Mesa Minerals Limited

Near Term

In the near term, Mesa’s future prospects will largely be determined by its ability to move its two manganese mining leases, Ant Hill and Sunday Hill located in the Pilbara district of Western Australia, into production in time to take advantage of the prevailing high ore prices. Mesa has formed a joint venture with Auvex Resources Limited to produce manganese metallurgical lump ore from these leases and to jointly sell their respective production interests into the South East Asian manganese alloy market.

The lump produced will be a medium grade, high iron product ideally suited alloy production and particularly so in those instances, where the alloy to be made or the blend of ore feeds to be consumed, is complementary with the high iron content of the Ant Hill and Sunday Hill lump ore.

Whilst moving our mining leases into production quickly is the key to ensuring good near term cash flow, finding a complementary purchaser for the ore is the key to maximising their value over time, because it is only by this means can we ensure that the available ores from these sites will continue to be desired by an end user during periods of lower prices.

Near to Medium Term

In the near to medium term, Mesa’s future prospects will also be determined by the success of its strategies to commercialize its patented process technologies by demonstrating them at production scale in Western Australia and offshore. With the advent of mining operations on its manganese mining leases, Mesa’s secondary processing priorities have focused up the utilization of low grade manganese oxide fines generated during the production of the exported manganese lump ore product.

In this regard, Mesa is actively seeking support for a 25,000tpa fertilizer grade granulated manganese sulfate (GMS) plant to be built on its Boodarie Industrial Estate general purpose lease at Port Hedland. The capital cost of such a plant is estimated at under A$20m and it would consume all of the fines make from the export lump or mining operation, plus some additional otherwise unsaleable low grade manganese fines and ores available in the Pilbara. Once producing a steady income stream, this plant could either be expanded and converted to electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) production, with micro nutrient fertiliser (MNF) as a co-product, or expanded to include EMD production, but retaining GMS as the co-product.

Simultaneously with the Boodarie GMS project, Mesa is continuing to work with potential partners in India and China who are seeking to employ its patented processes to utilize efficiently low grade manganese oxides ores in the production of EMD and electrolytic manganese metal (EMM). The most advanced of these projects is located at Halol in India’s Gujarat State where the Gujarat Mining Development Corporation and the project promotor Cube Mines & Metals Pvt Ltd are seeking to incorporate an EMD plant in their plans for utilizing the manganese contained in the waste dumps at the former Shivrajpur Mine in the Panchmahal District and, in due course, fresh ore from the recommencementof mining on that site.

Medium to Long Term

Looking further forward, Mesa’s future prospects for generating a substantive and long term cash flow stream are firmly rooted in the proliferation of its patented processes via technology licencing and production expansions. The probability of success in these endeavours will depend on both the market context for the products that the technology can facilitate (as discussed in the various ‘product market context’ pages included on this website) and the continuance of the global shifts:

  • from pyrometallurgical processes to hydrometallurgical processes as a more efficient means of extracting metals from ores;
  • towards ‘greener’ products and processes; and, most importantly,
  • towards maximising the use of ore bodies mined as a means of sustaining metal production and reducing its cost over the long term.

At Mesa we believe that these trends are irreversible and in fact must accelerate if the world is to support the demand for metals in the developing world. It is only with innovative, energy efficient and non-polluting extraction processes can this demand be met in a way that is not ultimately self defeating.

To ensure that Mesa can enhance its prospects for success in the longer term, the company will continue its research and development activities with a view to expanding its intellectual property assets in ways that support the global trends noted above.

More information can be found on the following pages: