Canyon hires bauxite veteran to lead Minim Martap development
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Canyon has appointed veteran metals and mining executive Jean-Sebastien Boutet as CEO to advance development of its Minim Martap bauxite project.
Boutet has more than 16 years’ experience in the bauxite and aluminium industry and has more than six years’ experience working in West Africa with his most recent role being chief commercial officer of independent bauxite miner Alufer Mining.
He also has a background in business development, operations management and mine logistics as well as experience in securing key partnerships, developing, and implementing marketing and commercial strategy, and ensuring key workstreams towards development are met.
Taken together, Boutet’s appointment looks to be perfectly timed as Canyon Resources (ASX:CAY) turns its attention towards the financing and development of the Minim Martap project.
Key offtake decisions and other commercial partnerships are also progressing.
With his appointment, which begins officially in the new year, Canyon founder and managing director Phillip Gallagher will take a step back and transition to an executive director role where he will continue to support the project’s development.
“We are delighted to have Jean-Sebastien join the Canyon team. He is an outstanding mining executive who is eager to put his experience and connections to work,” chairman Cliff Lawrenson said.
“This is a natural progression as Canyon evolves from exploration and the permitting phase of the Minim Martap project to the construction and operations phase of the project.
“We now have a team of experienced West African bauxite operational and business development executives, and we are well positioned to bring the world’s highest-grade bauxite mine into production.”
The Minim Martap project in Cameroon has an ore reserve of 99 million tonnes grading 51.6% aluminium oxide and 2.4% silica dioxide within a broader resource of 1 billion tonnes at 45.3% aluminium oxide and 2.7% silica dioxide.
It is currently envisaged as a two-stage, two-port project with initial production exported through Douala using existing rail and port infrastructure.
Canyon’s pre-feasibility study had outlined the first stage as a 5 million tonne per annum direct shipping ore project with low development capital requirements of just US$120m ($163.35m).
Bridges on the rail lines leading from the project have also been found to be suitable for the planned tonnages required to transport greater quantities of bauxite under the second stage, meaning that the company can avoid having to carry out upgrades that will increase costs and delay the project’s development.
With the growing focus on ESG investing, Minim Martap is also expected to be much greener than other bauxite projects as its high-grade nature should require less caustic soda consumption and lower red mud disposal costs while requiring less energy for processing.
The company is currently negotiating with the Cameroon Ministry of Mines to define the Mining Convention that will specify all the key terms of the project between the company and the state across all areas.
These terms include justification and scope of the project, taxes, state participation in the project, social and environmental obligations, conditions of local employment and other key areas of agreement.
Negotiations for this key pre-construction milestone are expected to be concluded in early December.
This article was developed in collaboration with Canyon Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.