Doral’s purchase of MZI’s Keysbrook mine saves jobs

Keysbrook. Image: MZI

MZI Resources has agreed to sell its Keysbrook mineral sands mine in Western Australia to Doral Mineral Sands, securing staff jobs that may have otherwise been axed.

WA-based Doral, a subsidiary of Japanese company Iwatani, is known for producing titanium minerals, zircon sand and silica fume, among several other products.

The company stated that it would work with existing customers, suppliers and stakeholders to keep the mine running.

MZI’s sale of the mine follows the company’s move into administration, which was first announced in April 2019.

The company appointed voluntary administrators from insolvency firm McGrathNicol (the same company responsible for dealing with RCR Tomlinson’s administration) in April 2019 due to losses associated with the Doral plant in Picton.

The Keysbrook project was launched by MZI in 2015 as the world’s largest leucoxene project, but its fortunes have ailed in recent months. MZI recorded a $32 million pre-tax loss in its half-year report released in March 2019.

Keysbrook, about 70 kilometres south of Perth in Picton, is part of a larger sale of 100 per cent of the shares in Keysbrook Leucoxene (KLPL) and associated land holdings held by Keysbrook Property and MZI.

Investment firm Resource Capital Funds (RCF) and Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Australia, which are lenders to MZI, will release security of the assets prior to completion of the sale. RCF is MZI’s major shareholder, owning 60 per cent of the company.

“This transaction will deliver proceeds to RMB [and] maintain continuity for KLPL employees, suppliers and customers,” said voluntary administrator Rob Kirkman, who went on to thank the stall of MZI and KLPL.

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