THE Australian Industry Group Defence Council presented Queensland hi-tech company Micreo Limited with a Defence supply chain award at the recent Defence + Industry Conference 2014 held in Adelaide.

Micreo Limited – a small to medium enterprise (SME) – received the award for achieving 100 percent on time delivery and 100 percent quality for the past year, mainly for its unique radio-frequency (RF) systems. Micreo’s core business is the design and manufacture of RF microwave integrated circuits and subsystems to global defence companies. 

Micreo products are currently installed in several of the world’s front-line military aircraft and ships. Micreo Limited CEO Tim Shaw said the company considered this a double award as the business had benefited from becoming more competitive while the award also recognised the hard work of the entire team.

Micreo is one of only three currently recognised ‘gold level’ suppliers worldwide based upon a global benchmark of supply chain excellence derived from the UK 21st Century Supply Chain program, SC21. In Australia SC21 is licensed as the Supplier Continuous Improvement Program (SCIP).

The SCIP initiative is currently delivered through the Defence Industry Innovation Centre, under the Department of Industry and is funded by the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).

The DMO’s deputy chief executive officer, Harry Dunstall, said the SCIP and the Defence Industry Innovation Centre were excellent examples of DMO and the Department of Industry working together to support defence SMEs to become more globally competitive.

Liquip International and the Defence Materials Technology Centre also received recognition for their achievements under the SCIP initiative.

Liquip was recognised for its alignment to the SCIP commitments including leadership, delivering innovation, through-life solutions and continuous improvement.

The Defence Materials Technology Centre was recognised for its significant improvement in both business and operational capability over the previous 18 months.

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins, who is also chair of the Australian Industry Group Defence Council, stressed the critical role of SMEs in the defence supply chain and highlighted the importance of participation in SCIP to enhance supply chain relationships and deliver innovative and reliable outcomes to the Australian Defence Force.

www.micreo.com

www.liquip.com

THONG innovator Willi Footwear Company has set something of a record in raising capital through global crowdfunding system Indiegogo.

Just an hour after the launch of their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, the up-and-coming Gold Coast footwear company generated more than $10,000 for its chic new range of thongs that are re-engineered to avoid the ever-feared toe plug ‘blow-out’.

Willi has been awarded several patents for its ‘interchangeable range’ that allows the wearer to customise the thong base with different coloured straps. The straps have been designed with boomerang-shaped plugs to minimise the chance of a blow-out. 

Willi Footwear managing director and founder, Brad Munro, said after a long and expensive process putting the intellectual property protection in place Willi was hoping the campaign would fund the launch into the Australian and US markets.

“We are overwhelmed by the support so far, but there is a long road ahead and we’re focusing on reaching our funding goal,” Mr Munro said.

He said the future was looking bright for Willi as it had already been taking enquiries from several overseas distributors.

Brand ambassadors include beach-loving thong wearers such as 2013’s Cleo Bachelor of the year, lifeguard Trent ‘Maxi’ Maxwell from Bondi Rescue, and three-times Ironwoman champion, Courtney Hancock.

With the option to change the strap colours to match clothes or accessories, the interchangeable range is being hailed as a stylish innovation on an iconic piece of essential summer footwear. 

There are four base and six strap colours including black, white, and the metallic range of red, blue, green and nude, allowing for 24 possible colour combinations.

The funding goal for what Willi calls its ‘Flip Flop project’ is set at A$30,000 over the month, but within an hour of the campaign going live, it had raised $10,722.

Through Crowdfunding sites such as Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Pozible, campaigners can raise funds for a non-profit organisation, charity, commercial product, film production, event, album launch and much more, as long as it is within the campaign platforms rules and regulations. 

Crowdfunding is an avenue for start-up businesses to raise funds for a unique project by obtaining a small amount of money from a large amount of people (or backers) through a network of family, friends, social media and total strangers that would like to purchase the product or service on offer. If the campaign does not reach its ‘funding goal’ then the individual payments are not processed and no money or goods are exchanged.  

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/interchangeable-flip-flops-with-no-more-blow-outs

http://vimeo.com/100763187 

www.willi.com.au

ends

 

EXTRA: WESTERN Australia-based ATCO Gas Australia has established an innovation showroom and operations centre that is more ‘go’ than ‘show’. ATCO is actively using all the new gas-fired technologies on display, aiming to encourage business to take up more efficient gas-powered systems.

Located at Jandakot, the purpose-built facility showcases new natural gas technologies, including state-of-the-art appliances, vehicles and back-up generators all fuelled by natural gas. 

“This new facility demonstrates how gas-powered innovations, such as gas-powered air conditioning, can provide greener energy solutions,” ATCO Gas Australia president Alan Dixon said.

“By switching to natural gas, businesses can benefit from lower running costs, improved environmental ratings for buildings and a diversified portfolio of energy solutions which provides energy security.”

Mr Dixon said the facility’s state-of-the-art natural gas-powered air conditioning units would help to minimise operating costs and environmental footprint. The facility also features natural gas-fired back-up power generation that provides security of continuous operations without the need to store fuel on site.

A compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling station has been installed to service ATCO’s CNG fleet vehicles, which will result in lower fuel costs and reduced emissions. The CNG refuelling station also has the capacity to fuel CNG vehicles owned by other organisations.

The facility also houses the new ATCO Gas Blue Flame Kitchen, which engages the local community with cooking classes and demonstrations, in addition to offering educational programs to teach school children about nutrition, kitchen safety, and cooking with natural gas.

To celebrate the official launch of the ATCO Gas Blue Flame Kitchen, ATCO also announced an initiative to provide funding to select local City of Cockburn schools to help them establish their own kitchen gardens.

ATCO Gas Australia owns, operates and maintains the largest reticulated gas infrastructure in Western Australia, serving Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Albany, Bunbury, Busselton, Harvey, Pinjarra, Brunswick Junction, Capel and the Perth greater metropolitan area including Mandurah. These combined networks connect more than 683,000 residential, commercial and industrial end users to natural gas and LPG.

ATCO Gas Australia is part of the Canada-headquartered ATCO Group of Companies which have more than 9,800 employees and assets of about C$16 billion.

ATCO delivers innovative business solutions worldwide with its leading companies engaged in divisions of Structures & Logistics (manufacturing, logistics and noise abatement), Utilities (pipelines, natural gas and electricity transmission and distribution), Energy (power generation, natural gas gathering, processing, storage and liquids extraction) and Technologies (business systems solutions).

It is now a global company that has thrived on the sustainable development philosophies of its founder, Samuel Southern, who returned home from World War Two and, looking for a way to raise funds to further his son Ron’s formal education, founded Alberta Trailer Hire. What began with a $4,000 father-and-son investment in a fleet of 15 utility trailers, which were used at work camps in Alberta’s booming oil industry, Alberta Trailer Company – then ATCO – soon had its first export orders to Alaska. Its international businesses began with a contract to supply housing for the Mangla Dam project in Pakistan and the company has diversified globally and technolgoever since.

ATCO is still in the hands of the Southern family and Ron’s daughter Nancy Southern is chair, president and CEO of ATCO Ltd. and Canadian Utilities Limited.

www.atco.com

ends

POSTED JULY 23, 2014

EXTRA: In very practical ways, Telstra is making the digital age transition from a one-dimensional ICT provider to a trusted multi-level collaborator in the small and medium enterprise (SME) space. That was the deeper message from a recent Business Acumen interview with Telstra Business group managing director Will Irving – who admitted with humility, “we still have a long way to go, I think, to be the kind of business advisors we would (eventually) want to be”.

By Mike Sullivan

“ONCE upon a time, what telcos generally did in the business space was all about being on the edge of the customer’s business. In other words it was pure dial tone. The dial tone might have been on a mobile phone and it might have been on a fax machine and for eftpos dialling up, but fundamentally it was just a connection thing.”

Telstra Business group managing director Will Irving is describing the essence of dramatic changes to Australia’s ‘flag carrier’ telecommunications business wrought by the digital revolution, but interpreted by Telstra’s business leaders and seers as much more of a digital business revelation.

Telstra is meeting the deep challenges of digital disruption by translating the revelation that successful businesses actually exploit the opportunity it gives for more personal contact with people – not less.

Over the past few years, Telstra has opened more than 90 Telstra Business Centres across Australia, well located along arterial roads, in business parks and in CBDs, Mr Irving said. The company has understood that explaining the advantages of digital technologies, and the options available, brings a level of client engagement that has not been available before.

Whomever the thought leadership group at Telstra is made up of, they have not only embraced what Digital Business insights CEO and researcher John Sheridan calls the three major tenements of the digital revolution – more connection, more collaboration and more integration – but they have also understood that, increasingly, the customer is in control.

 “What we are now doing, and this happens with cloud computing where we are providing software – be it everything from Office 365, security, various applications for employee management and sales and so on – for us now it’s more about being inside the customer’s business and it’s really supporting them from a productivity point of view,” Mr Irving said.

“With things like machine-to-machine, we are inside production processes and measuring what is happening inside pieces of machinery. Geo-location is a huge thing for customers, whether it’s in transport logistics, or tourism, or mining, or agriculture and so on.

“So we learn a lot more about our customers’ businesses and how they operate and how they want to operate to be as productive as they can be. And to be international too, given that for so many it is a global market and they are facing inter-global competition.

“So to be able to win hearts and minds not just in Australia but around the world is absolutely critical. We bring the technology and that is absolutely core to what we do, but the real value is in how you use it.”

A good example is the recent introduction of Blue Jeans Network video conferencing technology to the Telstra mix. It is an exercise in leading SMEs – and large corporates too – towards an understanding of the power that new, high quality video conferencing systems can add to their processes and brands. But it is much more than a simple step-up from Skype, Mr Irving said.

Telstra’s take on it is that video conferencing can help business leaders address key business challenges, including reaching customers and suppliers more effectively, enabling flexible working for skilled employees, competing in a global marketplace, or providing engaging staff training.

Research group Ovum’s survey Video Collaboration Service Requirements: Australian SMBs, earlier this year showed a third of businesses surveyed were already using professional, business-grade video conferencing services, with an additional 34 percent expecting to use it in the next 12 months.

Blue Jeans allows businesses to use the internet to connect face-to-face while sharing content and presentations with staff, customers and suppliers, regardless of their size or location, Mr Irving said. As a web-based solution that works with most video systems and devices, “Blue Jeans makes it easier and more cost-effective for businesses to adopt video conferencing, or make better use of their existing video equipment”.

“Face-to-face communications are invaluable,” Mr Irving said. “In fact, 55 percent of communication is visual – your body language and eye contact – and 38 percent is vocal – your pitch, speed, volume and tone of voice. Using video can help you to build deeper levels of trust in shorter amounts of time which means you’re able to reach decisions more quickly.

“For example, one quick five minute video conversation could eliminate 15 back and forth emails. It is also a far more engaging medium for sales and purchasing discussions or HR and training activities.”

Image and sound quality, along with portability, are the key advantages Blue Jeans brings to the Telstra offering, driving up the quality of the contact too, Mr Irving said.

The service is hosted in the cloud and can connect up to 25 people in the same meeting, whether from a conference room, or from desktop computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones.

“Blue Jeans has been on my radar for a little while now,” Mr Irving said of the Silicon Valley-based company. “They are a very professional outfit. Their business is growing very fast.

“The thing about Blue Jeans and what they have effectively managed to do is that, for a long time, you have had some terrific video conferencing products, like Cisco (Telepresence) and Polycom and a whole bunch of players who have done really great things. But they all started out in a world where they were typically used by very large companies or governments internally. Therefore they put in one system and it was … technologically designed pretty much to be a private network.

“As you had the ability to do things on tablets and with 4G networks rapidly growing – and Australia’s 4G network is probably the leading network in the world at 85 percent of the population, you don’t find any other country at that level of 4G population coverage; the US is at a fraction of that, and 4G network in geographic terms has probably four times the spread of Optus’s – just to give you the flavour of the dimension we are talking about here.

“It’s taken those kinds of networks and to add things like iPads and video to bring things down from a world where it is very expensive to put in anything like that.

“Like Cisco Telepresence, which has for a number of years been state of the art – curved screens, incredibly high resolution – it (Blue Jeans) really is like being in the room with someone.

“With the ability to use tablets and with much more remote working possible courtesy of 4G, the need to be able to inter-operate, not just between your own organisation and different parts of the system, but also between different customers and suppliers, has become key.

“That’s where Blue Jeans now fulfils the ability for people on different systems not to have to go and retro-fit. They can go on using what they had and now it’s (possible to) talk across platforms.

“It’s taking some sophisticated software to act as a translator, if you like, between those various master platforms. That’s why it’s ‘why now’ and that’s why in Australia (video conferencing) has got this sort of potential because the 4G networks in Australia now (can) really do this. We’ve got a lot more fibre out in the network now in many parts of the country, particularly in a business context. In a lot of business parks and so on you have got fibre sitting there.

“Australia now becomes a market in which every body – I think the whole video industry – expects Australia to be one of the world leaders for quite some time.

“I think part of the value of a product like Blue Jeans, particularly in a business context, where an awful lot of the business that happens in video happens in the SME space and is also B-to-SME.  Larger companies supplying into a small business in their particular customer space.

“Or they might be small businesses wanting to present into either large enterprises or medium-sized businesses and businesses of similar sizes. At that point you want to look a bit more like a fully professional, valuable business than perhaps something that runs a bit of the variability risk of Skype.”

Mr Irving said Skype has served many businesses well up until now but many were seeing they had to go to another level of professionalism.

“We’d rather see people seeing the benefit of video and if you start with Skype and think it’s great then come and see what the really high-grade stuff looks like. I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised,” Mr Irving said.

“Particularly when you start to think about multi-point conferencing and so on. There are a bunch of things that Skype does well and there are some things that Skype tends to struggle with today.”

It is that sort of research which is paying off for Telstra now in the SME space. Mr Irving said Telstra had an international technology group that is “always on the lookout for people that are emerging”.

“In fact we have people based in the US and a couple based in Europe and so on, very close to the ground of new technology,” Mr Irving said.

As Telstra understands more about its SME customers and their potential technological needs, the scouting work becomes more focussed.

“In almost the same way all businesses get accountants to give them accounting advice, they won’t do it themselves, you really now want to be in a (technical) world in which you are getting some professional advice,” Mr Irving said.

While he finished by talking about the advantages of quality video conferencing to business, he could also have been speaking allegorically about the evolving Telstra Business approach:

“If you are building a new relationship, we still say there is no substitute for being there. When people first meet, a handshake and getting to know someone face-to-face is invaluable. Once you’ve done that, then historically people have then done things over the phone or by e-mail and that’s worked, although obviously e-mail has its big risks in that you don’t get the tone of voice and those kinds of things.

“So what this is more about is not so much the first meeting but the second, the third and the fourth.”

www.telstrabusiness.com.au

ends

 POSTED JULY 23, 2014

AUSTRALIAN leaders in retailing have been recognised in the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards – with top brands Specsavers, Super Retail Group, NRMA Insurance, Priceline Pharmacy and ABC Shop all featuring prominently in the 11 categories.

Priceline Pharmacy was honoured with the coveted 2014 eftpos Australian Retailer of the Year award, presented by eftpos managing director Bruce Mansfield, at Tuesday’s awards breakfast in Melbourne, attended by more than 400 retail professionals and national media. 

Specsavers global retail director, Derek Dyson, and Victorian Minister for Small Business, Russell Northe, delivered keynote addresses at the Australian Retail Awards breakfast. 

“Retail is an important part of the nation’s economy and this year’s award winners provide shining examples of excellence in retailing,” Mr Mansfied said, congratulating all award winners and finalists for their “outstanding contribution to Australian retail”.

“Retail is becoming an increasingly complex industry as more Australians expect to be able to shop and purchase goods online, on mobiles and in store.

“Many of these award winning businesses are rising to the ever-increasing challenges in retail, in the face of strong international competition.

“Eftpos is proud to have served the retail community for almost 30 years with a simple and secure way for customers to access their own money at the checkout. We continue to look for new ways to help Australian businesses meet the challenges of the future,” Mr Mansfield said.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said this year’s awards were more competitive than ever, making it extremely challenging for the expert panel of judges to determine winners and finalists.

“The ARA would like to congratulate the winners of our brand new category for 2014 – the Shop for Shops Australian Retail Store Upgrade of the Year – taken out by Saltwater Wine,” Mr Zimmerman said. He said Saltwater Wine was also named Visa Australian Independent Retailer of the Year.

“Family business Claws ‘n’ Paws Pet Supplies was named the winner of the Victorian Government Victorian Retailer of the Year award for the second year running and ABC shop was honoured with the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Retailer of the Year award – as determined by Roy Morgan survey results,” he said.

“This year’s FCB Australian Retail HR Practitioner of the Year award went to Laura Rankin from Super Retail Group, and PANDORA claimed their second accolade for the morning – taking out the BDO Australian Retail Employer of the Year award after placing runner-up in the eftpos Australian Retailer of the Year category.

“While Specsavers keynote address enthralled guests with their story of opening 100 retail stores over the course of just 100 days, it was their commitment to innovation that earned the business two new titles of Quest Payment Systems Retail Innovator of the Year and eBay Inc Australian Multichannel Retailer of the Year,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“With the ARA Retail Institute producing graduates like this year’s winners of the Expr3ss! Staff Selection Software Retail Graduate of the Year award, Piyush Bhanot of Aldi Stores for his diploma of retail management and Carmen Apostolatos of Oxfam Shop for her certificate four in retail management, I am confident that the future of the retail industry is in very good hands.

"This year, the ARA Awards were centred on the theme of retail as a career of choice, not just a job,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Take the REST Industry Super Australian Retailer of the Year award winner, Sharon Ida from NRMA Insurance, for example. Sharon has shown true leadership and inspiration to those around her – and it was our absolute pleasure to recognise outstanding individuals such as Sharon on a national stage here today.

“Enthusiasm for our industry was evident through every award submission during this year’s judging process – an unequivocal endorsement that retail is absolutely a desirable and honourable profession offering exciting and rewarding career opportunities.

“It’s unfortunate that many people see retail as only a stepping stone – an opportunity to obtain people skills before moving into other careers. These people are oblivious to the myriad of opportunities that exist beyond the cashier and sales assistant positions of the shop floor.
“The ARA has a long and dedicated history of protecting and promoting the retail industry's interests, including changing the perception of retail as a professional career rather than just a ‘job.’

“After all, the retail industry makes a significant contribution to the overall state of the national economy and employs more people in Australia than any other private sector industry,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Congratulations once again to all finalists and winners of this year’s eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards – the ARA was proud to recognise and reward you in front of your industry peers today.

“The ARA would also like to acknowledge all sponsors for their continued support – eftpos, Visa, REST Industry Super, BDO, Quest Payment Systems, Expr3ss! Staff Selection Software, eBay Inc, FCB, Roy Morgan Research, the Victorian Government, Shop for Shops, Crowther Blayne and our media partners Inside Retail and Smartcompany,” Mr Zimmerman said.

www.retail.org.au

 

Winners and finalists of the 2014 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards:

 eftpos Australian Retailer of the Year

WINNER: Priceline Pharmacy 

RUNNER-UP: PANDORA

FINALIST: Supercheap Auto

 

REST Industry Super Australian Individual Retailer of the Year

WINNER: Sharon Ida, NRMA Insurance  

 

Visa Australian Independent Retailer of the Year

WINNER: Saltwater Wine & Stormriders

RUNNER-UP: Beer Cartel

 

Expr3ss! Staff Selection Software Australian Retail Graduate of the Year – Diploma

WINNER: Piyush Bhanot, Aldi Stores

RUNNER-UP: Katherine Barber, Beacon Lighting

 

Expr3ss! Staff Selection Software Australian Retail Graduate of the Year – Certificate IV

 WINNER: Carmen Apostolatos, Oxfam Shop

 

FCB Australian Retail HR Practitioner of the Year

WINNER: Laura Rankin, Super Retail Group

RUNNER-UP: Jarrod Reid, Salvos Stores

 

BDO Australian Retail Employer of the Year

WINNER: PANDORA
RUNNER-UP: Repco

 

Quest Payment Systems Retail Innovator of the Year

WINNER: Specsavers

RUNNER-UP: Tyreright

FINALIST: eyeclarity

 

Victorian Government Victorian Retailer of the Year

WINNER: Claws ‘n’ Paws Pet Supplies
RUNNER-UP: Crocé & Colosimo Couture

 

Shop for Shops Australian Retail Store Upgrade of the Year

WINNER: Saltwater Wine
RUNNER-UP: Clearly
FINALIST: Wine Republic

 

Roy Morgan Australian Customer Satisfaction Retailer of the Year

WINNER: ABC Shop
RUNNER-UP: Foodland

 

eBay Inc Australian Multichannel Retailer of the Year

WINNER: Specsavers
RUNNER-UP: The Co-op.

end

POSTED JULY 16, 2014

EXTRA: AUSTRALIAN Securities Exchange-listed Charter Pacific Corporation Limited’s 70 percent-owned subsidiary, Legleitat Iron Mauritanie (LIM) SA, has been granted a potential 30-year mining permit for an advanced iron ore mine in Mauritania, West Africa.

The Legleitat site is an existing open cut hematite mine adjacent to Charter Pacific’s existing leases that have been established to mine iron ore, gold and other precious metals. 

An advantage of the Legleitat site for Charter Pacific is that it has already had an estimated $45 million in preparation work performed upon it by its previous operator, including drilling, pre-stripping of the mine site, port preparation and a haul road already constructed.

Charter Pacific plans to bring its high level Australian-developed technologies and mining systems to the project, in a bid to tap into the re-emergence of high quality iron ore demand in Europe.

The hematite deposit in the Mauritania mine has been found by Charter Pacific’s advisors, Australian resources firm SRK Consulting Pty Ltd (SRK), to contain what is known as direct shipping iron ore (DSO).

 “Our investment in this DSO project with near term production potential will be a company changer for Charter Pacific’s shareholders,” Charter Pacific executive chairman Kevin Dart said.

“This project complements our existing Mauritanian investments and accelerates our ability to generate significant near term value for shareholders. Rarely does such an advanced DSO iron ore project become available with infrastructure either in place or at near term availability.

“It’s also important that the cost of iron ore production in Mauritania is well below that of other ore producing markets.”

Mr Dart said the Legleitat iron ore deposit had been extensively drilled but is still open, with potential to expand the hematite resource. The mine has been under maintenance sits November 2013.

Mr Dart said there was also future potential ‘beneficiation’ of lower grade goethite iron mineralisation surrounding the hematite. The mine site itself is established, pre-strip commenced, ore mining commenced, and blasted stocks in ground, he said.

Mauritanian iron ore has been principally exported to European markets for the past 18 years and Charter Pacific believes the region will continue to be a strong market in the future.

The previous operator’s permit was not renewed by the Mauritanian Government in late 2013, due to permit conditions reportedly not being met. The Mauritanian Government published a call for expressions of interest for this permit in late December 2013 and Charter Pacific lodged a submission for the permit area early in February 2014. 

Following lengthy confidential negotiations with the government, a permit was granted by decree under the provisions of the Mining Code to Charter Pacific’s subsidiary Legleitat Iron Mauritanie SA.

Legleitat Iron, a Mauritanian company, is 70 percent owned by Charter Pacific, 10 percent by WAFA Mining and Petroleum – Charter Pacific’s Mauritanian in-country partner – and 20 percent ‘free carried’ ownership by the Mauritanian Government. 

The site is adjacent to Charter Pacific’s existing Exploration Permit 792 and increases Charter Pacific’s investments in Mauritania to a total footprint of 3,246sqkm for iron ore, gold and copper prospects.

The permit, but not the ore body, is traversed by the major 250km sealed highway between Nouakchott and Akjoujt.  The mine site loading facility is close to the highway and the haul road to the highway is completed.  Preliminary assessments by Charter Pacific indicate that the DSO product can be trucked to the Port of Nouakchott for shipping to customers.

Based on the preliminary assessments of the deposit, Charter Pacific will aim for a million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) shipped operation for more than 10 years, delivering a DSO product of 59.2 percent iron – officially CaFe grade 62.7%Fe – to potential customers in Europe, India and Asia.

Based upon due diligence material received from the Mauritanian Mines Department, Charter Pacific’s in-house preliminary estimates indicate a capital expenditure of up to US$22 million may be required to commence mining operations on the Legleitat Ore Deposit.

www.charpac.com.au

www.srk.com.au

 

ends

POSTED JULY 23, 2014

AUSTRALIAN Securities Exchange-listed Charter Pacific Corporation Limited’s 70 percent-owned subsidiary, Legleitat Iron Mauritanie (LIM) SA, has been granted a potential 30-year mining permit for an advanced iron ore mine in Mauritania, West Africa.

The Legleitat site is an existing open cut hematite mine adjacent to Charter Pacific’s existing leases that have been established to mine iron ore, gold and other precious metals. 

An advantage of the Legleitat site for Charter Pacific is that it has already had an estimated $45 million in preparation work performed upon it by its previous operator, including drilling, pre-stripping of the mine site, port preparation and a haul road already constructed.

Charter Pacific plans to bring its high level Australian-developed technologies and mining systems to the project, in a bid to tap into the re-emergence of high quality iron ore demand in Europe.

The hematite deposit in the Mauritania mine has been found by Charter Pacific’s advisors, Australian resources firm SRK Consulting Pty Ltd (SRK), to contain what is known as direct shipping iron ore (DSO).

 “Our investment in this DSO project with near term production potential will be a company changer for Charter Pacific’s shareholders,” Charter Pacific executive chairman Kevin Dart said.

“This project complements our existing Mauritanian investments and accelerates our ability to generate significant near term value for shareholders. Rarely does such an advanced DSO iron ore project become available with infrastructure either in place or at near term availability.

“It’s also important that the cost of iron ore production in Mauritania is well below that of other ore producing markets.”

Mr Dart said the Legleitat iron ore deposit had been extensively drilled but is still open, with potential to expand the hematite resource. The mine has been under maintenance sits November 2013.

Mr Dart said there was also future potential ‘beneficiation’ of lower grade goethite iron mineralisation surrounding the hematite. The mine site itself is established, pre-strip commenced, ore mining commenced, and blasted stocks in ground, he said.

Mauritanian iron ore has been principally exported to European markets for the past 18 years and Charter Pacific believes the region will continue to be a strong market in the future.

The previous operator’s permit was not renewed by the Mauritanian Government in late 2013, due to permit conditions reportedly not being met. The Mauritanian Government published a call for expressions of interest for this permit in late December 2013 and Charter Pacific lodged a submission for the permit area early in February 2014. 

Following lengthy confidential negotiations with the government, a permit was granted by decree under the provisions of the Mining Code to Charter Pacific’s subsidiary Legleitat Iron Mauritanie SA.

Legleitat Iron, a Mauritanian company, is 70 percent owned by Charter Pacific, 10 percent by WAFA Mining and Petroleum – Charter Pacific’s Mauritanian in-country partner – and 20 percent ‘free carried’ ownership by the Mauritanian Government. 

The site is adjacent to Charter Pacific’s existing Exploration Permit 792 and increases Charter Pacific’s investments in Mauritania to a total footprint of 3,246sqkm for iron ore, gold and copper prospects.  

The permit, but not the ore body, is traversed by the major 250km sealed highway between Nouakchott and Akjoujt.  The mine site loading facility is close to the highway and the haul road to the highway is completed.  Preliminary assessments by Charter Pacific indicate that the DSO product can be trucked to the Port of Nouakchott for shipping to customers.

Based on the preliminary assessments of the deposit, Charter Pacific will aim for a million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) shipped operation for more than 10 years, delivering a DSO product of 59.2 percent iron – officially CaFe grade 62.7%Fe – to potential customers in Europe, India and Asia.

Based upon due diligence material received from the Mauritanian Mines Department, Charter Pacific’s in-house preliminary estimates indicate a capital expenditure of up to US$22 million may be required to commence mining operations on the Legleitat Ore Deposit.

www.charpac.com.au

www.srk.com.au

 

ends

Contact Us

 

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MANSFIELD QLD 4122