Minemakers Limited
TSX : MAK
ASX : MAK
NAMIBIAN : MMS

Minemakers Limited

June 07, 2012 12:07 ET

Minemakers Limited: Update on Wonarah-Strategic Partnership Process Commenced

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 7, 2012) -

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES.

Minemakers Limited (Minemakers) (TSX:MAK)(ASX:MAK)(NAMIBIAN:MMS) has commenced a strategic partnership process in relation to the Wonarah Phosphate Project (Wonarah or the Project) in the Northern Territory, Australia.

In 2010 Minemakers determined that due to the very large resource size and favourable proximity to key regional markets, Wonarah was most likely to be optimised as a vertically integrated fertiliser production operation. This determination warranted the introduction of a well-funded and highly regarded joint venture (JV) partner to complete the feasibility of the Project and to assist in securing development funding.

In June 2011, Minemakers entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with India's largest mining company, NMDC Limited (NMDC). The MOU had an exclusivity period that expired earlier this year and the MOU itself expired in early June 2012.

NMDC's inability to make a timely decision to progress a partnership with Minemakers has been disappointing and, after expiry of the exclusivity period, Minemakers has been approached and subsequently engaged in preliminary discussions with several global fertiliser manufacturing and trading companies. The Minemakers Board has decided that it can no longer prolong discussions with NMDC - the discussions remain inconclusive whilst NMDC seeks further input from the Department of Fertilisers, Government of India - and therefore the Board has determined that it will pursue alternative potential JV partners through a co-ordinated strategic partnership process.

Minemakers has now formally commenced a process to attract and select suitable parties interested in a joint venture arrangement on Wonarah. Potential JV partners are likely to be major players in the phosphate value chain from several different countries. Minemakers remains open to NMDC participating in this process.

The proposed guiding principles for any JV investment are:

  • Agreement on objectives and valuation parameters for the Project;
  • JV partner investment to secure an initial equity interest in the Project;
  • Co-funding by the JV partner of a bankable feasibility study (BFS);
  • JV partner has the right to increase its investment post-BFS; and
  • The JV partner being in a position to facilitate the Project securing project finance debt.

Minemakers CEO Cliff Lawrenson commented: "Wonarah is one of few major undeveloped rock phosphate deposits in the world and it is ideally located in a politically stable jurisdiction, has significant infrastructure already in place and is well located to access major regional markets.

"We see these favourable characteristics, together with increasing phosphate prices, as the key drivers to attracting a JV partner. We look forward to completing the partnership process and to identifying an appropriate JV partner to help drive the Wonarah Phosphate Project forward and to creating shareholder value."

Cliff Lawrenson, Chief Executive

ABN 48 116 296 541

Contact Information

  • Minemakers Limited
    Mr Cliff Lawrenson or Mr Andrew Drummond
    +61 8 9264 7000
    +61 8 9264 7099 (FAX)
    www.minemakers.com.au

    MAGNUS Investor Relations & Corporate Communication
    Mr John Gardner
    +61 413 355 997