Venturex Resources has received $US70 million ($100 million) in funding from global commodity trader Trafigura to develop its Sulphur Springs copper-zinc project near Port Hedland, Western Australia.
The funding is set to accompany a long-term offtake agreement between Venturex and Trafigura for Sulphur Springs’ copper and zinc concentrates.
The offtake agreement will incorporate the whole of mine production, excluding the zinc offtake agreement Venturex has with Toho Zinc, for the first 11 years of production at Sulphur Springs.
Following that period, Trafigura will receive 50 per cent of annual concentrates for the life of mine.
Funding received by Venturex will be spent on the Sulphur Springs project, which is capable of producing 65,000 tonnes a year of 25 per cent copper concentrate and 75,000 tonnes a year of 50 per cent zinc concentrate.
The project is forecast to generate an annual revenue of $2.63 billion, with a forecast pre-production capital cost of $169 million for plant and infrastructure capital and pre-strip mining.
Venturex managing director AJ Saverimutto said the company was very pleased to have received an approved term sheet for $100 million to underpin the financing and development of the Sulphur Springs project.
“Securing the support of a long-term strategic partner of the size and calibre of Trafigura is a huge step forward for Venturex and a major endorsement of the quality of the project, the robustness of our feasibility study and the soundness of our development strategy,” he said.
“Sulphur Springs represents one of the very few greenfield development assets in the base metals space globally, and we are extremely pleased to have secured a strategic funding and long-term off-take partner to support our development strategy moving forward.”
Trafigura global head of refined metals and concentrates trading Amin Zahir reciprocated his excitement about working with Venturex.
“We are delighted to have concluded a strategic funding and long-term off-take agreement with Venturex at a significant time in the development of the Sulphur Springs Project,” he said.
“It’s rare to have the opportunity and ability to support a greenfield development project for base metals of this scale and potential.”
The pre-payment facility provided by Trafigura includes a four-year term, with repayment scheduled evenly over the term.