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Australian Stock Exchange-listed Aspire said, in a statement on Tuesday December 3, that the agreements cover a five-year period and that it has received additional interest from other Russian and eastern European end users, but did not provide the names of the companies.
Aspire signed offtake agreements for up to 5.6 million tpy of coking coal with four Chinese steel mills in July.
“[This] indicates that Ovoot Coking Coal will have a significant customer base in the blast and foundry furnace steelmaking industries outside of China,” Aspire said.
The miner has also secured access to up to 2 million tpy of rail and port capacity through the Russian Far East at “competitive tariffs”.
“Russia is a key market for Ovoot Project coking coal given its proximity and [the relatively low] transfer and logistics costs of delivering coal to [the] market,” said Aspire.
Ovoot coking coal’s blending properties complement coals from Russia’s Kuzbass basin, where fluidity and caking properties are declining, Aspire said.
Aspire’s Ovoot Project coking coal is classified in Russia as a Fat Coking Coal (‘KZh’), which is used as a blending feedstock for coke plants.
The miner expects to start production at Ovoot in 2017, contingent on the Mongolian government granting it a rail concession by the end of 2013.