Tirupati (TMV) Joint Venture
Stratmin is spending US$1.5m to earn a minority interest in Tirupati Mauritius Ltd, a graphite trading business and the holding company for the Vatomaina graphite development in Madagascar. The Vatomaina project is held under a 40 year exploitation license granted in January 2016. An initial 12,000 tpa mine and plant design for the project are based on Tirupati’s existing Indian operations. Bulk material from Madagascar has been processed at Tirupati’s Indian operations to confirm engineering parameters. The sample concentrate produced was tested by customers in a range of applications and met all technical performance criteria. Comissioning of Vatomain is planned for the fourth quarter of 2017.
Bass Metals Ltd (ASX:BSM) Strategic Investment
Stratmin divested the Graphmada operations to joint venture partner Bass, in August 2016. The A$15.25 million consideration for Stratmin’s interest in Graphmada consisted of A$1.5 million in cash, 75 million Bass shares and follow on payments of up to a further A$15 million in equity and royalties subject to operational performance criteria being met. Bass is expanding the existing pilot plant at Graphmada’s Loharano site with an immediate 6,000 tpa target followed by the development of a new larger scale processing plant to further expand capacity. The divestment of Graphmada was structured to maintain a significant equity exposure to the project at the same time as enabling expansion to be financed from the lower cost Australian capital markets. Establishing a proxy project also enables Stratmin to apply a relative valuation to the Vatomaina project which is a critical component in attracting project finance.