Globe Metals & Mining, an African-focused resource company, has entered into an agreement to form a strategic partnership with East China Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau (ECE), a Chinese state-owned enterprise.
Globe’s main focus is the multi-commodity (niobium, uranium, tantalum and zircon) Kanyika Niobium Project in central Malawi. The company’s corporate head office is in Perth, Australia.
ECE will invest US$40.7 million in Globe for a 51% equity stake. ECE also committed to assisting Globe in securing project funding for the Kanyika Niobium Project from Chinese banks and funds.
According to a company press release, the partnership will have the following benefits for Globe:
- Immediate capital for completion of the bankable feasibility study into the Kanyika Niobium Project, as well as funding for Globe’s exploration projects
- Access to the Chinese capital markets, in particular relevant Chinese banks and funds, which will be critical in securing project finance for the Kanyika Niobium Project
- Access to the Chinese steel mills, the consumers of ferro-niobium (FeNb)
- Access to ECE’s mining, metallurgical and exploration expertise
China accounts for around 35% of global FeNb consumption.
“The strategic partnership with ECE provides Globe’s shareholders with a compelling package to take the Kanyika Niobium Project through the development, financing, construction and production phases, as well as funding for our early-stage projects, all via our majority shareholder. It therefore enables Globe to continue and complete its transition from an exploration and development company, into a profitable mining company,” the company said in a statement.
ECE’s director general, Shao Yi, said: “The joint approach of ECE with Globe is a win-win cooperation based on a highly complementary affinity between our two companies. This is mainly reflected in three ways: first, the enormous demand in China for metals will be the right target market for the highly prospective resources owned by Globe; second, the great expertise of ECE will be helpful to the projects being undertaken by Globe in their various stages of development; and lastly, ECE’s assistance in securing abundant financial support will ensure Globe is able to fully explore and develop its projects.”
The transaction is subject to shareholder and Chinese, Australian and Malawian government approvals.