Crossland Strategic Metals establishes valuable Malaysian links to further advance Charley Creek Project
The recently renamed Crossland Strategic Metals Limited (ASX: CUX) is the company behind the Charley Creek rare earths project, which has indicated resources of 387 million tons and inferred resources of 418 million tons. The resource is based on monazite and xenotime ores, which have well-known and accessible processing characteristics. Crossland is confident that the minerals are, “easily dissolvable in common acids, making them preferred feedstock with well-established, low-cost and low-risk processing options for high-quality REO production”. Hard rock mining is expensive and requires considerable investment. Crossland presents investors with low overhead costs, featuring moderate technical difficulty and manageable environmental concerns.
Crossland has also now become more “manageable” in its financing after it signed a binding agreement with Malaysia’s HK Rare Earth Sdn Bhd (HKRE) to subscribe for 40 million shares and 10 million options, whereby HKRE will subscribe the first tranche of shares (AUD$513,000, being 19 million shares at 2.7 cents) on or around August 23, 2013, while a second tranche of shares (AUD$697,000, being 21 million shares at 3.3 cents) on or around September 20, 2013. The two-tranche placement comes courtesy of Crossland having appointed Mr. Sia Hok Kiang to its Board.
The appointment hints at two general benefits for Crossland. Mr. Sia has been a very determined miner for almost three decades. He was the managing director of one of the world’s most important tin mines at Sungei Lembing in the mid 1990’s. Tin is one of Malaysia’s most important products and many of the country’s Chinese citizens are the descendants of the thousands of migrants who came from China to work in the tin mines. Mr. Sia led the company in a period of low tin prices and knows what it means to endure. He also understands the nature of the aforementioned xenotime and monazite ores, which are by-products of tin mining from alluvial material; ideal experience for Crossland’s project. Sia is also the Managing Director of the private Malaysian mining company, Malaco, which has explored for gold and copper in the state of Pahang. Thanks to his long and diverse experience, Sia has gained many contacts in Asia.
Malaysia itself, thanks to the presence and experience of Lynas Corporation Ltd. (ASX: LYC) – and to the election of a mining and technology friendly government – is set to become one of the premier locations for rare earths processing and development. Technology companies will be encouraged to establish manufacturing centers for products needing rare earths thanks to the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) processing facility. Crossland believes it that it will be able to reach the commercial stage quickly and is targeting an initial production rate of 7,000 tons of total rare earths (TREO) a year.
The project is banking on a relative low-cost and large-scale potential, with a wide spectrum of products, incorporating a good suite of heavy rare earths; including neodymium, dysprosium, terbium, yttrium, and europium, with projected revenues of some AUD$20 billion over a 20-year period. Crossland’s scoping study has also confirmed low CAPEX costs – estimated at AUD$156 million – which makes the project very economically viable. Crossland is developing the Charley Creek REE project with its joint venture partner Pancontinental Uranium Corporation (TSXV: PUC). The two companies have accumulated considerable experience in REE and uranium mining and they are pursuing other joint projects in Australia and Africa as well.
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