Rak Minerals acquires Armenian mine
Singapore, April 9, 2008
Rak Minerals and Metals Investments (RMMI) on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Armenian mining firm TSCC Armenia, thus successfully expanding its footprint into Eastern Europe.
The 100 per cent acquisition covers three mining complexes spread across two regions, North and South Armenia, and includes copper and other polymetallic minerals.
RMMI has earmarked $200 million over the next two years to fund the acquisition and set up a concentrate plant in the country, said a top RMMI official.
Dr Khater Massad, CEO of RAK Investment Authority (Rakia), RMMI chairman and advisor to Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, deputy ruler & crown prince of Ras Al Khaimah, said Armenia was rich in natural resources and well located between the markets of Asia and Europe.
'RMMI’s investment is the first of many opportunities for Rakia and Ras Al Khaimah, and we hope to extend this to include real estate, construction and similar ventures that support economic growth,' he added.
Madhu Koneru, managing director, RMMI said, “Our mission is to establish RMMI as a world-leading mining solutions provider in the metals and minerals industry through strategic investments across the entire mining value chain.'
'This acquisition in Armenia is a significant step in extending RMMI’s geographical spread equitably and establishes our foothold in Eastern Europe. Our strategy is to have a balanced portfolio across Africa, Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe, within range of our target markets of China, India and the Middle East,” he noted.
As part of the deal, TSCC’s mines in Armenia will now be operated under RMMI. This includes two complexes in North Armenia in Karnut (135 sq km) and Prevolnoye (37 sq km), and in South Armenia in Larneshan (167 sq km).
All three semi-brownfield complexes are in close proximity to existing plants, and in geological analogy to operational mines in the area.
The base metal profile is largely copper, with other polymetals associated with copper deposits including lead, zinc, molybdenum. Within the complexes, some deposits have also been identified as auriferous.
In the next two years, RMMI plans to build a concentrate plant in South Armenia’s Larneshan region to process both copper and polymetallic ores into concentrates.
RMMI’s ownership of the natural resources, as well as the capability to convert ores into concentrates, also opens up the options for the setting up of smelters in the future.
Demand for copper in Asia is likely to remain firm, as transport and energy infrastructure projects in China and India are estimated to require large quantities.
Fuelled by a recent supply squeeze, copper for three-months delivery on the London Metal Exchange closed at $8,660 a tonne on Friday, April 5, up $100 from Thursday.-TradeArabia News Service