Metro Mining Limited (ASX: MMI) has announced that the Offshore Floating Terminal (OFT), “ALM Tinka”, to be renamed “Ikamba”, has safely completed its tow from Kamsar in Guinea to Shekou in Shenzen, China over approximately 10 weeks. The OFT is the most significant element in Metro’s expansion plan to reach 7Mtpa capacity in 2024.
Works have commenced on a statutory dry-docking and refurbishment programme which is expected to take six to eight weeks at a cost of approximately US$4M. The OFT Ikamba is a joint venture between Metro and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LD).
LD is contracted to manage the towing and dry-docking activities with oversight from the Metro marine team. The company’s team is working with the shipyard to plan and execute the drydocking as efficiently as possible to maintain arrival in Australia before the end of November 2023.
Metro has also announced that it has reached binding terms to acquire a tugboat vessel for US$2.05M from a major marine and shipping company in Singapore, Eng Hup Shipping Pte Ltd. The vessel, currently named Eng Hup Herald, is a planned and important aspect of the expansion project, as it will be capable of manoeuvring the OFT.
Upon taking delivery of the vessel, within the next four weeks, it will undergo a short period of refurbishment works to meet Australian approval requirements. It will then mobilize to Australia, with an anticipated arrival in late Q4, 2023.
Metro will use cash reserves to fund the acquisition, with support being received from Metro’s senior lender, Nebari Partners LLC, in agreeing to extend the interest capitalization period on their loan facility from six months to nine months in exchange for a consent fee which will be added to the principal loan balance.
Metro is also pleased to announce that Mr Vincenzo De Falco is joining the company in September 2023 as general manager of marine and supply chain. Mr De Falco is a marine and transhipping expert with more than 15 years of experience with marine bulk shipping and transhipment companies Coeclerici Group, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs and IMC Industrial Group.
Mr Simon Wensley, CEO and MD of Metro commented that “The safe arrival and commencement of the dry-docking of our OFT Ikamba is another significant aspect in the implementation of our expansion project. The acquisition of the tug Eng Hup Herald and recruitment of Vincenzo De Falco builds our asset base and capabilities to implement the expansion and aligns with Metro’s long term strategic objectives to support our growth in the marine industry over the coming years.”
To find out more about this, please visit www.metromining.com.au
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