Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) released its quarterly report and activity statement for the fourth quarter of 2016 on Friday. The firm says its fertilizer-grade and cement-grade bauxite sales performed admirably in the quarter, keeping it in good stead as the metallurgical-grade bauxite market remains weak.
ABx boasted five sales to two repeat customers to date, with negotiations ongoing with another six customers for long-term contracts that would likely support opening a second bauxite mine. The firm said that, though deliveries planned last month were delayed until this summer, “modest” tonnage of fertilizer-grade bauxite were being sold at a profit over the course of the just-ended quarter. Elaborating upon the delayed delivery, ABx says that the delay was necessitated by required mechanical modifications at the customer’s plant. In order to mitigate, ABx says it will sell the batch to other customers and put together a new batch when the plant is ready.
The firm went on to say that its business strategy was to sell cement-grade and fertilizer- grade bauxite until the market for metallurgical-grade bauxite recovers. They say that their bauxite features chemistry that is uniquely suited to the manufacture of cement due to its ability to increase concrete’s late strength; its lack of quartz and salt, making it highly resistant to corrosion; and the ore’s ability to end stoppages and pressure problems in kilns, reduce temperatures needed in kilns that use it, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
ABx also advised investors that the five-fold increase of tonnage at the Fingal Rail Project indicates the firm’s ability to take on long-term contracts with major cement-grade customers. In addition, advances in TasTech separating technology continue to decrease overhead costs for the firm. ABx says that testing will continue, with an eye at beginning widespread use of the technology by the end of this year or the beginning of the next.
Going forward, the firm believes it is well positioned to capitalize upon a promised focus on the rebuilding of the United States’ infrastructure, a vow that President Trump made throughout his successful campaign last year. ABx says that it is meeting with potential buyers from the US in March.