Capital Metals is a Company on the cusp
“…The EIA should be within a month. We’re looking at first production in the first half of next year for Capital Metals…”
One company’s predicament can be another’s potential.
In June when Rio Tinto declared a force majeure on customer contracts at Richards Bay Minerals in South Africa due to the security situation, it impacted supplies within the global sands industry .
And this is a bargaining tool for Capital Metals and its development of the Eastern Minerals Project in Sri Lanka which is promising to become one of the highest-grade mineral sands projects globally.
“Unfortunately for Rio it does benefit us,” says chief executive Michael Frayne. “Because we are a new growing source of supply in the world market, it means the potential offtakers are really keen to lock in alternative supply options globally.”
There are several offtakers who are eyeing the Eastern Minerals project as a longer term supply solution and discussions will become negotiations once Capital’s EIA or Environmental Impact Assessment study is approved.
That, according to Frayne will be a matter of months swiftly followed by final permitting of the mining licence with production, pandemic and government departments permitting, due for a first half of 2022 start.
The pandemic has been both a burden and a boon. Enforced lockdown globally saw a surge in DIY. The raw materials in paints and decorating paraphernalia includes mineral sand constituents. “On the demand side it’s been quite significant,” calculates Frayne. ‘The price increases in the ilmenite and rutile, the titanium minerals and the zircon for the ceramics, and were seeing that over the world where there’s been lots of infrastructure development and lots of people renovating their houses and getting the painters in.”
With the Rio supply interruption and the billions being spent on home improvements, the government of Sri Lanka recognises this project will secure not just employment, but encourage foreign investment and harness export earnings.
And as Michael tells Sarah Lowther, in 2021 Capital is a company on the cusp. “This will be one form of transition where we move into a development company, and next year we’ll be transformed into a production company.”
Access the company’s latest corporate presentation here
Follow the company on Twitter @MetalsCapital
The author was remunerated but does not hold shares in the company