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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Titanium: Latest News: May 24th 2007


Click for more info on Flotation '19


:: Austpac Secures Funding to Underpin the Commercialisation of the ERMS SR Process

Austpac is pleased to announce that it has signed a Heads of Agreement with BHP Billiton on terms to assist the continuing development of Austpac’s ERMS SR synthetic rutile process. Under the Heads of Agreement:

BHP Billiton will take a placement of 25,000,000 fully paid ordinary Austpac Resources NL shares at 20 cents each to raise $5 million and in doing so, will become the largest shareholder in Austpac, with a 3.8% holding.

The $5 million will be applied to the construction of Austpac’s planned 3,000 tpa fully integrated ERMS SR Demonstration Plant at Newcastle. The Plant will also incorporate Austpac’s EARS acid regeneration and DRI iron reduction processes, which will facilitate the showcasing of these technologies for applications in the steel industry.

Austpac will grant BHP Billiton a licence to use the ERMS SR technology in Africa in return for a fee based on gross sales revenue.

Once the Demonstration Plant has roasted 550 tonnes of ilmenite and produced sufficient ERMS SR and DRI iron pellets for market assessment, Austpac and BHP Billiton will review the next phase of commercialisation; a 60,000 tpa ERMS SR plant. Ongoing work would include a feasibility study to evaluate costs and potential sites for the plant, with consideration given to south eastern Australia and Murray Basin ilmenite.

Should BHP Billiton participate in the development of the 60,000 tpa commercial plant, BHP Billiton will be granted a further licence, with the licence fee also based on sales revenue, to use the ERMS SR technology worldwide. It is the intention of both companies to jointly seek opportunities in which to use the ERMS SR process.

It is anticipated that the detailed legal contracts required for this transaction will be completed and work in relation to the Demonstration Plant will commence in June 2007. Austpac is presently preparing the detailed plans and schedules necessary to implement the project successfully.




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