Neometals has secured a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese titanium slag producer, Jiuxing Titanium Materials, to supply product from the Barrambie titanium-vanadium project in Western Australia.
The company plans to send 100 tonnes of mixed concentrate from Barrambie, 670 kilometres north east of Perth, to Jiuxing for testing later this year.
Should the testing process be successful, the companies may enter a binding offtake agreement for 800,000 tonnes of mixed gravity concentrate per year.
Alternatively, 500,000 tonnes of ilmenite and 275,000 tonnes of iron-vanadium concentrate may be supplied instead.
The initial agreement period would be for five years from first production.
Neometals managing director Chris Reed said the development would confirm the company’s theories about the future of the industry.
“This MoU is an exciting milestone for Neometals and the Barrambie project. It validates our long-held belief in the shift by the Chinese titanium pigment industry to the more environmentally friendly chloride processes… and the ability of Barrambie to help meet these supply needs,” Reed said.
“In parallel, we continue to advance our early contractor engagement process to ensure Barrambie can be expeditiously brought into production.”
Barrambie has been granted a mining proposal for 1.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), with ministerial approval for a 3.2Mtpa processing plant.
Jiuxing is a leader in titanium slag production across north eastern China, with about 12 per cent of the Chinese chloride slag market.
The Chinese company has already partnered with major producers such as CITIC Titanium Industry, as well as China BaoTi Huashen, which ships to 31 countries worldwide.