- Unique portfolio of fluorspar assets
- Awareness of strategic nature of fluorspar growing
- Experienced management team
- Paymaster project in US adds diversity
What Tertiary Minerals does
Fluorspar is an essential raw material in the chemical, steel and aluminium industries with no large-scale commercial alternative, or recycling available.
A European Commission report has named fluorspar as one of its 27 'critical mineral raw materials' for which a predicted supply shortage would represent a substantial economic threat. The USA considers fluorspar as a strategic mineral and is currently importing 100% of its fluorspar.
Western Europe and North America are the largest acid-spar consuming regions outside China.
China's fluorspar exports have continued to decline since 2000, a decline was driven by increasing internal demand and production and export restrictions. Under this dynamic, China is likely to evolve from a large net exporter to a potential net importer.
In 2017 China listed fluorspar as a strategic mineral
What Tertiary Minerals owns
The lead asset is the Storuman project in Sweden, which shows the potential to produce an average annual production of 103,000 tonnes of acid-grade fluorspar per year over a mine life of 18 years.
On those parameters the mine would generate US$616mln in gross cash, netting out to a total of U$137mln.
The initial capital costs were put at US$46mln in the scoping study that generated these numbers.
However, Sweden’s permitting regime is notoriously hard to navigate, and there still remains work to be done on this score.
Other fluorspar assets coming along behind
Tertiary is also working up the Lassedalen project in Norway and the MB Fluorspar project in Nevada. Of the two, MB is more advanced and is currently the subject of a scoping study being conducted by SGS Lakefield.
New Paymaster project offers exposure to zinc, silver, copper and lead
In February Tertiary staked a claim to the Paymaster project in Nevada. Paymaster has already yielded attractive grades of mineralisation in grab samples. The strike length currently runs to 1.7 kilometres. The ground is prospective for zinc, silver, copper, lead, as well as hi-tech metals cobalt and tellurium
More acquisitions could be on the way
“Whilst we continue with our strategy of reviewing project acquisition opportunities potentially capable of generating revenue and profits in a shorter timescale, we have also expanded our scope
to include earlier stage projects which can be developed organically,” said chief executive Richard Clemmy, after the acquisition of Paymaster. Tertiary has also said previously that it was considering deals involving other fluorspar assets
Tightly run operation
In the six months to 31 March 2018 Tertiary lost just £170,000, a small sum for an exploration and development company. The figure was so low partly because the company was able to book a profit on the sale of some shares in Aurion Resources, whilst retaining a royalty. However, the figure for the comparable period in 2017 was even lower, so there is a pattern here. The main reason is that administration costs are kept down by basing the company outside of London and allowing it to share offices and staff with sister company Sunrise Resources (LON:SRES).
The company raised £250,000 in January 2019 for working capital and to continue with development work on its projects.