise waste product from Mayur’s proposed Orokolo Bay mineral and industrial sands project on the southern coast.
The Singapore-incorporated, Brisbane headquartered Mayur is currently in the throes of raising up to $15.5m ahead of its September 1 ASX listing.
The offer looks like being well oversubscribed ahead of its August 18 close date.
Mayur’s PNG assets also include limestone, copper-gold tenements and coal projects, as well as a planned coal-fired power station to be built near the industrial city of Lae in Morobe Province.
The Orokolo Bay industrial and mineral sands project looks like being the first project up and running, based on a simple open-cut operation to extract five products including titanomagnetite (iron ore), industrial magnetite, zircon-rich heavy metal concentrates and high grade free silica sand.
The project remains subject to a definitive feasibility study, with total capex of just US$22 million to bring the project into production.
With more than 12,000 square kilometres of highly prospective exploration tenements available to be drilled, Mayur is confident enough to plan trial shipments to customers in China and Japan within 14 months.
Costed at $110m, the Lae power project involves shipping coal from Mayur’s Depot Creek project in the south of the country, which boasts the first complaint coal resource in PNG, at 11.4 million tonnes. The power plant, which has been granted environmental approval, remains subject to a power purchasing agreement execution with the state-owned utility PNG Power.
The process has been delayed because of the country’s recent election, that last week saw controversial PM Peter O’Neill and his People’s National Congress win a second term.
While approval is no Lae-down misere, Mulder seems confident the power project will ultimately prevail because of the need for reliable, low cost electricity.
While Mayur holds several gold and copper interests in PNG, the main focus is on the Feni Island gold tenement in New Ireland, currently rated as a 650,000-ounce resource.
Meanwhile Mayur’s undeveloped Port Moresby Limestone Project aims to supply the domestic PNG market with the cement making and agricultural material, which currently relies on imports from New Zealand and Thailand.
Apart from the freight advantage, the deposit is high grade and at surface.
Mulder knows a thing or two about developing projects, having run Hancock Prospecting’s coal interests for Gina Rinehart between 2007 and 2014.
The New Criterion is authored by Tim Boreham.
Many readers will remember Boreham as author of the Criterion column in The Australian newspaper, for well over a decade. He also has more than three decades' experience of business reporting across three major publications.
Tim Boreham has now joined Independent Investment Research and is proud to present The New Criterion, which will honour the style and purpose of the old column. These were based on covering largely ignored small to mid cap stocks in an accessible and entertaining manner for both retail and professional investors.
Disclaimer: The author nor Independent Investment Research have received a fee or any kind of inducement for this article. The New Criterion is not intended as specific investment advice and readers should contact a licensed financial adviser.