Mineral sands and sago: Mayur Resources grows portfolio in Papua New Guinea

Welcome,

Mayur Resources’ mineral sands project at Orokolo Bay, Gulf Province, is close to commencing according to Managing Director Paul Mulder. He highlights the opportunities to Business Advantage PNG.

Mayurs projects in PNG. Credit: Mayur

With the Orokolo Bay mineral sands project, Paul Mulder says there has been ‘a huge amount of work’ with landowner groups and in preparing a bulk sample of the minerals (including titano-magnetite, DMS magnetite, construction sands and a zircon-rich valuable heavy mineral concentrate) for prospective customers.

‘We have to make sure that the customers are comfortable with the product quality, the reliability and the way in which the material physically performs,’ he tells Business Advantage PNG.

‘Laboratory tests have to be done on a new mineral that is coming from a new country. [That is why] you need to do a bulk sample where they can put it into their furnace along side their other material and compare it.

‘Once they get that satisfaction, then they can say they are willing to sign long term customer agreements.’

‘We have really started to hone our focus on industrial minerals and energy. There are plenty of copper gold producers in PNG, and explorers. But there are not many of us in the bulk space and that is what our expertise is in.’

Prospective customers have been identified and ‘they have agreed to receive those samples,’ says Mulder.

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Stand alone

Mayur Resources’ Paul Mulder

Projected to last 15 years, the mineral sands project will be ‘stand alone’ operation, says Mulder.

‘It has its own wharf, and it will receive goods, and export goods, off that wharf. It is a very simple operation. We are talking about US$25 million (K88 million) capital expenditure. There are no chemicals, no grinding. It is not difficult terrain.’

He tells Business Advantage PNG the project is being fully funded by a Chinese private group, with Mayur retaining 51 per cent of the ‘future economics’. The strategy means Mayur will not have to raise more capital from its shareholders, he explains.

Capital raising

Mayur Resources is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and the share price has been weak over the last six months. Last last month, the company successfully listed its PNG copper and gold assets on the TSX-Venture Exchange in Canada as Adyton Resources Corporation, raising C$10.5 million (K29.3 million).

‘The reason we are choosing that jurisdiction [Toronto] is because the capital flows and the appetite out of Canada with regard to opportunities in PNG are, we believe, superior to other exchanges.

‘The market found it very hard to understand and value our portfolio. “Are you a copper/gold producer? Are you mineral sands?” So we have really started to hone our focus on industrial minerals and energy.

‘There are plenty of copper gold producers in PNG, and explorers. But there are not many of us in the bulk space and that is what our expertise is in.’

Post-mine opportunities

Sago Palms. Credit: Wikipedia

Mulder says that the mine area at Orokolo Bay area can later be used to grow sago, based on a technique already being trialled by the International Finance Corporation  (IFC) and Total.

‘On the rehabilitation, there is an opportunity there for us, in short order, to use mechanised sago operations. The productivity and quality [of the IFC’s and Total’s project] has been excellent. We have been able to take the key landowners up to see that operation working and they are very impressed.’

Mulder adds that supply barges for the mineral sands operation could also be used to transport the sago.

‘Basically, you are getting all that product back to Port Moresby for free. There is no logistics cost for the landowners, so they can sell it at a very competitive price because they have produced it on a mechanised basis and basically got free transport.’

Another area of potential is the metal vanadium. Mayur says vanadium redox batteries are superior to lithium batteries and are suitable for providing baseload power.

‘PNG just happens to be endowed with a huge amount of vanadium magnetite, which is [included in] our mineral sands project. We will cooperate with the [government’s] energy company in looking at large-scale vanadium storage.’

Comments

  1. Julian Ainu says

    Is Mayur Resources Registered or have:
    1. PNG Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) Certificate?
    2. Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) Certificate Of Compliance(COC)?
    3. Conservation Environment & Protection Authority (CEPA) Permit/License?
    4. Energy/Mineral Resources Permit/License ?
    5. MOU/MOA in place?
    6. Project/Business Profile in place?
    7. Consulted the Landowners concerned?

    Mayur Resources;
    PLEASE JUSTIFY YOURSELF IN REGARDS TO THE 7 LISTED ISSUES ABOVE…

  2. STANLEY HARU says

    I am a landowner from this project Site knowns as Muro Black sand Project found in areas known as Huruta and Ere Kilavi. There alot of espects of this project that are not fully regulated under state laws and where they are acknowledged are ambiguous under mining laws. Further the current laws do not protect landownership interest in a project of this magnitude such that the laws that decide on benefit to landowners is NON EXISTING and any benefit is left to the whims of the project operator and in this case Mayur Resources. Can the company spell out what are the specific benefits the landowners are getting. For mega projects, State takes up a percentage whereby some are offloaded to landowners as equity interest. This is not the case here so can Mayur tell us how much you are giving as equity in the project to or what benefits are you giving us?
    Further, this is a small scale operation such that it is not getting the same hype as Wafi-Golpu such that project operator is not closely monitored and abuse will go on unnoticed by State entities and laws are not very clearly defined for such operations and need to be tightened up and benefits must be clearly spelt out for Landowners especially for small project of this magnitude

    In terms of sago harvest- have you done a soci-economic study on the production of sago. Let me put things into perspective for your ignorance- it takes 10-15 years for a sago tree to be ready for harvest, we only cut trees for our food supplement for at least a month any longer the sago becomes stale. We only harvest what we need – therefore any large scale harvest will deplete supply and long term create food shortages for the population at large. You must understand that sago will be our only food source during flooding season when we can not make garden to grow other crops and sago will be our only food source during time over extreme dry weather conditions.
    Unless you talk about developing sago plantations for food dont talk about large quantities of harvest like in Poroi or better still come up with alternative source of food for my people like wetland rice or food that is durable in the flood plains

  3. Jonathan Douglas says

    I am a true son and descendant of the Hevalahu Tribe. Mayur Resources must deal with the Hevalahu Tribe who are the legitimate owners of Muro Station and Huruta village where the proposed project site would be. There are five clans in Huruta. Namely; Hevalahu, Ukuru Meau, Koko Meau, Mita Meau and Uravare. Ukuru Meau, Mita Meau, Koko Meau and Uravare joined the Hevalahu Tribe through intermarriage and do not own land but were given user rights by Hevalahu Tribal Anscestors. The principal lead men for the Hevalahu Tribe are Joe Mapore, Eddie Kaeakore and Koveraha Noutara Jnr. These are the remaining 3x descendants of the Hevalahu Tribal Chiefs. They are indispensable. Please I adjure you, involve them in your discussions and dialogue for smooth sailing and mutual benefit. May God who is above all and through all be exalted now and forever.
    Amen and amen. Jonathan Douglas.

  4. Janette Edwards says

    I was born in New Guinea so it’s good to hear they won’t destroy the habitat

  5. John Koaire says

    It’s a good project, but make sure you deal with the true resource owners. Many don’t have the resources but they use false information.

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