– gets 1-year extension to start US$50M construction
A New Orleans, Louisiana-based bauxite development company is exploring products that can be used in deepwater off-shore well.
First Bauxite Corporation Announces, in its filing of its unaudited quarterly financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis for the period ended September 30, 2017, disclosed that it is continuing to assess potential strategic opportunities to utilise idled ceramic proppant production capacity in the USA or to construct a new production facility with a smaller capacity than envisaged in its 2015 Feasibility Study.
“The company also continued developing market information for ultra high-strength ceramic proppants, with an emphasis for use in deepwater offshore wells, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico.”
There has been renewed interest around proppants – the hard microspheres injected into well bores to “prop open” rock fissures allowing natural gas and oil to flow out. Ceramic proppants – a man-made proppant, offer a tailored solution in more demanding drilling settings.
Ceramic proppants can withstand a much greater crush strength than traditional frac sand products – up to 10,000 psi.
First Bauxite recently met with Government announcing that it is looking to invest US$50M into a project at Bonasika, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Region Seven with construction to start next year and 12 months after. However, the company has been granted a one-year extension.
The project is expected to provide employment for over 150 locals.
The company commenced feasibility work on the Bonasika Project in 2008. Since then the company says it has expended US$20M on developing the bauxite resource and has completed three feasibility studies. The company has also conducted two major production trials in Guyana over the past two years.
During the nine months ended September 30, 2017, the company says it continued to make progress. It has completed a series of industrial scale ceramic proppant production trials in China that began in the third quarter of last year.
“Initial results have been very encouraging with independent recognised US laboratory testwork confirming a superior product,” First Bauxite disclosed in its filing.
During the second quarter of this year, the company said it shipped an additional 3,000 metric tonnes to China for additional industrial scale production trials.
“The additional production trials are to ensure an adequate supply of product available for potential customers and to further improve the production quality and consistency.”
In addition, the company said it has continued to assess other potential markets and business models including a “Direct Shipping Ore” strategy to utilise idled sintered refractory bauxite capacity for the refractory and other markets.
“Recent improvements in the sintered refractory bauxite market have made this strategy more attractive.”
With regards to its operations and regulations, First Bauxite said it has received formal notification from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission that its request for an extension to commence construction under its Mining License for the Bonasika Project has been approved.
“The Company had earlier received an extension through January 31, 2018, which also provided for an additional year to be granted if the GGMC considered the company to have made sufficient progress to merit the additional extension. The construction commencement date has now been extended to January 31, 2019. In addition, the company has also received from the Government of Guyana an executed Amendment Agreement to its Mineral Agreement to reflect the new project concept of a mining and beneficiation plant in Guyana and the downstream processing plant in the USA.”
First Bauxite is a Canadian natural resources company engaged in the exploration and development of bauxite deposits in Guyana.
The company says it intends to produce and sell bauxite raw ore from its facility in Guyana and intends to produce sintered refractory products and ceramic proppants for the refractory and energy industries in the future.
The entrance of the Bonasika project would help boost an industry that has below radar for a number of years now.
The other bauxite operations are in Linden and in the Upper Berbice area, Region 10, and are operated by the Chinese and Russians.
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