Discussions still ongoing on plans for Matthews Ridge manganese project

Bosai GM

General Manager of the Bosai Minerals Group Robert Shang is unsure what the company intends to do with Reunion Gold Corporation’s, Matthews Ridge Manganese Project, which it recently purchased for US$10 million, as discussions are still ongoing.

In a press release issued earlier this month, Reunion Gold Corporation an-nounced that it had entered into an agreement to sell all of its rights, title and interest in the Matthews Ridge manganese project to Bosai Minerals Group.

“Under the terms of the agreement, Bosai will pay to Reunion a total amount of US$10 million of which US$5 million is payable at closing and US$5 million is to be paid at the rate of US$2 per tonne of manganese concentrate or ore shipped from Matthews Ridge once it enters into production,” it said in a statement.

It added that pursuant to the agreement, Reunion Gold agreed to transfer the four prospecting licences (which make up the Matthews Ridge project), the March 2011 Mineral Agreement between Reunion and the Government of Guyana and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and all capital assets located at the site to Bosai.

However, Shang told Stabroek News on Monday that he is not sure what is going to happen with the project as it is still being discussed at a higher level. “Bosai just acquired the site and whatever happens depends on the decisions that are made by the head office and it is being handled on a higher level,” he said.

The company had started a study earlier in the year aimed at investing in the stalled manganese project in the North West. Company Secretary Norman McLean had indicated that a team was present to start the study.

According to him, the proposed investment is seen “as a backward integration process for what we’re doing.” McLean made the comments during a meeting with the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee (PSC) on Natural Resources, which had visited Linden to hear the concerns of stakeholders regarding Bosai’s bauxite operations. The meeting was held at Watooka House, Linden, the Government Informa-tion Agency (GINA) reported.

Last year October, Stabroek News had reported that the planned US$233 million manganese mine at Matthews Ridge was at a standstill, having been affected by the economic slowdown in Asia and other parts of the world, which made it difficult for the company to find financing.

Reunion’s subsidiary, Reunion Manganese Inc (RMI), had initially said that the mine would be commissioned mid-2014. The company was granted four prospecting licences (PLs) in September 2010 for a period of three years. RMI subsequently applied for two one-year extensions, which was expected to expire in September 2015, unless an extension of the PLs was obtained.

In an update in April, Reunion had announced that the GGMC had confirmed that its Matthews Ridge prospecting licences continue to be in good standing. “As a result of the significant decline in manganese price which has adversely affected the development of the Matthews Ridge project, the GGMC has agreed to defer certain obligations under the licences for a period of up to two years, ending April 30, 2018,” the company had said.