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UK-based Tri-Star Resources has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Oman Investment Fund (OIF) and Dubai’s Castell Investments for the establishment of a US$60mn antimony metals roasting and manufacturing facility in Freezone Sohar, Oman
Antimony is a gray metalloid and is used for preparing metallic tin and lead alloys.
According to Tri-Star Resources, the joint venture, known as Strategic & Precious Metals Processing (SPMP), will have an annual production capacity of 20,000 tonnes. SPMP will lease a 22-hectare plot in Freezone Sohar for the facility.
With investments worth about US$180mn, the area is being developed as a hub for light manufacturing and for processing metals in Oman, according to company sources.
Tri-Star Resources said that the mining company will own a 40 per cent stake in the venture, while OIF will hold another 40 per cent and Castell Investments will own the remaining interests.
The companies plan to raise US$30mn through project finance from local and regional banks. The project will comprise a mezzanine loan of US$10mn from OIF and the remaining capital will come in the form of equity investments from the partners of the project, industry sources said.
Tri-Star Resources added that the sultanate’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) has allowed it to proceed with the environmental permit procedures for the project.
Construction of this site is set to begin in Q1 2014 and the facility is expected to begin operations by 2016.
According to Tri-Star Resources, the roaster is just the first phase of its proposed metal processing activities in Oman. The company said that the existing deal could be extended to a second phase, which would involve treating refractory gold-sulphide concentrates.
Tri-Star Resources managing director Emin Eyi said, “Our proposed projects are well suited to the future strategy of Freezone Sohar. Once fully operational they will be significant contributors to local employment and the economic development of the metals processing sector in Oman.”