Resource and technology company TNG (ASX: TNG) closed out the June quarter having secured further funding commitments for its Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory and appointing a main contractor to manage its delivery.
Earlier this month, the company received a conditional and non-binding letter of support from Export Finance Australia for up to $300 million of debt funding, followed by a commitment from German export credit agency Euler Hermes for another $300 million.
Letters of interest for the project’s development were also received from an additional seven Australian and international commercial and investment banks.
Mount Peake is one of only 15 domestic critical minerals projects identified by the Australian Government in its critical minerals priority road map.
This week, TNG announced it had secured $143,000 in co-funding for exploration at Mount Peake under the Northern Territory government’s geophysics and drilling collaboration program.
The company is planning to drill for samples from the feeder zone and lower sections of the composite Mount Peake gabbro intrusive to determine the potential for nickel-copper, chromium and PGE (platinum group elements) mineralisation below the Mount Peake resource.
Drilling will commence before year end.
During the reporting period, TNG was also engaged in discussions with the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility for a further funding package.
In June, TNG appointed Australian construction firm Clough as lead engineer and preferred EPC (engineering procurement and construction) contractor for delivery of the Mount Peake project.
Clough agreed to prepare a binding fixed-price, lump sum proposal for the development, subject to the completion of any works required and the procurement contracting model.
The preparation of a revised cost estimate is ongoing due to delays in sourcing market-based quotes caused by the global disruption of supply chains, higher energy costs (including from the impact of the Ukraine-Russia conflict), long lead times, logistical delays, higher labour costs due to workforce shortages and escalating prices of steel and concrete, which directly affect equipment and construction costs.
In May, TNG completed a water bore drilling and evaluation program to provide a sustainable water supply for the entire Mount Peake project, and contracted hydrological consultant AQ2 for groundwater modelling work.
AQ2 will update and expand the groundwater modelling and provide a report to support a second Water Extraction Licence Application by TNG to the Northern Territory regulator, which will provide sufficient and sustainable resources for the entire mining and processing operation.
During the quarter, TNG and Malaysian energy group AGV Energy & Technology continued to progress a commercial study for an initial HySustain green hydrogen technology project in the Northern Territory.
The partners first hooked up in June last year, when they signed an agreement to collaborate on the proposed integration of vanadium redox flow batteries with HySustain, which AGV has been developing at a pilot project in Malaysia.
TNG also advanced its vanadium energy strategy after inking a collaboration deal this month with Perth-based energy technology company Ultra Power Systems to develop and deploy a combined renewable power generation and VRFB storage system for the Australian market.
The collaboration supports TNG’s plans to establish a vertically-integrated vanadium energy business including the supply of vanadium electrolyte and installation of batteries across a range of industries and remote locations.
At the end of the quarter, TNG held $14.4 million in total cash reserves.
Payments for development, engineering, exploration and evaluation activities at Mount Peake totalled $2.1 million for the period.
Payments of $205,000 were made to directors in the way of remuneration including salary, fees and superannuation.
In May, TNG received a $3.7 million rebate under the federal government’s research and development tax incentive scheme for activities related to Mount Peake and the company’s proprietary TIVAN processing technology.