SINCE its Mehdiabad zinc mine was appropriated by the Iranian Government in 2006, Brisbane-based Union Resources Limited (UCL) has made itself a lifeline through a 1.6 billion tonne phosphate resource off the coast of Africa.
For its exploration efforts the company was listed to speak at the Emerging Stars In Resources 2010 forum hosted by One2One Investors last month.
Managing director Chris Jordinson expects the Sandpiper-Meob Phosphate Project in Namibia to be in production next year.
“But Walvis Bay can only handle one million tonnes per annum so the project life is almost infinite,” he says.
“I wouldn’t like to put a value on it, as because it’s an industrial mineral there are various points where we can sell the product with different revenue curves.
“We’d like to get an end user as a fertiliser producer, and given the situation in Africa we’d like Namibia to be a beneficiary.”
Jordinson does not plan to limit sales to Africa, with Namibia in an ideal geographical position to export to Europe and India.
He says that despite existing capacity constraints in Namibia, Australia’s iron ore boom has gone to show that governments can improve the capacity of ports and facilities.
“Namibia is the flagship for stability in Africa, the government is stable, the economy is good and the infrastructure is very good.”
Union is involved in the project through a joint venture with Perth-based Minemakers Limited (MAK) and currently employs around 15 staff in Namibia.
Jordinsen says Union Resources spent more than US$16 million developing the Mehdiabad first class zinc mine in Iran, as well as a bank feasibility study, but the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organisation (IMIDRO) forcibly took it over.
Union held a political risk insurance policy with the Australian Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), but the limit of liability was US$4.5 million.
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