IMARC: Heavy Minerals’ hefty workload ahead as Port Gregory PFS progresses

When you think of a garnet, oftentimes a deep-red coloured gem may come to mind.

However, not all garnets are red. In fact, they range from gemstone-quality transparent specimens to opaque varieties commonly used in various industrial applications.

Heavy Minerals (ASX:HVY) will descend onto the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Sydney from 31 October to 2 November 2023 to broadly educate the 8,500-plus attendees about this lesser known commodity.

Ahead of his presentation at IMARC, CEO Andrew Taplin tells Mining.com.au, which is an official media partner of the conference, demand for garnet has been growing yet the market’s awareness still lags.

“In terms of IMARC, first of all we’re looking forward to sharing our story further. The garnet market is not well understood, the significant opportunity is not well understood so we want to share the story as well as engaging with interested retail investors and institutional investors.

The company currently has a market cap of about $6 million yet the Port Gregory Garnet Project NPV is $253 million, so now is the time to come on the journey ahead of the obvious re-rates.”

Taplin says he will explain at IMARC how Heavy plans to further de-risk and advance development at Port Gregory in Western Australia and describe the broader garnet market fundamentals.

The CEO says attendees will also get detailed accounts of Heavy achieving other significant development milestones including the launch of a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) and raising funds to support this work through a syndicated royalty.

“We have several projects, but the flagship and near-term value proposition is the Port Gregory Project. Port Gregory requires a relatively low capex of $110 million generating a healthy NPV of $253 million and handsome free cash after tax of $37 million per annum for 16 years.

“We have several projects, but the flagship and near-term value proposition is the Port Gregory Project. Port Gregory requires a relatively low capex of $110 million generating a healthy NPV of $253 million and handsome free cash after tax of $37 million per annum for 16 years”

The project is technically straight forward and low risk and is being developed in a traditional mining district. Market demand is strong, is forecast to increase and the company doesn’t anticipate any problems placing the nominal 150,000 tonnes of product that will be produced annually.

Also, a funding pathway has been identified with a letter of support from the Dutch sovereign wealth fund Atradius secured already.”

The company is now evaluating all project permitting and has initiated various workstreams in order to reach a final investment decision (FID). The initial evaluation phase of work is expected to be completed in Q4 2023.

As reported by Mining.com.au yesterday (23 October 2023), Heavy Minerals has engaged Martinick Bosch Sell (MBS) Environmental to undertake the permitting work at Port Gregory. 

Taplin adds he will also outline during his presentation that Heavy Minerals has a strong team, recently attracting Aaron Williams who is a seasoned garnet industry veteran to the board with extensive experience.

He says Heavy’s garnet will be a high-specification product with very low levels of contaminants, which is expected to be a ‘market differentiator’.

Once in production, the end product will be used for several purposes – as abrasive blasting media and for abrasive water jet cutting. Heavy could eventually produce about 150,000 tonnes and potentially sell up to as much as 20,000 tonnes per annum into strategic offshore markets.

Mining.com.au is an official media partner of IMARC, which will showcase 470-plus mining leaders and resource experts throughout 7 concurrent conferences. The event is touted as Australia’s largest mining event.

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

Images: Heavy Minerals
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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.