Tim Boreham | The Australian | August 12, 2017
In a variation of the coals-to-Newcastle theme, Mayur Resources, an eclectic multi-commodity resources house plans to ship a million tonnes of sand from Papua New Guinea to Sydney.
Don’t we have a surfeit of the stuff already — and not just on Bondi Beach? Apparently not: Mayur’s sand is the high-quality, fine-grained variety valued by cement makers, and it’s in short supply in the Sydney region.
Mayur chief executive Paul Mulder says most of the construction sand is supplied from quarries in the Newcastle region and then trucked to Sydney at great cost.
It’s cheaper to ship the stuff from PNG, where the sand will be an otherwise waste product from Mayur’s proposed Orokolo Bay mineral and industrial sands project on the southern coast.
The Singapore-incorporated, Brisbane-headquartered Mayur is in the throes of raising up to $15.5m ahead of its September 1 ASX listing. The offer looks like being oversubscribed ahead of its close date next Friday.
Mayur’s PNG assets also include limestone, copper-gold tenements and coal projects, as well as a planned coal-fired power station to be built near the industrial city of Lae.
The project remains subject to a definitive feasibility study, with total capex of just $US22m to bring the project into production.
With more than 12,000sq km of highly prospective exploration tenements available to be drilled, Mayur is confident enough to plan trial shipments to customers in China and Japan within 14 months.
Costed at $110m, the Lae power project involves shipping coal from Mayur’s Depot Creek project in the south of the country, which boasts the first compliant coal resource in PNG, at 11.4 million tonnes.
The power plant, which has been granted environmental approval, remains subject to a power purchasing agreement execution with state-owned utility PNG Power.
While approval is no Lae-down misere, Mulder seems confident the power project will ultimately prevail because of the need for reliable low-cost electricity.